Toilets, like all appliances, suffer from wear and tear over time due to general use, and this can manifest itself in physical damage over time. One of the most common breaks that a toilet can experience is a crack in the porcelain, which can sometimes necessitate the entire toilet being replaced. However, if the crack is small enough, it can usually be fixed without having to replace the entire unit, a process which is fairly straightforward and does not require any specialized tools.
What You'll Need
You'll need a tube of plumbing epoxy, a caulking gun, rags, a utility knife, work gloves, a putty knife and an adjustable wrench. All of these items are available at most hardware stores if you don't already have them at home.
Fixing a Crack in a Toilet
First, identify where the crack is and how large it is. Larger cracks, through which water can flow easily, in the toilet tank or any sort of crack in the toilet bowl, will require you to call a plumber and have your toilet replaced. However, hairline cracks in the tank, which have not yet reached the outside (or vice versa), and smaller cracks elsewhere on the toilet can be fixed yourself.
Next, turn off the water supply to the toilet using the adjustable wrench. The shutoff valve is most often located immediately behind the base of the toilet.
Then, flush the toilet to drain the tank and bowl. Use the rags to sop up any remaining water in the bowl. You'll want the condensation to be as dry as possible before applying the epoxy, so be thorough.
Use the utility knife to cut the tip off of the plumbing epoxy tube, and fit it into the caulking gun.
Apply firm, even pressure to the caulking gun as you trace the tip of the epoxy tube along the crack. You should lay a thin line that completely mirrors the path of the crack.
Use the putty knife to smooth the epoxy over the crack, wiping up any excess with the rags.
You'll have to let the epoxy sit and dry – check the instructions, but as a general rule of thumb most take about a day before they're ready for use. Once the epoxy is dry, reconnect the water supply using the wrench and flush the toilet to ensure that the crack isn't letting any water through. If it still is, you may want to contact a plumber.
Keep an eye on your toilet in the future. Cracks can be representative of other plumbing problems, and can spread over time. If you notice lots of cracks, or if a crack becomes quite large, it may be the end of your toilet's lifespan. Contact a plumber, like Miller Plumbing , for more help.