Is a leaking toilet an emergency? Here’s anything you should know

A leaking toilet may seem like a minor inconvenience, but if left unresolved, it can lead to major repairs and costly water bills. 

In this post, we’ll explore the signs that indicate your toilet needs immediate attention and share tips on how to fix the issue before it turns into a full-blown disaster. 

So grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!

What Causes a Leaking Toilet?

There are a few different things that could be causing your toilet to leak. 

First, you might have a problem with your flapper. The flapper is part of the toilet that seals the opening between the tank and the bowl. If it isn’t sealing properly, water will slowly leak out of the tank and into the bowl.

Another possibility is that there is a problem with the gasket that seals the connection between the tank and the bowl. This gasket can become worn or cracked over time, allowing water to seep through.

It’s possible that there is a crack in the porcelain of your toilet bowl or tank. Age or wear and tear cause this issue, which can be difficult to repair. If you think you have a cracked toilet, it’s best to call a plumber for help.

How to Identify a Leaking Toilet

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If your toilet is leaking, it’s important to identify the source of the leak to determine whether it needs immediate attention. There are various factors that cause toilet leaking, including a faulty flapper or seal, a cracked toilet bowl, or a loose supply line.

If you see water on the floor around your toilet, the first step is to check the tank to see if the leak is coming from there. If the tank is empty or there’s no water in it at all, then the leak is likely coming from another source.

Next, check the flapper or seal at the bottom of the tank. If this is damaged or not seated properly, water can escape from the tank and cause a leak.

Take a look at the supply line that connects your toilet to the water supply. If this is loose or leaking, it can also cause a toilet leak.

If you’re unable to identify the source of your toilet leak, or if you think it may be serious, contact a plumber for assistance.

Signs of a Leaking Toilet Requiring Immediate Attention

Via: The spruce

A leaking toilet can cause extensive water damage to your home if you do not fix it in a timely manner. There are several signs that indicate a toilet is leaking and needs immediate attention:

  • Water stains on the ceiling: If you notice water stains on your ceiling, this is a sign that your toilet is leaking and needs to be fixed immediately.
  • Water stains on the floor around the toilet: If you notice water stains on the floor around your toilet, this is another sign that your toilet is leaking and needs to be fixed immediately.
  • The sound of running water: If you hear the sound of running water when your toilet is not in use, this is a sign that your toilet is leaking and needs to be fixed immediately.
  • Higher than normal water bills: If you notice that your water bill is higher than normal, this could be a sign for you to have your toilet fixed.

How to Stop a Leaking Toilet

If your toilet is leaking, it’s important to take action immediately. A leaking toilet can waste a lot of water and cause damage to your bathroom. Here’s how to stop a leaking toilet:

  • Turn off the water supply to your toilet. This will stop the flow of water into the bowl and help prevent further damage.
  • Flush the toilet to empty the bowl of water.
  • Inspect the tank for leaks. If you see any cracks or holes, you will need to repair them before you can use the toilet again.
  • Replace the tank gasket if it is damaged. This is a common cause of leaks and is an easy fix.
  • Tighten all bolts on the tank and bowl to ensure they are secure. Loose bolts can cause leaks.
  • Check the flapper valve for leaks. Replace it with a new one if you think it’s necessary.
  • Put food coloring in the tank and check the bowl for color after 30 minutes without flushing. If color appears in the bowl, there is a leak somewhere in the system that will need to be repaired before using the toilet again

When to Call in a Plumber

If your toilet is leaking, it’s important to figure out whether the leak is serious or not. A small leak may not be a cause for alarm, but a larger one could indicate a bigger problem. Here are some signs that you should call in a plumber:

  • Your toilet is leaking water onto the floor
  • The leak is coming from the base of the toilet
  • The tank is filling up with water and overflowing
  • There is water pooled around the base of the toilet
  • There is consistently dripping or running water sound coming from the toilet


How bad is a leaking toilet?

A leaking toilet that is left to run constantly can waste up to 22 gallons of water each day, according to the United States Geological Survey. 

That leak would waste more than 8,000 gallons of water if it continues for an entire year. Each leaky toilet in your building multiplies the effect.

How much water can a bad toilet leak?

A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water every day on average. For just one leaky toilet, that works out to almost 6,000 gallons each month ($70.06*). Some toilets may emit an audible sound of flowing water. Some leaks can be seen as a tiny trickle flowing from the rim to the bowl’s water.

What happens if a toilet runs all night?

Naturally not literally, but if your toilet is running nonstop, your water bill will soar. The flapper may need to be replaced, which is typically a very simple and affordable fix for constantly running toilets. The risk of flooding is further exacerbated by a constantly running toilet.

Can a toilet leak only when flushed?

If a toilet leaks just when it is flushed, it may be due to loose mounting bolts or a worn-out wax gasket; if it leaks constantly, it may be due to a broken water shutoff valve, a loose water supply line connection, or a leaky seal between the toilet tank and its base.


Leaking toilets can be an annoying household issue, but it’s important to understand when a small leak is nothing to worry about and when you should call in a professional. 

We hope that this article has given you the knowledge you need to identify when your leaking toilet requires immediate attention so that you can avoid expensive damage down the line. 

Remember, if the leak persists or worsens over time, don’t hesitate to contact a local plumber for help.

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