Mechanics How to Fix Anything - 3

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LEAKING TOILET
First, you have to be sure that what you are seeing is a leak and not merely
condensation running down the outside of the bowl. Cold water in the
toilet and high indoor humidity will result in condensation forming on the
outside of the bowl and on the toilet tank. The condensation will
accumulate around the bowl’s base. There’s little that can be done to
prevent this. If condensation isn’t the cause, you really do have a problem
—and sealing the base of the toilet will only make it worse by trapping the
moisture at the base of the bowl. Eventually, that can rot out the floor
framing. The most likely culprit is a defective wax ring, which should be
replaced.
THE TOILET IS ABOUT TO OVERFLOW
As soon as the water level in the bowl starts rising, reach into the tank and
prop up the fill valve (the ball or cylinder that floats on top of the water).
That will stop the flow to the toilet, thwarting an overflow. Unfortunately
you’re still going to need the plunger.
A DRIPPING TOILET TANK
This could also just be condensation. To find out if you have a larger
problem, put a few drops of food coloring into the tank and see if the color
reaches the floor. If it does, check the tank for cracks and the piping for
loose connections.
TOILET ROCKS
First, try tightening the hold-down nuts around the base. If that doesn’t
stop the rocking, you’ll have to check the area under the bowl. To do this,
shut off and disconnect the water supply, flush the tank, and sponge out
residual water. Remove the closet nuts and lift the bowl off the closet
bolts.
Three things can be causing the problem. First, the closet flange may be
loose or rusted out. Second, the subfloor around the flange may be rotted
out, in which case that section needs to be replaced. Finally, the wax ring
and its sleeve may be flattened to the extent that it no longer bears properly
against the bowl’s base, and therefore a new wax ring and sleeve must be
installed.

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