When it comes to appliances or devices in your home, your toilet is one of the most often-used, so it’s perfectly normal to expect some wear and tear over time. Toilets have moving parts in them that are frequently exposed to water, pressure, and other factors, so it’s not uncommon for your toilet to start dripping, running, or even flushing on its own after several years of use.

Are you experiencing any of these problems? The good news is you most likely don’t need a new toilet, but rather just a simple repair. The first step is to check to see if your toilet is leaking from the tank into the bowl, as this is where the majority of problems occur.

Water Level

The first thing to check is the water level inside the tank. If your water level rises to the point where it goes over the top of the overflow pipe, water will leak down the pipe and into the bowl. This isn’t a huge deal, but it does mean that every flush is using more water than it should, so you could be racking up a higher water bill with every flush. This simply means that the fill valve or ballock isn’t working properly or is set to the wrong height. Adjust these devices to make sure the water level stops at the manufacturer-specified height.

Internal Diaphragm Seal

Your internal diaphragm is where water enters the tank of your toilet. If your toilet is leaking, water may be emitting from a worn our cracked diaphragm seal and overfilling the bowl, causing water to run down the overflow pipe. Some diaphragm models allow you to remove and replace the seal, but others require you to purchase an entirely new diaphragm model.


The flapper is what empties the water from your tank into the bowl whenever you flush. It’s a small piece of round rubber that seals the tank exit and lifts when you push the flusher handle. Like the diaphragm seal, it deteriorates, cracks, and can develop leaks over time. There’s a pretty easy way to find out if the flapper is your issue:

  • Flush your toilet and let the bowl refill entirely
  • Put a few drops of brightly-colored food coloring into your tank
  • If you notice the color leaking into the toilet bowl, the flapper is not sealing properly, and is the source of your leak

If your flapper is what’s leaking, first check around it to make sure no sediment or debris has built up, preventing it from creating the seal. If not, then it likely needs to be replaced.

Fixing, adjusting, or replacing any of these features is a fairly simple process that nearly any homeowner can do themselves with a slight amount of handiwork skills. You can buy the parts you need from any home improvement warehouse, and most are not that expensive. However, if your toilet is still leaking and none of these fixes have resolved the issue, you may be in need of an entirely new toilet, which is a considerably more expensive and difficult repair.

If you need assistance with a toilet issue that you can’t resolve on your own, the professionals at R & S Mechanical can help! We have served residents of Raleigh and the surrounding community for more than 10 years, providing exceptional quality and friendly service at competitive prices! All our plumbers are highly-trained to resolve your plumbing issue quickly and cost-effectively in order to minimize the amount of time your plumbing is out of service. Let us show you why our Raleigh plumbers are the number-one choice for homeowners in the entire area.

Call R & S Mechanical today at (919) 302-8956 to schedule a service or receive a free repair estimate!