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Repairing a Leaking Tank

 
Repairing a Leaking Tank

If water keeps running even after you've tried adjusting the water level and replacing 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’ve figured 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.

 

Preparation

 

• Clean out the cabinet and inspect the area where you will be working.
• Block the drain opening with a cloth.
• Have a bucket on hand to catch any water.
• Position towels so the edge of the cabinet doesn't dig into your back as some faucets come with lifetime 
  warranties on parts. Check with the manufacturer for details.

 

Safety

 

• If you have an electrical outlet beneath your sink, turn off power to it before you remove the old faucet and 
  restore power to it only after  you've tested the new faucet for leaks.
• Using a basin wrench to reach into tight spaces behind your sink can help you avoid hand injuries.

 

Savings

 

• To help conserve water, ensure your new toilet has a water-saving aerator.
• To save money and prevent frustration in the future, purchase a quality toilet with a good warranty.  Look 
   for a toilet that uses metal and ceramic parts rather than plastic.


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 you’ll 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.