Fix Your Leaking or Running Toilet Easily!!

Have a leaking or running toilet? You can tackle the problem yourself-all you need is a little time, some patience, and a dash of know-how. Or, you can always call in the experts. At Litton Enterprises Inc. we handle everything from malfunctioning toilets to complete hot water tank installations.

To find the source of the leak try adding food coloring to your tank water; check it every hour in order to pinpoint exactly where the water might be coming from.

Food Coloring In Tank

Does the leak occur where your water supply line runs into the tank?

If you can determine that the leak is at the supply line, follow these steps first:

  1. First, turn the water off at the shut off valve. Proceed to flush the water in order to ensure that tank is completely empty.
  2. It could be that the nut on the supply line has come loose. If this is the case, it may just be a matter of tightening. However, be careful not to overtighten, as this could cause its own set of problems.
  3. If this doesn’t address the problem, you may want to inspect the water seal going into the bottom of the tank. These can brittle over time and even split thus causing water to leak out. A decomposing rubber seal means it is time for a replacement. (Tip: take your old one to the hardware store so that you can match it as closely as possible. Also write down the name brand of your toilet and have that handy.) Replace the rubber ring by following the directions on the parts packaging. Slide the nut back in place and tighten accordingly.

Does the leak occur at the point where the tank meets the toilet bowl?

If you can see that the leak occurs where the tank sits atop the toilet bowl, follow these steps:

  1. First, turn off the water supply valve and flush out the last of the water in the tank.
  2. Remove the lid to the tank portion of your toilet and check to see what type of screws are holding the tank in place. You will need a screwdriver and also a wrench to address the nuts holding the screws in place.
  3. Warning: this may be a two-person job. As you unscrew the tank from the toilet bowl, having someone there to hold the tank and thus prevent it from crashing to the floor is a good idea!
  4. Lift your tank off carefully. Remove the rubber gasket-this is most likely the source of your leak. As with the rubber ring going into the tank, you want to take the gasket to the supply store as well as the name brand of the toilet itself. Place the new gasket exactly where the old gasket was and then return the tank to its place. Reinstall the screws, washers, and nuts. Again, you want the screws to be snug, but not overtightened.
  5. Turn the water back on and keep an eye on the tank as it fills. You need to be sure that the new gasket isn’t leaking and that the nuts and screws were reapplied correctly.

Check Seal Here

Does water leak out into the toilet bowl?

If the water is leaking into the bowl, follow these steps:

  1. First turn the water off to your supply line; remove the tank lid so that you can see the toilet’s inter-workings. Flush and observe what the flapper and handle do as the toilet goes through the flushing process.
  2. Generally, water is leaking out of the tank because the flapper is not getting the proper seal. This could be caused by a couple of different things:
    • The flapper is worn out and needs to be replaced.
    • The handle is not operating correctly and needs to be replaced (both are inexpensive fixes).
  3. After you have figured out which item needs replacing, take the item in question to the hardware store, along with the brand name of the toilet in order to purchase an identical part. Follow the instructions in the packet as to how to reinstall this replacement piece.

Hopefully, this helps determine why the toilet may be leaking and gives you some idea as to how to address the issue. You can also always call a professionally licensed plumber to handle the problem!

Keep Your Toilet On A Weekly Cleaning Schedule

clean weekly

Despite what you call it, whether the john, lavatory, water closet or head, the toilet rarely gets the cleaning it deserves. Who better to teach you then the Litton Enterprises Inc. plumbing experts themselves. We’ve seen our share of toilets and have certainly dealt with our share of related plumbing issues. You’d be surprised at how a regular cleaning can help to alleviate toilet problems down the road.

  • We recommend you only use natural cleaning products.
  • As for the actual tools of the trade:
    • Pumice Stone
    • Toilet brush with an under-the-rim brush on the tip
    • Large microfiber cloth
    • Scrubbing sponge

cleaning supplies


It’s important to get into a thorough weekly cleaning routine. First, you want to make sure and turn off the water to the toilet. Proceed to flush; this will ensure that all of the water empties out of the bowl. Sprinkle the all-natural toilet cleaning powder into the toilet bowl. A tip: you always want to wear gloves when cleaning your toilet. Next, scrub the bowl as well as the underside of the rim using a sponge. Remove any stains and rings you notice with the pumice stone. Add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to the toilet after having scrubbed with the stone and the powder. Allow the vinegar to sit for approximately one hour before turning on the water and flushing.

vinegar natural

By doing a quick daily cleanup of your toilet, you help extend the effects of the more comprehensive cleaning process. This can be done simply by swishing the toilet bowl every day using plain water and a toilet brush.

pumice clean


Every week, clean the outside of the toilet including the floor around it. Start by wiping from the top of the tank and work down. Use a microfiber cloth by wiping in this order, folding to a fresh portion of the cloth after each step:

  • Flusher handle and the tops and sides of the tank
  • Top and inside of the toilet lid
  • Top of the toilet seat, then the area between the tank and the toilet seat where the bolts are and where bacteria often collects.
  • Don’t forget the floor around the toilet. Enzyme-based Urine Off and probiotic-based Chrisal work to break down and then get rid of urine and bacteria build up while eliminating the odor. It’s always best to be proactive and address any fresh spills rather than letting them sit for too long.

Things to consider

Cleaning cloths should go straight into the washer. Wash separately in hot water and detergent after each use. Do not add fabric softener; air dry.

micro cloth

To clean your toilet brush and holder: bi-weekly mix 2 ounces of distilled white vinegar, a few drops of essential oil, such as mint or lavender and pour this solution onto the toilet brush; add the rest to the brush holder to keep it smelling fresh. Remember to replace this mixture every two weeks.

lav vin

You also want to be sure and clean the toilet plunger which often gets overlooked. Let it sit a few minutes in the toilet with the cleaning solution. Rinse, then suspend over the toilet but out of the water by closing the toilet seat on top of the plunger handle. Once dry, store the plunger in a convenient location for emergency use.