How to Prevent and Fix Most Common Toilet Problems
Easy to Follow Guide
Every homeowner has experienced some issues with their toilets. These problems are annoying and unpleasant, but they are a part of our everyday life. Some issues require a professional to fix them. Most of them, however, you can do yourself. Here are some of the most common problems and how to deal with them.
1. Phantom Flushes
Sometimes, you may hear the toilet refilling from itself as if someone has just flushed it. This occurrence is known as phantom flushes. It is manifesting in a toilet that runs intermittently or goes on and off all by itself. It happens when there is a small leak from the tank to the bowl bellow. Usually, the source of the problem is malfunctioned flapper. Although this problem isn’t as bad as some other ones, it is annoying and can cause you to waste water unnecessarily.
Luckily, this problem can easily be fixed without a plumber. Simply drain the water from the tank and look at the flapper seat. If it’s damaged, replace it, and if not, clean it up and make sure it’s set in its place.
2. Weak Flush
If you have a bowl that is slowly being emptied, you will most likely have some clogged holes underneath the bowl’s rim. Take some curved wire piece and poke it into each flush hole. You can use an old coat hanger. This will help you clean out any debris. Take a small mirror to help you see what you are doing. If the flush is still weak, try to use the wire to make sure there is no debris in the bottom of the drain. Keep in mind that the bowl can easily be scratched! You have to be gentle.
3. Water Leaking Into the Tank
The hissing sound that can be heard from the toilet is usually a result of water leaking into the tank. This can also cause you to waste water, so you should fix it as soon as possible. Usually, the water is dripping from the inlet valve, and you should check the refill tube or the float. Sometimes, the cause is the inlet-valve assembly itself.
First, make sure that everything is alright with the float. You should check that the refill tube isn’t standing too far into the overflow tube. A refill tube should only be about a quarter of an inch below the edge of the overflow tube. If these two toilet parts are okay, you should replace the ballcock assembly.
4. Leaky Seals
Most toilets have five seals, and each of them can leak. The solution to this problem is simple – just find the broken seal and replace or tighten it. If you are experiencing a significant leak, you are likely having problems with the largest seal. That is the one that is directly between the bowl and the tank. If you need to replace it, you will have to remove the tank first and drain the water. Smaller seals are easier to replace.
Sometimes, just tightening these seals is just enough to prevent the leak. If you don’t see any damage on the seal, try to tighten it first.
5. Clogged Toilet
A clogged toilet is the biggest nightmare of every household member. At the same time, this is the most common bathroom problem. There are several ways you can unclog the drain. A good idea would be to get yourself a force-cup plunger, as it is more powerful than standard models. Insert the bulb in the drain and make forceful pumps. Release the handle slowly from time to time, to see if the drain is unclogged. Repeat this process until everything is clear.
If a plunger isn’t enough to unclog a toilet, try using a closet auger. Place the end of the auger inside the drain hole and twist the handle while pushing downwards. Make sure you are careful, as you can easily damage the bowl.