The toilet is probably one of the most overlooked appliances in your home and doesn’t require much regular maintenance besides cleaning of course. Essentially, having a toilet is a luxury that we take for granted. Although you may have your toilet for years without major problems, from time to time, you may experience clogs, running water and leaks that need attention. Here five common toilet problems and tips on how to fix them:
Trickling Water into the Bowl
If your toilet keeps running on and off by itself or runs as if it was recently flushed, then you may have what plumbers call a “phantom flush.” This is caused by a slow leak from the tank to the bowl. Most likely the cause is due to a bad flapper that needs to be cleaned. Before cleaning, first, drain the tank and bowl. If cleaning does not fix the issue or you see that it is damaged, then you should probably have the flapper replaced.
Trickling Water into the Tank
If you hear a hissing sound, water may be trickling into the tank from its supply line. If you hear this hissing sound consistently, it may be caused by water entering through the inlet valve. To fix this issue, you will need first to check if the float may need adjusting. Second, ensure that the refill tube isn’t placed in the overflow tube too far. If you are still experiencing the hissing sound after you have checked all these items, then you may need to replace the ballcock assembly entirely.
Slow to Empty Bowl
When the bowl empties slowly, it’s usually the result of clogged holes that are located under the rim of the bowl. This is also known as a “weak flush.” To fix this issue, simply use a curved piece of wire, like a coat hanger, and gently push into each flush hole to clear out any caked-on debris that may be causing the clog. Using a hand mirror will be helpful in seeing where the holes are located. You can use the wire also to clear out debris that could be obstructing the siphon jet at the bottom of the drain.
Clogging is one of the most common problems with toilets. A plunger usually will do the trick in clearing out a clog. Keep pumping the plunger until the drain clears. If you continually have an issue with a clogged toilet, it may be time to call a plumber.
Toilets have at least five seals. Each seal can have a leak and cause a messy problem. To fix this issue, first, identify which seal is leaking as it may simply just need to be tightened. If tightening the seal does not fix the leak, you may have to replace it entirely. The seal between the tank and the bowl is the largest, and a broken seal here can cause water to seep out with every flush. This can cause a huge leak. In order to replace this seal, you must first drain and remove the tank. By turning the tank upside down, you will have easier access to replace the seal.
Smaller leaks can be caused at the mounting bolts and at the base of the ballcock. Simply tightening the bolts should be sufficient in stopping these leaks. The wax seal that is mounted under the toilet base is another way you can have a leak.
If this seal is broken, water leaking underneath the toilet can cause damage to your floor. Do not caulk as it will only trap the water and make it worse. The toilet should be removed, and the wax seal replaced completely. If the leak is caused by a damaged flange, then you will need to call a professional plumber to fix the problem.