Some Toilet Problems and Repair Solutions

A plumber can be expensive to repair a toilet. And you know what? Not every time you need the services of a plumber.

Fresca Antila One-Piece Dual Flush Toilet With Soft Close Seat

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Fortunately, sometimes you can do it yourself.

Many things can go wrong with the toilet but many are easy to fix.

All you need is some time and some basic tools.  You’ll probably be surprised by how easy it is to repair a toilet.

How a Toilet Works:

A toilet has two major components, the tank and the bowl. The tank stores a charge of water to flush out the bowl.

When you trip the handle on the tank to flush a toilet, a trip lever is raised inside the tank. This lever lifts wires, which, in turn, raise the tank ball or rubber flap at the bottom of the tank.

As the water from the tank enters the bowl, it overflows and the excess water runs out the bottom of the bowl and into the drain line. This slug of water creates a siphon as it goes down the drain line and pulls the contents of the bowl with it.

While the water is rushing out of the tank, the float ball, which floats on top of the water in the tank, drops down. This pulls down on the float arm, raising the valve plunger in the ballcock assembly and allowing fresh water to flow into the tank.

When all the water is gone from the toilet bowl and air is drawn into the trap, the siphoning stops. Meanwhile, the tank ball falls back into place, closing the flush valve opening.

The Common Problems of a Toilet

1.Flushing Toilet:

After flushing the toilet water keeps running until you jiggle the handle or push the button again. There are a couple ways your toilet may be wasting water without your knowledge. Your toilet may be wasting water, hundreds or even thousands of gallons a year.

You can check for a leaky flush valve very simply, as shown. Shut off the water supply to the toilet. The shutoff valve is located beneath the tank on the left side as you face the toilet. Mark the water level, than check it again in 20 minutes. If the water level has fallen below your mark, the flush valve is leaking.

–        First lift the top of the toilet tank off and check to see if the flush valve flapper is caught. It probably isn’t sitting down as it should. Many times is the float ball or chain that it that is the culprit. If it is the chain try shortening it a little.

–        Lift up on the float arm. If the water stops, you know the problem is that the float ball doesn’t rise far enough to lower the valve plunger in the ballcock assembly. One reason could be that the float ball is rubbing against the side of the tank. If this is the case, bend the float arm slightly to move the ball away from the tank side.

–        Or you can adjust the float ball by the screw setting at the linkage arm from the float rod to the ballcock.

TIP: Don’t buy a flapper that has a plastic or rubber line attached. The type with the chain made up of small metal balls is better by far.

2.Bubbling Toilet:

Water bubbling in toilet when not in use? Sometimes in multiple dwelling buildings and shared plumbing pipes when a blockage of some sort occurs. This is very annoying for the unlucky unit owners. In this case you should engage the services of a plumber.

Problem: Inadequate venting of pipes can cause the water back up and bubbling into your toilet.

3.Noisy Toilet:

–        Noisy and problematic toilets are a common occurrence, mainly due to the low cost parts used in today’s plumbing systems. Tank parts for toilets are very inexpensive and mostly constructed of corrosion resistant plastics. If the ballcock is an older style, and this mechanism is damaged, even if the mechanism looks good, it is not. It cannot be cleaned or repaired in any way. This is a common problem but it can be hard to find in a building with more than a few toilets. So change the mechanism.

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4.How to Unclog a Toilet:

–        When water overflows the bowl there is a blockage somewhere in the toilet or drain line. You can generally clear a clogged toilet with a plunger, otherwise known as the plumbers’ friend.

–        Usually, whatever is blocking the toilet drain is not very far away. If the plunger’s action doesn’t dislodge the clog, you can try to hook the blockage and pull it free. A wire coat hanger can sometimes do the job, but it is really a substitute for the closet or toilet auger.

5.Water on Floor around the Toilet:

There may be many reasons why water would tend to collect on the floor at the base of the toilet.

–        If the water seems to come from under the toilet then it is possible that the setting seal or gasket is leaking. The toilet pan must be released from the tank and floor, and a new seal fitted. A bead of silicon under the pan will ensure good adhesion to the floor.

–        If the toilet tank is leaking at the junction of the pan and tank then the seal is most likely deteriorated. Lift the lid off the toilet tank and find the two screws at the back of the tank. Take out these screws and any screws that may be fastening the tank to the pan. Lift the tank away from the pan. Slide off the seal, and replace it with a new one from the hardware or plumbing supplies store. Replace the tank and be sure that the screws are not over tightened.

6. Pressing the Flush Button or Handle has no Effect:

 –        This is because the linkage between the flush handle (trip lever) and the flush valve has become disconnected somewhere inside the tank. To fix it lift the tank lid and inspect the trip lever and all the connections made to it going down to the flapper at the bottom of the tank.

–        Because of usage, water and mineral deposits can seize the flush handle and not let the tank ball seat properly. Few drops of a lubricating oil on the mechanism just inside the tank and wriggling it, it should loosen the deposits and free up the handle.

–        If it is too damaged you will have to replace that part.

7.Toilet Tank Sweats:

–        The cold water in the toilet tank and the warm air in the bathroom will cause moisture to collect on the tank and cause pooling of water. Then the water drips onto the floor resulting in a dampness and clamminess in the bathroom.

SOLUTION: Use the polystyrene insulation kit from the hardware store to fix that. You must first empty the tank and dry it completely with a hair dryer or similar. Then you line the toilet tank by gluing the styrene foam on with waterproof glue.

8.Toilet Leaks after Flushing, between Tank and Bowl:

 –        If water leaks between the toilet tank and bowl whenever you flush your toilet, you need a new tank to bowl gasket. Often it is referred to as a spud washer. No matter what type your toilet is, use the pink colored Crane gasket.

SOLUTION: To repair the leaking you have to replace the gasket you must disconnect the water line to the toilet and remove the tank from the bowl by removing the two brass bolts holding the tank and bowl together. You must use new bolt gaskets when re-assembling.