How to Fix a Cracked Toilet
A cracked toilet can pose a variety of problems for homeowners, the biggest being the potential for a major blow out and extensive water damage. While no one wants to deal with redoing their entire bathroom out of obligation, there are many questions people have about their cracked toilets. Is the crack dangerous, or merely cosmetic? Does it matter where the crack is? What kinds of cracks can be repaired? If it can’t be repaired, should I replace the entire toilet?
In this guide, we’ll tackle all those important questions, and provide you with instructions on how to identify your cracked toilet problem, as well as give detailed instructions on how to repair your hairline cracks with epoxy.
1.Identifying the Problem
Being able to identify the location, size and type of crack on the various parts of your toilet will save you time and money in deciding on a proper solution to your problem. For example, if a crack has occurred on the inside of your tank, and is over 1/16 inch wide, you should most likely replace your tank. Hairline cracks around the outside of the toilet are often cosmetic, and can be repaired with the application of plumbing epoxy to seal them. Cracks on the inside of the bowl are cause for alarm, and may result in needing to replace the entire toilet.
Take a good look at the cracks in your toilet. Is it a tiny hairline crack on the outside? Are there multiple hairline cracks? Are there any cracks on the inside of the bowl or the tank? If you are seeing hairline cracks that may appear to be only cosmetic, we will show you how to patch and repair them using plumbing epoxy.
2.Patch Hairline Cracks with Epoxy
After you've identified the type of crack in need of repair, determine whether it's worth fixing with epoxy or if you'll need to replace the entire toilet. When you experience cracks on the inside of your tank over 1/16 inch wide, you should most likely replace your tank. Hairline cracks around the outside of the toilet are often shallow, and can be repaired by applying plumbing epoxy to seal them.
Plumbing Epoxy – This waterproof epoxy will seal and patch up tiny cracks on your toilet.
Caulking Gun – Use this to apply epoxy to your cracks.
Sponges, Towels and Cloths – Use these to completely dry out the entire toilet before you begin the application of your epoxy.
Adjustable Crescent Wrench – Not only will this make you feel like an awesome professional plumber, but you’ll be using this kind of wrench to disconnect the toilet’s water supply as well.
Let’s get started!
4.So Long Water Supply
First thing’s first, let’s disconnect the water supply heading into the tank before you drain your toilet. You can turn off the water supply at the shutoff valve located beside and behind the toilet. Once it is turned off, flush the toilet to drain it. Now we can grab our handy adjustable crescent wrench to disconnect the water supply line from the tank.
5.Dry Toilet Humor
Now that your toilet is disconnected from its water supply and thoroughly drained, use those towels, sponges and cloths to dry out every part of the toilet. Use the towels and sponges to absorb excess water in the tank, and wipe down everything inside and outside to remove any condensation or water droplets that remain. Why, you ask? That miracle epoxy needs a totally dry environment in order to adhere to the toilet’s materials and seal that crack properly.
*NOTE: When removing the toilet tank’s lid, cautiously use both hands as the lid is very heavy and susceptible to breaking if dropped. Carefully lift it off of the tank and place it onto a folded towel or another type of padding.
A great way to ensure you’ve completely dried out the tank area on your toilet is to use an electric hair dryer on the highest heat setting. Take your time and move all around the bottom and sides of the tank until it’s bone dry and ready for epoxy!
6.Applying Your Epoxy
Once you have completely dried everything out, check to make sure your hairline crack has not traveled all the way from the outside of the toilet and becomes visible on the inside. At that point, you would have to replace the part with a full crack. Still only on one side? Awesome. Let’s apply our epoxy.
Place your tube of epoxy securely in the caulking gun, and taking a pair of scissors cut the tip of the epoxy container at an angle no bigger than 1/3 inch wide.
Now that your caulking gun is prepped, lets apply epoxy onto the crack. Keep a firm and even grip on the handle of the gun, and begin about an inch before the crack starts, continuing to apply epoxy an inch after the crack ends. Then, with the putty knife, spread the epoxy over the surrounding area. Be sure to use only light pressure when spreading the epoxy. It won’t take much to smooth out the goop, but it also won’t take much to accidentally widen your crack, either.
Good work! Now you will want to give the epoxy at least 24 hours in which to dry. Check back every couple of hours to inspect for any other hairline cracks or fractures surrounding the original crack. If your epoxy dries without the introduction of other visible cracks, you are now ready to refill your tank and test out your repair.
Using your adjustable crescent wrench, reconnect the water supply line to the tank, and reopen the shutoff valve to begin refilling the tank. Wait until the tank is completely refilled, and keep an eye on the repair area to check for leaks or cracks.
7.Moment of Truth
Once you’ve filled the tank and don’t see any leaks, flush the toilet while keeping an eye on your repair area. If there are no additional cracks and no leaking, you can begin using your toilet on a regular basis.
A cracked toilet can pose a variety of problems for homeowners, the biggest being the potential for a major blow out and extensive water damage.
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