Repairing a Leaking Tank

Repairing a Leaking Tank If water keeps running after you adjust the water level and replace the flapper, you may need to repair a leaky tank. Water may be leaking into the toilet bowl or leaking out of the tank. Once you figure out which is occurring, you are close to solving the problem.

Three common leaks

There are three common areas of the toilet that might need repair. The fill valve may be leaking, there may be a leak around a tank bolt, or the spud washer may have developed a leak. Here's how to fix them.




• Inspect the area where you will be working.
• Have a bucket on hand to catch any water.
• Position towels around the toilet tank.
• Some toilets come with warranties on parts. Check with the manufacturer for details.




• If you end up removing the toilet tank, be careful when lifting it off the toilet basin as they can be heavy.




• To help conserve water, ensure your toilet is a water-saving model. If not, consider replacing.
• To save money and prevent frustration in the future, purchase a quality toilet with a good warranty. 

Step 1: Drain and clean all surfaces

Step 1: Drain and clean all surfaces Turn off the water supply valve. Flush the toilet. Disconnect the supply line from the tank and sponge the inside of the tank until it's dry.

Step 2: Disconnect the fill valve

Step 2: Disconnect the fill valve Use two adjustable wrenches to remove the fill valve. Remove the old fill gasket. Take the gasket with you to the home center, so youll be sure to get the right size part. If you're not replacing other parts, install the new fill valve and gasket. Turn on the supply line and check for leaks. If necessary, tighten a quarter turn. Otherwise, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Unscrew the tank bolt

Step 3: Unscrew the tank bolt A screwdriver and adjustable wrench will remove most tank bolts. Remove the tank bolt, nut, and gasket. Clean the bolt and nut with white vinegar and a small wire brush. If you aren't replacing the spud washer, reinstall bolts and nuts with new gaskets. Alternate the tightening of the nuts to evenly draw the tank tight. If you are replacing the spud washer, continue to step 4.

Step 4: Lift the tank

Step 4: Lift the tank Lift the tank straight up and off the toilet base to remove it. Make sure you have a helper; toilet tanks are usually in an awkward place and are heavier than they appear to be. Set the tank upside down on the floor. It's best to set it on an old towel or rug because there may be some water left in the tank.

Step 5: Replace the spud washer

Step 5: Replace the spud washer Take the spud washer to your local home center to find the right replacement. Place a new spud washer over the flush valve tailpiece. Lower the tank onto the base so the tank bolts go through the holes. Reinstall the tank bolts, gaskets, and nuts. Alternate tightening the nuts from side to side so they tighten evenly. Reinstall the supply tube coupling and fill valve. Turn on the water supply and check for leaks.