Skip to main content

toilet bowlGetty Images

The flush toilet: a modern marvel, right? Sure, except when it's not working properly.

Toilet leaks can be tricky to pinpoint: it could be the flapper, the tank seal or the wax ring. I have an easy way for you to locate the leak and fix the problem in seconds flat.

First, take the top off of the tank and put a few drops of food coloring in the water. Leave a note on the toilet that no one should use it.

Let an hour or two pass, then check to see where the colored water has ended up.

If the colored water has found its way into the bowl, your flapper valve is leaking and probably needs to be replaced. Before you replace it, try lifting up the flapper and scrubbing the inside seat with some white vinegar there may just be some mineral deposits preventing you from getting a tight seal.

If the colored water is dripping out the back of the toilet by the pipes, you need to replace the seal between the toilet's tank and its bowl.

Flush the toilet. If the water pools up at the base of the toilet, the wax ring is cracked and needs to be replaced.

Looking for more household tips and tricks? Follow @MrsFIXIT on Twitter!

  • Ken

    Plumbing supply companies sell small colored tablets that you place into the toilet tank specifaly for this purpose and the cost is minimal. Shapiro

  • Joe Papierz Jr

    That's true, but food coloring is something that is probably already in the kitchen cabinet so additional expense is needless. Even a color tablet left over from Easter egg coloring will work. Why waste a trip to the store?

  • Antone Grieco

    How many rich, single, lawyers and doctors with poor English skills make bogus submissions on these Readers' Comments about wanting girlfriends? Or girls wanting boyfriends?

  • Rusty

    What about buoyant turds that refuse to flush? You can fush, flush, FLUSH, and they just float, float, FLOAT!

  • theronret

    Rusty--try and be sure their arms and legs are INSIDE the bowl and they are NOT hanging onto the bowl edges. Yes, Tony--machete will work but it's messy.

  • tony

    get a machete and wack it a couple of time.keep that machete handy next to the toilet. you can get one on ebay.

  • 6 Comments / 1 Pages

Follow Us

  • No features currently available.

  • More Hot Topics The Daily Fix  •  DIY Warrior  •  Home Ec  •  Handmade
    DIY Disaster Doctor  •  In the Workshop  •  Product Picks

    Home Improvement Videos