Most advice related to leaking toilets is aimed at solving the problem. However, many people would rather prevent the problem than fix it once it begins. To prevent your toilet from leaking, you need to stop doing what causes it. Here are some of the habits that contribute to toilet leaks:
Using Strong Chemical Cleaners
Everybody loves a clean toilet, but you shouldn't make yours clean by using concentrated chemical drain cleaners. Acidic cleaners will erode different parts of the toilet and cause leaks. Oxidizing or caustic cleaners generate heat that may soften your PVC toilet fixtures, which may lead to leaks on the weakened areas. The damage is even more likely if you don't use the cleaners and directed, and your toilet is old.
Try using homemade cleaners that are gentler on the toilet fixtures and pipes. If you must use the cleaners, follow the directions of use to the letter so that you don't overdo it. Mixing different cleaners isn't a good idea either since the resulting mixture may be more toxic than the individual varieties.
Ignoring Maintenance Practices
If you haven't been giving your toilet preventive maintenance, it's time to start now. Normal wear and tear can easily lead to serious damage and leaks if you don't catch them early enough. Here are some of the activities to perform during your regular checkups of the toilet:
- Take the tank lid off and confirm that the different parts of the toilet, from the lift arm to the bowl fill tube, are operating as they should.
- Confirm that the gasket or wax ring, which secures the space between the floor and the bowl, is intact since its deterioration can lead to fluid seepage.
- Try pushing or pulling on the toilet; it shouldn't move. Any movement may point to a loose part that can lead to leaks.
Hopefully, you will fix these small problems before they lead to leaks.
Placing Bricks in the Tank to Save Water
A common advice for saving water in the toilet involves placing a brick in the tank to reduce the volume of water in the tank, so you don't flush with a full tank of water. The idea behind the practice is ingenious, but using an actual brick isn't ingenious after all. Over time, the brick breaks down and clogs the drain lines. When the lines get clogged, the effluent has nowhere to flow and starts leaking from the bottom of the toilet. If you must use this trick, do it with a water bottle filled with sand instead of an actual brick.
All isn't lost, however, if the toilet is already leaking. In most cases, you don't have to replace the whole toilet to fix a leak. Call a plumber to diagnose the cause of the leak and fix it. You can also go to sites like this for more information.