Can You Fix A Crack In Your Toilet Bowl On Your Own?

Though we use toilets multiple times a day, we prefer not to think about them much as long as they're working. However, it's important to keep an eye on the performance of the toilet, especially if you are worried you're seeing signs that your toilet is too old. One of those signs can include finding a crack in the bowl. You may not be ready to replace the entire toilet yet, so you can take steps to try to repair the crack. This is a job you can try to do on your own with waterproof epoxy, but there are complications to the process that may force you to consider a replacement of the toilet.

For starters, it's often difficult to find the source of the crack in the bowl because of the round shape. You may just see water slowly appearing on the floor from some sort of leak, but it's difficult to track the source of the leak. Some hairline fractures just aren't visible, especially if they're below the water level in the bowl.

If you do see a fracture, take note of the location. If it's above the water level, you can repair it far easier than if it's below the water level. Additionally, any crack that is more than 1/16 inch in width represents the start of significant structural damage and may not be worth repairing. You will have better results if you simply replace the toilet if it has a larger crack.

How to find any cracks in a toilet bowl

Because even hairline cracks in the toilet bowl can cause slow leaks, it's important to find them quickly. Clean the interior and exterior of the bowl to be certain that you can clearly see any imperfections. Then inspect the entire bowl for signs of cracks. You should clean your toilet once or twice a week, and you may want to inspect for any imperfections that could lead to leaks at the same time.

A hairline fracture is narrow and may look like a piece of hair. Some hairline fractures are cosmetic, while others can cause tiny leaks if they go through the entire thickness of the toilet bowl. If you see a hairline crack on the interior of the bowl, look for a matching crack on the exterior, which is a clue that the fracture extends through the thickness of the material. Hairline fractures often are repairable by sealing them with plumbing epoxy, even if they go through the entire thickness. However, if they resemble the veins on a leaf, this likely is a sign of structural damage.

Should you drop something on the toilet bowl, you may immediately notice a larger crack. Unlike the hairline fracture, larger fractures may have a noticeable gap between the two pieces. After a bigger break, you also may be able to feel the edges of the gap with your finger. This type of break almost certainly means that the entire toilet needs a replacement.

Does a toilet that's leaking water mean there's a crack in the toilet bowl?

One of the first things you may notice that could indicate a cracked bowl is water sitting on the floor near the toilet with no obvious source. A slow leak through a hairline fracture below the water line in the bowl could cause a puddle to appear on the floor. Wipe the area near the crack with a towel and wait a few minutes to see if any new drips of water squeeze through to determine if this is causing the puddle. However, if the hairline crack is above the toilet bowl's water line and if you don't notice any other potential cracks, the puddle on the floor may have another explanation.

The most common cause of toilets leaking and leaving water standing near the base is a gradual failure of the wax ring that creates a seal between the base of the bowl and the sewer pipe that carries the water away when you flush. At the time of the installation of the toilet, the plumber installed this wax ring. You do not see the hidden wax ring, so you can't inspect it for damage without uninstalling the toilet to be able to access it. The wax ring could lose its ability to hold a seal as it ages. Additional reasons you may see puddles near the toilet include a clog in the line that drains away or from a leaking supply line.