Toilet Flush Valve Leaking: How to Repair It

A busted flush valve is most likely the culprit when a toilet leaks, especially when it leaks into the bowl. These kinds of leaks are not usually visible but they do leak into the bowl. Yes, a toilet leaking can be caused by many other things which is why it’s important to check where the leak is truly coming from. Knowing where the leak is originating from lets you decide what to do next.

The good thing is this: this kind of issue is not too complicated to fix and you can even do it by yourself. The gist is this: it involves removing the tank from the bowl so you can replace the flush valve. While that sounds simple, here’s how you do it:

  • Remove the tank’s lid.
  • Shut off the water. Do this by turning the shut-off valve clockwise.
  • Drain water out of the tank. Remove as much water as possible by holding down the flush lever until the tank is completely flushed.
  • Use a sponge to dry up remaining water. Not every drop of water will be flushed out and as such, you need to do additional cleanup. This is a necessary step because it’s better to work with a blank and clean canvas. It makes everything flow smoother as well.
  • Cut off the connection of the water supply tube or hose from the tank.
  • Disconnect the flapper chain from the tank lever arm.
  • Remove the screws holding the tank to the bowl. You might want to spray penetrating oil before attempting to loosen the screws.
  • Using a long slotted screwdriver, reach into the tank to prevent the tank bolt from turning. Remove tank bolts when everything is clear.

  • Lift the tank off and set aside. Make sure you lay it on a towel for its protection. The last thing you want is for the tank to get ruined.
  • Remove the locknut that holds the flush valve to the tank. The locknut is found underneath the tank. You can use a plumber’s wrench for this.
  • Remove the old flush valve.
  • Install the new flush valve. The manner of installation is similar to the way you removed the old valve.
  • Re-attach the tank to the bowl using tank bolt after flush valve has been installed.
  • Re-attach the flapper chain to the flush lever arm.
  • Re-attach the fill tube to the new overflow pipe.
  • Re-connect the water supply to the tank.
  • Turn on the water.
  • Test the new flush valve.
  • Check for leaks.

Fixing a flush valve shouldn’t have to be hard. However, it does require that you have all the needed tools on hand, as well as the supplies. It’s very difficult to proceed with a task when you don’t have everything you need. So make sure you purchase a new valve and have all the equipment you need right with you before starting with this task.

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