Leaky Toilet? No Problem

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

One of the most common home plumbing problems is a leaking toilet. Although it might seem like a relatively small issue, it can result in water damage throughout the bathroom, as well as abnormally high water bills over time. Thankfully, fixing a leaking toilet can be easier than you might expect. Here are some tips to handling the leak, in addition to what you can expect to pay if you bring in a professional to help with the job.

Plumber Costs

If you don’t have the know-how, time, or patience to deal with a leaking toilet on your own, you might be interested in hiring a plumber. Repairing a toilet is a common job for a professional plumber, and the average cost of the job will be somewhere between $212 and $292. If there is extensive damage, the costs may be higher, but it should still fall within the range of $289 to $413, which is the average cost of hiring a plumber in the U.S.

Prepping for DIY

If you have some basic plumbing knowledge, or even if you just want to save the money and handle the leaking toilet on your own, you should start by better understanding the problem. Generally, there are two major culprits that can lead to a leaking toilet: the inlet valve or the flapper. Once you have identified the problem, turn off the water main and drain the tank of the toilet so that you can tackle the specific issue.

What’s Next?

If the problem is with the flapper, you can remove it once the tank is empty. You might notice a few cracks or a loose fit, which is likely why the problem exists in the first place. Slip on a new flapper, check for a tight seal and then reintroduce water to the tank to test it. A single flush should be enough to tell if you were successful. If the problem is with the inlet valve, you may need to separate the toilet from the water main and take apart the whole assembly. This requires a number of tools and can take several hours. Unless you have a lot of plumbing knowledge, this part is best left to the professionals.


Repairing a leaking toilet isn’t always tough. Replacing the flapper takes just minutes, but anything else might require professional assistance. These tips can make the process simpler, and it could end up saving you money by not needing to hire a plumber for a simple job.

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