Leaking toilet tank - plumber tool kit and toilet in with bathroom

Leaking Toilet Tanks & Bowls (Quick-Fix Solutions!)

A leaking toilet tank or toilet bowl is annoying at best and damaging at worst. And there are many reasons for the leak.

But fixing the problem doesn’t have to be frustrating or expensive.

Examples of Leaking Toilet Tanks & Bowls

On a hot, humid day, condensation dripping from the cool air outside the tank or bowl can be substantial enough to make a puddle. You can simply live with it or install rigid-foam tank insulation.

However, a chronic leak probably means a faulty water supply connection, spud gasket, or toilet wax ring. Often, you simply need to tighten the hold-down bolts to solve the problem.

A crack in a tank can sometimes be patched from inside with silicone sealant. On the other hand, a cracked toilet bowl should be replaced.

Regardless of the type of leaking toilet tank or bowl that you have, here are some solutions that can be handled fairly quickly and efficiently.

Solutions for 3 Types of Leaking Toilet Tanks & Bowls

You will need wrenches, a screwdriver, a putty knife, and up to two hours of your time. No special skills are required. But again, be careful not to crack the toilet bowl.

1. Leaking Water Supply Line

If the leak comes from where the water supply enters the tank, first tighten the locknut. If that doesn’t work, follow these steps:

  • Shut off the water supply to the tank
  • Flush the toilet to drain it of water
  • Sponge out any remaining water in the tank
  • Disconnect the water supply line
  • Remove the locknut
  • Replace the old beveled gasket and rubber washer with new ones
leaking toilet tank - hand tightening locknut on water supply line to toilet tank
You can try hand-tightening the locknut (our coupling nut) that connects the water supply line to the toilet tank. If it continues leaking, try using a wrench for a tighter seal.

2. Leaking Between Toilet Tank and Bowl

Extended use can cause the tank hold-down bolts to loosen enough to produce a leak at the spud gasket.

Use a screwdriver and wrench to tighten the bolts. This will squeeze the tank against the spud gasket, creating a better seal. If the leak persists, try this:

  • Shut off the water supply to the tank
  • Flush the toilet to drain it of water
  • Sponge out any remaining water in the tank
  • Detach the water supply line
  • Remove the hold-down bolts
  • Lift out the tank
  • Replace the spud gasket
  • Put everything back together
leaking toilet bowl replacing spud gasket and hold-down bolts on toilet tank-
New hold-down bolts and washers are being installed onto the bottom of the toilet tank. Also newly installed is the (pink-colored) spud gasket.

3. Leaking at Base of Toilet Bowl

If the bowl is cracked, you’ll have to replace it. No getting around that one.

If the bowl is fine, try gently tightening the hold-down nuts. If that doesn’t stop the leaking toilet bowl, then you’ll need to replace the toilet wax ring.

We have a detailed article on how to replace a toilet ring here. Here’s a summarized version of the steps involved:

  • Shut off the water supply to the tank
  • Flush the toilet to drain it of water
  • Sponge out any remaining water in the tank
  • Disconnect the water supply line
  • Remove the nuts on the hold-down bolts
  • Scrape away the old wax ring and any putty on the bottom of the bowl
  • Press a new wax ring in place
  • Reinstall the toilet
How to replace a toilet wax ring - place seal into flange
The toilet wax ring is located under the base of the toilet bowl. It attaches to a metal flange. The wax ring creates a watertight seal between the toilet bowl and the floor drain.

PRO TIP: In many old-style toilets, a fitting (pipe) connects the tank to the bowl. If leaks develop at either end of the fitting, tightening the nuts may stop the leak. If not, take the toilet apart and replace any worn-out parts.

Final Thoughts

Toilet tanks and bowls can leak in many ways. But as you can see, solving the problem can be relatively straight-forward. And the repairs don’t require any special skills or experience.

If you feel these projects are out of your comfort zone, you can always contact a trusted local plumber for assistance.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need help with toilet tank or toilet bowl leaks. We will repair, replace, or install fixtures at your convenience.

1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbingdrain, or water damage problem, including excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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