Toilet Repair: Common Problems and Fixes

If you’ve ever been jolted awake by the incessant hiss of a running toilet or frustrated by a weak flush, you know how aggravating common toilet issues can be. A little knowledge goes a long way in solving these basic problems yourself. Continue reading as we cover several frequent toilet troubles and offer practical fixes that you can do at home, saving you time and potentially money.

Toilet Repair: Common Problems and Fixes

Quick Fixes for Common Toilet Troubles

The Perpetual Hiss of Running Water

  • Problem: A toilet that continues to run after flushing is more than just an annoyance—it can waste gallons of water daily, impacting both the environment and your water bill.
  • Solution: The usual suspect in this scenario is the flapper. To investigate, first shut off the water supply to your toilet. Flush the toilet to empty the tank, then inspect the flapper located at the bottom of the tank. If it appears worn out or doesn’t form a complete seal, it needs to be replaced. Also, ensure that the chain connected to the flapper isn’t tangled or too long; it should allow the flapper to close fully without extra slack.

Weak or Incomplete Flush

  • Problem: A weak flush typically means the water isn’t being released with enough force, often due to clogs or blockages in the jet holes or siphon tube.
  • Solution: First, check if the water level in the tank is set correctly; it should be about one inch below the overflow tube. If the water level is fine, inspect the rim feed and jet holes under the rim of the toilet bowl. These can be gently cleaned with a piece of wire or a small brush to remove any buildup or debris. For more stubborn deposits, consider using a commercial calcium, lime, and rust remover, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the internal components.

Toilet Won’t Flush at All

  • Problem: If the handle feels loose or you don’t hear the usual water flow after flushing, the lift chain or the handle itself may be broken.
  • Solution: Open the tank lid and inspect the lift chain. If it’s disconnected or broken, it can usually be reattached or replaced easily. If the handle is loose, tighten the nut inside the tank that secures it. If these components look intact, the issue might be with the flapper not lifting when the handle is pressed, indicating a need for adjustment or replacement.

Toilet Overflows

  • Problem: An overflowing toilet is urgent and often the result of a clog in the bowl or further down the drain.
  • Solution: Start with a plunger. Make sure to use a flange plunger designed for toilets, as this provides extra suction. Place the plunger over the hole in the toilet bowl, and gently push down to create a seal. The first push should be gentle, followed by more vigorous plunging. If this doesn’t clear the clog, a toilet auger, also known as a closet auger, can be used to reach deeper into the drain.

Leaky Seals

  • Problem: There are several seals on your toilet, with the largest being the one between the toilet and the floor (the wax seal). If you notice water around the base of your toilet, the wax seal may be failing.
  • Solution: Replacing a wax seal involves removing the toilet from the floor, which can be a challenging job. If you’re handy, you can attempt this repair by first draining and removing the toilet to access and replace the wax seal. However, if you’re not comfortable with this level of repair, it’s best to call a professional plumber.

Need Help? Rick’s Plumbing Is Just a Call Away

At Rick’s Plumbing, we’re always ready to lend a hand or offer advice for those DIY fixes. Remember, while many toilet repairs can be simple, always consider calling a professional for complex issues to ensure everything is done safely and effectively. Whether you need help troubleshooting a problem or require more extensive repairs, our team is just a call away! Call 203-874-6629 today.