Cheap and Easy Solution to a Leaky Toilet By John London a well known Emergency Plumber
Short of having an all-out toilet flood in your bathroom, a toilet leak really isn’t going to be a major issue. For Londoners, it won’t require an emergency plumber in London to figure out the problem. But, it can be a pesky issue that might continually wake you up in the middle of the night. A leaky toilet isn’t always readily obvious because it generally doesn’t manifest itself in a steady drip or other consistent loud noise. Instead, you’ll start notice phantom, albeit miniature, refills of the toilet tank. This can be a perplexing issue that seems to appear out of nowhere, but there’s generally going to be an easy fix for it in most cases.
To determine if your toilet is really leaky or if it just makes strange noises in the middle of the night, you’ll want to place a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank. This is the back side of the toilet where the reservoir of water is held that eventually makes its way into the toilet bowl. A leak generally manifests itself by slowly dripping water through the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank. After you’ve put the food coloring in the tank, leave the toilet sitting for about 30 minutes to an hour without flushing. Then, go back to the toilet and look at the actual bowl. If the water in the bowl is now colorful, then you’ve got a leak.
In general, when you need an emergency plumber, London is the place to find one easily. But, again, this won’t often require the use of a plumber (and particularly not an emergency one). For the most part, your problem is going to be with the flapper valve. This valve is appropriately named because it flaps up and down whenever you flush the toilet to ensure that the bowl becomes adequately filled with water.
There are kits that you can buy at most hardware stores that have the flapper valve and other implements for replacing the whole contraption. But, there’s an even cheaper (and easier) option that you could try to help rid yourself of that pesky leak. First, you’ll want to buy a steel wool, no-scratch pad (unless you’ve already got one). Then, turn the water off at the valve near the toilet. Flush the toilet to ensure that the tank drains entirely. You don’t have to worry about touching the water in the tank, because it’s basically just tap water anyway.
Once all the water has been evacuated from the tank, remove the flapper valve. Generally, you can just pry this out without any tools, but be sure to do it carefully so as not to break it. You’ll likely notice that there is some scale buildup on the flapper valve that is causing the leaking issue. You’ll also find this buildup in the “seat” which is the location normally found under the valve. To remedy this, just take your steel wool, no-scratch pad and gently scrub down the surfaces of both the flapper valve and the seat. Then, replace everything, turn the water back on, and let the tank fill back up with water. You can use the food coloring test again to make sure that your quick fix really did the trick. In most cases, it will work and you won’t need to make the call to an emergency plumber, London based or otherwise.