How to Fix a Cracked Toilet (Tank, Bowl & Base)

Is your toilet cracked, but otherwise seems to work fine? Yes, toilets, although they are generally built tough, they can break. If you aren’t ready to throw in the towel and just buy a new toilet, you may be able to fix it.

Let’s talk about how to do that.

How to Fix a Cracked Toilet (Tank, Bowl & Base)

How to Fix a Cracked Toilet

Right now, we want to go over a step by step process on how to fix a cracked toilet. We will do small sections for each of the most important components: the tank, the bowl, and the base.

What is important to remember here is that if the crack in your toilet is larger than 1/16 of an inch, it may be best to just replace the damaged part instead of attempting to repair it.

Anyway, let’s jump into the repair process.

How to Fix a Cracked Toilet Tank

Let’s first talk about how to fix a cracked toilet tank.

Step 1: Turn Off the Water

First thing’s first, turn the water off so that no more water can go into the tank. If need be, flush the toilet to drain the water out of the tank. You can also use towels, cups, or anything else at your disposal to dry out the tank.

The tank must be completely dry before you begin making any repairs.

Step 2: Seal the Crack

Epoxy for Fixing Toilet CracksNext, you need to find the appropriate epoxy that is waterproof and made for porcelain or ceramic toilets. A product I recommend is this one by HomeTinker.

Using a caulking gun, or any other appropriate method, apply the sealer or epoxy to the crack. If required, attack the crack from both sides. In that case, chances are, though, that you would be better off replacing the broken part due to the crack being large.

Step 3: Smooth the Epoxy and Let It Dry

Finally, you can use something like a paper-knife, or any other such tool, to smooth out the sealer so that it is flush with the rest of the toilet.

Allow the sealer to set and cure for as long as is instructed on the packaging of the specific product.

How to Fix a Cracked Toilet Bowl

What is important to note here is that the toilet bowl is the hardest to fix. Moreover, even the best of sealants and repair agents will only last so long.

Although you can make a repair, it might not last long, and you may end up needing a new toilet bowl anyway.

Either way, the steps for fixing the bowl are virtually the same as for the tank.

Step 1: Drain and Dry

Just like with fixing the tank, to fix the toilet bowl, you first need to turn off the water supply and flush the toilet a couple of times to drain out all of the water. If need be, use towels and other such things to dry the toilet.

Step 2: Fill the Crack

Use plumber’s putty, a silicone sealant, or a waterproof porcelain epoxy to fix the crack.

If need be, you may need to apply the material from both sides.

Step 3: Smooth and Dry

Use a paper-knife or any other such scraping tool to scrape away the excess sealant and to make it flush with the rest of the toilet bowl.

Wait for the recommended amount of time for it to dry until you let water back into the toilet.

How to Fix a Cracked Toilet Base

Just like with the above methods of fixing a cracked toilet, fixing the base is not overly hard.

If the base is cracked, simply follow the exact same steps as listed above for fixing the tank and bowl. However, if the toilet base is leaking a lot of water out onto the floor, you will need to replace it.

Fixing Tank vs. Bowl vs. Base Cracks: What Are the Differences?

Generally speaking, there really aren’t many differences between fixing the tank, the bowl, and the base. For all three components, you use the exact same type of sealant. The process for fixing all three of these components is more or less the same.

Moreover, the general rule of thumb here is that hairline cracks can all be fixed, whereas serious cracks, especially those that go all the way through from one side to another, should not be fixed. Instead, the affected components if you can source them or the entire toilet need to be replaced.

That said, the hardest part to fix is the bowl, mainly because it always has water flowing through it, and sealant or putty will only last so long. Also, keep in mind that when cracks are under the waterline, they automatically become much harder to repair than cracks or splits that are above the waterline.

Fixing Outside vs. Inside Cracks: What Are the Differences?

The main difference here is that cracks on the outside do not come into contact with water. As such, it will be much easier to apply the appropriate sealant or putty. It will last much longer too. However, if the cracks are on the inside, and they are in direct contact with water, things become much harder, as the constant contact with water will negatively affect any putty or sealant you use.

Simply put, exterior cracks are much easier to fix than interior cracks, and cracks that go all the way through from one side to the other are the hardest of all. Realistically, if your toilet has cracks that go all the way through, a replacement is called for, not a repair.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

You need to gauge whether or not making a repair is worth it. If the cracks are large or they are in direct contact with water, it might be best to make a total replacement, not a repair.
When using any sort of putty, sealant, or epoxy, always wear gloves, safety goggles, and follow all instructions as labelled on the packaging.
ALWAYS turn the water to the toilet off before making repairs!
Always make sure that any product you use to fill the cracks is intended for the specific material that your toilet is made of, and that it is 100% waterproof.

Summary

As you can see, whether or not you should fix your toilet or just buy a new one is a flip of the coin. This is a judgement call on your end, and you need to recognize whether or not making a repair is worth it. However, if you do want to make a repair, it’s really not that hard at all.