Leaking sinks and toilets are incredibly common, and can occur at several parts of each apparatus. One
part of toilets and sinks that can develop particularly destructive leaks is the rim; in other words, where the sink or toilet meets the supporting surface. While a few drips here or there may seem like a minor issue, those little drops can add up to a big waste of natural resources. In fact, a faucet that leaks one drop per second will waste up 3,000 gallons per year.
Below, we’ve listed tips for finding these leaks and suggestions about how to stop them for good.
Rim Leaks in Sinks
A leaking sink can go unnoticed for a while if it’s not the faucet that’s dripping. Rim leaks occur when the boundary between a sink and the supporting material, such as countertop, are not properly sealed. Water can creep under the edge of the sink or base of the faucet, dripping to the cupboard or floor space beneath. The moisture can ruin floors, cupboards and counters over time if the problem is not addressed quickly.
To check for this type of leak, turn off the faucet. Using a wet sponge or small cup, dribble water along lines, cracks and gaps around the sink edge. Look for drips beneath, as well as musty smells and damp patches. Also check to see if the faucet base wiggles or if the caulk or laminate on the counter is deteriorating.
To repair, try the following:
- Scrape away old, deteriorating caulk, and recaulk
- Under the sink, tighten the mounting nuts or clamps that attach the sink and faucet to the countertop
Rim Leaks in Toilets
When the seal between the bottom of your toilet and the floor begins to age, it can lose its watertight qualities and begin to seep. If you notice wet areas on the floor around the commode, or unusual sponginess in the tile or laminate, do not wait to take action. It is likely that the wax seal has failed.
For toilet repair, take the following steps:
- Make sure you’ve purchased a wax ring replacement kit appropriate for your toilet
- Use a wrench to disconnect the water supply at the shutoff valve
- Remove the toilet from the floor and lay it on its side
- Remove and replace wax ring at the flange, following kit instructions
- During removal, look for other signs of damage, such as corroded tee bolts at the base. These may also need to be repaired to stop the leak for good.
- Replace toilet. For a good seal, gently rock toilet back and forth until it’s flush with the floor
- Turn on water supply
If you take these steps and the leak persists, fear not. You can always consider calling a local plumber. Although fixing a leaking toilet or a leaking sink is often fairly simple, complications may arise. If something goes amiss, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional plumbing repair service.