Need Toilet Repair? Common Toilet Problems & Solutions
Toilet problems and the need for toilet repair is extremely common, but what’s less common is understanding the different parts of a toilet and how toilet plumbing actually works. A toilet has many parts, and understanding the basic elements of a toilet and its plumbing is key in proper diagnosis of, and fixing of basic toilet problems.
A toilet has two main parts –
- The bowl – This connects to the drain for disposing waste and waste water and it also holds water.
- The tank – This is what’s behind the bowl. It holds reserved water for refilling the bowl each flush. It also holds the device responsible for flushing clean water into the bowl and then refilling the tank afterwards.
Secondary toilet parts –
- Ballcock – This is connected to the water supply and controls the delivery of water to the tank. When a rapid drop in water level in the tank occurs, (when you flush) and is sensed by a float, ball, or pressure gauge, the ballcock is triggered to refill the tank.
- Flapper – Water from the toilet, when flushed, rushes into the bowl through the flush valve – but before flushing, this valve is plugged with a rubber stopper. This rubber stopper is called a tank ball, flush valve seat ball, flapper, or flapper ball.
- Flapper Valve – The valve and the flapper together is what’s called the flapper valve. When you flush, the level simply lifts the rubber flapper off the valve to allow for your toilet to flush and refill properly.
If your toilet isn’t working properly, it may be as simple as a malfunction of one of these toilet parts. To determine whether you need a toilet repair or if you should be placing a toilet, consider some of these common issues, the causes, and the solutions.
Problem: My Toilet Won’t Stop Running
If your toilet is running constantly, this is not only annoying, but could be costing you money. This typically occurs due to either the flapper not sitting correctly in the opening of the flush value, or it could be due to a high water level in the tank.
Solution: Fixing A Running Toilet
Your flapper value may just need a simple adjustment, or you may need to replace it. Adjusting the water level in a tank is also simple. You can do this by scooping some water out of the tank reserve.
Problem: My Flush Handle Is Loose
If your flush handle becomes loose, or completely disconnected from the tank, this will obviously cause issues with proper flushing.
Solution: Fixing A Loose Flush Handle
You can simply reconnect the lift wire or lift chain that connects the lift arm from the flapper, or adjust the handle mounting nut inside of the tank.
Problem: My Toilet Is Leaking At The Base
If there is water seeping from the base of your toilet, this could be due to an issue with the wax ring that seals the base of the toilet. However, the size of the puddle plays a large part in determining the size of the problem and the proper toilet repair.
Solution: Fixing A Leak At The Base Of My Toilet
If it is in fact the wax ring, you will need to completely remove your toilet in order to properly replace the wax ring. If the puddle is larger around the base of your toilet, this is a sign of a bigger problem and you should avoid using your toilet (if possible) until it is looked at by a professional.
Problem: My Toilet Is Clogged
A clogged toilet is one of the most common toilet issues and usually doesn’t involve calling a plumber.
Solution: Fixing A Clogged Toilet
Plungers are typically the best method for fixing a clogged toilet, however, some clogs may require a drain snake tool. In some cases, a “backup” may not be coming from a clogged toilet and could indicate something more serious like a main line clog, or a septic backup. If common unclogging methods do not work, contact your plumber for the proper toilet repair and/or diagnosis of larger issues.
Problem: My Toilet Water Level Keeps Dropping
If you’ve been flushing your toilet with no problem, and then suddenly notice that the flush or refill sounds weird, you may have had a water level drop in your tank. You can check to see if this is the case by lifting the cover of the tank and checking the water supply.
Solution: Fixing My Low Water Level In Toilet
This could be happening due to a partial clog in the colon of the bowl causing a slow siphoning of water. You can empty the bowl and use a flashlight to see if you notice any paper stuck. The bowl may also have a crack in the interior colon or piping. This is rare and will result in needing to replace the bowl.
While several toilet problems may only need a simply DIY toilet repair, when in doubt, call the professionals! Some of these problems listed above may be caused by other issues not indicated, or may require more extensive repairs or complete toilet replacement. Contact Kulk’s Plumbing & Heating 24.7 for emergency plumber services!