Toilets are one of the most common sources of water leaks in any home. A leaky toilet tank can go unnoticed for some time, but it can lead to significant water usage and increase your water bill. In addition, a leaky tank may contribute to excess humidity and mold growth in your bathroom. Toilet sealants are secondary layers of protection for the toilet tank. They serve to reinforce the primary seal and prevent leakage from occurring again. Alternatively, they can also be used if your toilet tank leaks.
What is a toilet sealant?
A toilet sealant is a tool used to prevent leaks from occurring in the toilet tank. Normally bolts and washers are used to connect the toilet tank and the toilet bowl. If you want, you can use plumbers putty as additional protection. While this is not really needed, some plumbers do this anyway.
Sealant can also be used as a temporary emergency repair if the toilet tank leaks. This makes sure that the water doesn’t drip in your bathroom. It should be used with care though.
To really fix the problem, you have to remove the toilet tank and add a new rubber ring between the tank and the toilet seat. Given that this is a lot of work, some people prefer to use a temporary fix. This can be dangerous though as it can leak and result in water damage.
How to choose a toilet sealant
If you have water leaking from your toilet tank, the first step is to identify the source of the leak. You can do this by removing the tank lid, taking a look inside, and observing any potential areas of leakage. If the leak appears to be coming from the bottom of the tank, you will want to consider a toilet sealant if you don’t want to install new bolts. It is still better to simply install new bolts as this reduces the chance of a leak. We have to remember that water leaks can cause a lot of damage.
Using a sealant such as plumbers putty or silicone is only a very temporary fix that should be used when there is no other solution. There are also special products that can seal a toilet tank or water leaks. These are more expensive though. This last option is mainly used when there is a crack in the toilet tank. Anything that can close cracks and is watertight should work.
How to install a toilet tank sealant
We start out by removing the water from the toilet tank. You can do this by turning off the water supply to the toilet and flushing the toilet to release any pressure that may remain in the system. Once the pressure has been released, you can then access the source of the leak by opening up the toilet tank.
If the leak is coming from the bottom of the tank, you can install a toilet sealant. To begin, remove the lid from your toilet tank and take a look at the existing seal. Then, place the new sealant at the bottom of the tank. If you are using a universal sealant, simply place the seal directly on the bottom of the tank.
Some sealants have to be sprayed whereas others have to be installed by hand. Make sure to check how long it has to dry. Some sealants have to dry for several hours before they harden. Check that there are no holes in the sealant before proceeding.
Adding duct tape is not enough as this won’t hold. Make sure that the sealant that you use is waterproof and can fill the holes.
What to do after the sealant has been installed
After installing a toilet sealant, you will want to make sure the leak has been fixed before you use the toilet again. Check that no water is dripping out of the toilet tank. You will have to closely monitor the situation. It can be a great idea to only open the water supply to the toilet when you are there. This can be done by opening and closing the angle stop valve next to the toilet.
Once again, it is best to replace the toilet fill valve or bolts as this ensures that the leak gets fixed. You might have to replace the spud washers as well. These rubber rings are quite cheap and easy to replace. It is often cheaper to replace these rings than to use a sealant. Rubber degrades over time so you might have to replace these rings after a few years. You have to take the toilet tank off the replace them. If you have a good sealant, you might avoid this task for a while.
Leaks can be costly and lead to mold growth in your home. Toilet sealants are an effective way to temporary repair a leaking toilet tank. When choosing a sealant, make sure it is compatible with your toilet model. In general, it is only a temporary fix. You should replace the bolts and the connection between the tank and the bolt. You can get a plumber to fix your toilet if you don’t want to do this yourself.
Toilets can last a long time (often more than 15 years) but it is important that you maintain them well. Cleaning the toilet tank is just one part of this. Making sure that there are no small leaks is another part. If the toilet is having a lot of problems, it can be a great idea to just install a new one. This takes less than an hour and is quite easy to do.
If you can’t fix the leak, it is best to close the water supply and use a bucket to flush the toilet. This makes sure that there is no water dripping out of the tank. It can be quite difficult to see these drips at first and there can be a lot of damage before you see the problem. Flushing a toilet with a bucket is quite annoying though.
Using a toilet tank sealant is not a solution that plumbers will suggest as it is quite risky to do this. It can cause a lot of damage and should only be used if you really can’t get it fixed otherwise.