My toilet is leaking or is running all the time

It’s only leaking when it’s flushed

If the toilet only leaks when it's flushed, there are a couple of places that you can check to find the source of the leak. Sometimes, it might seem as if the soil pipe is leaking from the back (the bottom thick pipe running to outside), but this may not be the case as water sometimes runs from above onto the lower pipe.

There are 2 types of toilets in our homes. Which one do you have?

Closed coupled toilet                                                         Low level cistern

      

I’ve got a low-level cistern toilet

First, check the flush pipe. The flush pipe runs down from the bottom cistern into the back of the pan. This will be clean water, so you don’t need to worry about getting this on your hands.

The flush pipe can leak from the top where it’s connected to the cistern, or, more commonly, at the bottom, where it connects into the pan. Run your hands around the top fitting, then down the pipe until you reach the connection at the bottom, then run your hands around that.

Are there any signs of a leak?

Yes, I think it’s leaking from the flush pipe

If its leaking from the bottom, it could be because the fitting has popped out where the pipe is connected. If it looks like it's popped out, try pushing it back in. This may stop the leak and enable the cistern to be used to flush the toilet. You should check to see if there's still a leak before using it normally.

Remember, if the leak is coming from the flush pipe, you can use a bucket or bowl to flush away the contents of the pan instead. This removes the need to use the cistern, and the toilet can be used until a repair can be completed.

Yes, it looks like it’s from the soil pipe

You need to check the soil pipe. This is the thick bottom pipe that runs outside. The soil pipe connection is at rear of the pan and usually runs horizontally outside or down into the floor. This is where the wastewater goes to the drain.

This will be foul water, so you should take care when checking if this is the pipe that's leaking. If the fitting collar is wet or dripping when the toilet is flushed it suggests the connector may be faulty.

You should use a pan or a bowl to try to collect any drips or leaks if possible, or if you have another toilet, use this until we come to do the repair. If you can’t do this or don’t have another toilet, ring us to report the repair as soon as possible so we can send someone out to make it safe.

I’ve got a closed coupled toilet system

Check around the base of the cistern where it’s connected to the pan and run your fingers around the fitting.

Are there any signs of a leak?

Yes, the leak looks like it’s at the base of the cistern when flushed.

Remember, if the leak is coming from directly from the cistern is connected to the pan you can use a bucket or bowl to flush away the contents of the pan instead. This removes the need to use the cistern, and the toilet can be used until a repair can be completed.

Yes, it looks like it’s from the soil pipe

You need to check the soil pipe. This is the thick bottom pipe that runs outside. The soil pipe connection is at rear of the pan and usually runs horizontally outside or down into the floor. This is where the wastewater goes to the drain.

This will be foul water, so you should take care when checking if this is the pipe that's leaking. If the fitting collar is wet or dripping when the toilet is flushed it suggests the pan connector may be faulty.

You should use a pan or a bowl to collect any drips or leaks if possible, or if you have another toilet, use this until we come to do the repair. If you can’t do this or don’t have another toilet, ring us to report the repair as soon as possible so we can send someone out to make it safe.

The toilet is leaking continuously, or the pan or cistern has cracked

Most toilet cold water supply pipes will be fitted with a service valve. You can try to isolate the supply by using this valve, which should stop any leaks.

Turn the slot inside the service valve to the horizontal position using a flat headed screwdriver. This can be turned back on when you need to flush the toilet, if doing this doesn't cause a flood. If you can’t contain the leak, call us to report the repair immediately.

It is worth remembering that if the toilet is leaking in a wet room the water will drain into the wet room drain, which should be safe until we can complete the repair.

The toilet water is running all the time (from the cistern to the pan)

Some toilets now have internal overflows, which means they will overflow directly into the pan. This can be isolated using the service valve (if fitted) on the supply pipe running up to the cistern. This can be turned back on to refill the cistern when you need to flush the toilet.

If it's a push button toilet, you can sometimes stop the toilet continually flushing by pressing the button several times.

If you can remove the lid from the toilet cistern, it’s worth looking to see if there is a ball valve that has got stuck in the open position. This can cause the overflow. It may be possible to lift the arm into the off position and this will possibly stop the water running.

If you’ve put any toilet blocks in, these can sometimes get stuck under the syphon washer as it lifts and cause a fault with the seal (water will run into the pan continuously). You can check this by lifting off the lid and feeling inside the cistern to see if anything is lodged under the syphon washer. Remember to remove any items that have been placed in the cistern, such as toilet blocks or cleaning products, as these can damage the internal parts.

There’s water dripping because of the condensation

This is more common in the winter months. When cold water fills the toilet cistern, condensation sometimes forms on the outside of it. This is a result of the cold water coming into a warm environment and usually forms just after the toilet has been flushed. There will very often be a water line form on the outside of the cistern. You should wipe the cistern after flushing with a cloth. This should help stop the condensation dripping onto the floor.

Another reason this may be happening is when the toilet is overflowing and is therefore continually filling. This will also cause condensation to form constantly. If the cistern overflows into the pan rather than outside, you may not be aware of the issue. It can sometimes be a very slight trickle running down the back of the pan. 10 minutes after flushing, place a few sheets of toilet paper at the back of the pan where the water runs down to help you see if there is a problem. The paper will get wet if there an issue with the overflow.

If there are no obvious leaks or overflows running, and it appears that this is purely condensation, then there’s no need to report this as a repair to us.

How do I report a repair?

You can report a repair to us at anytime, anywhere using My Account or contact us via Live Chat. Let us know when reporting that you’ve followed the advice and what you’ve tried to get it working, this helps us to assess what to do next to get the right person for the job.

If your home is at risk of flooding or you can’t contain a leak, give us a call on 0300 456 2531 to report it so we can get one of our plumbers out ASAP.