Leaking Toilet? Follow These Steps While Waiting For Your Plumber
As a homeowner, one of the biggest concerns many people have is preventing damages to their home. Unfortunately, accidents happen, especially when it comes to the plumbing in your home. Toilet leaks are common plumbing problems, especially in an older home, and when a toilet leak happens, the repairs can end up being an expensive and time consuming task. The first thing to do when you notice a toilet leak is to call a plumber; the sooner the repairs are made, the less risk there is of more damages. Once your plumber is on the way to help, there are some things you can do to minimize the damage and make the plumber’s job easier when they arrive.
Stop the Water Flow
The greatest expense from a toilet leak isn’t usually the plumbing repair bill, it’s the water damage. So, it is important to keep it to a minimum by shutting off the water as soon as possible. It is essential that you know where the water valves are in and around your home in case of a situation like this. If you do not know where the main water supply is, you can turn off the just the water supply to the toilet (the valve is typically located next to the toilet). If there is standing water in the bathroom and you can’t see the floor below, do not enter the room, instead turn off the main water supply (typically outside on a side wall or in the basement).
Turn Off Electrical Appliances
Electricity and water are a hazardous combination. Once you have gotten the water shut off, you can help to make the area safer by turning off and unplugging all electrical appliances in the bathroom. However, if there is standing water, do not attempt to walk into the room, instead turn off the circuit breaker that is designated for the bathroom. Once the area is safe to enter, remove any objects that may present a tripping hazard for you or your plumber.
Clean Up the Water
The longer water stands, the greater the risk is of it causing damages to the flooring and furnishings, such as the vanity. Soak up as much water as you can with towels, if you have a wet vacuum use it next to remove the remaining water. If you do not have a wet vacuum, use a mop to clean up the water that the towels can’t get. Do not attempt to use a wet vacuum to remove all of the water without first soaking the majority up with towels.
Fan the Area
Once you have taken care of the water that is visible, use a fan or a dehumidifier to help evaporate the rest of the moisture, such as on the baseboards, on the caulking around the tub and in the corners of the floor. Turn the fan on high and aim it directly toward the area that is the most effected. If the leak is caused by frozen pipes, turn the heat up in your home to help de-ice the plumbing.
Let the Plumber Do Their Job
If you suspect the leak is caused by a blocked drain, do not push anything down the toilet, do not use a plunger and do not pour drain cleaner into the bowl. Instead, let the plumber inspect the area and determine what is causing the leak. Pushing anything down the drain or plunging the toilet may force the blockage to go further down the pipe, making it more difficult to remove. Ensure your pets and children stay away from the area until the problem has been repaired. If the toilet leak has been an ongoing problem, write down the facts as you know them. For example, if you noticed the toilet running for a few days before the leak or you heard tapping noises in the pipes leading into the toilet. Writing this information down and letting the plumber know about it will help the plumber accurately and quickly determine what the problem is.
The main thing you can do in the case of a toilet leak or any other type of plumbing emergency, is to remain as calm as you can. Contact the plumber as soon as you are aware of the leak and be as specific as you can when describing what part of the toilet the leak is coming from.