Ahh, toilets. What would we do without them? Ensuring that they are working properly is ideal. But over time, their parts break down leading to common issues. No matter how strong and durable your toilet is, if you don’t give the proper care that it deserves, it will fail, sooner or later.
The key here is proper maintenance and care. We all know we shouldn’t flush foreign objects down the toilet, but aside from this, we also need to know how to keep our fixtures in tip top shape.
In This Article, We Will Be Covering:
- 9 common toilet clog problems that homeowners encounter
- DIY toilet repair tips
- Recommended clogged toilet fix remedies for common toilet issues
- How much will a toilet repair cost
- Toilet troubleshooting
- Top common causes of toilet clogs
- How to fix a toilet that keeps running
9 Common Toilet Plumbing Problems that Homeowners Encounter
There are many things that could go wrong inside your toilet. Here are some of the most common toilet problems you need to know to prepare yourself.
How to Repair a Leaking Toilet
Toilet leaks when flushed? Leaks can come from anywhere, in the supply pipe, at the bottom or the seat of the bowl, inside the bowl, at the supply valve, and many other places inside the toilet.
You will notice these leaks when a pool of water is constantly present in your toilet. Or if you don’t see water on the surface, check your water bill. Is it getting higher and higher every month? If so, there must be a leak somewhere in your toilet’s water supply and discharge system.
If your socks are constantly getting wet, your toilet must have a leak. Toilet leaks are caused by various problems. It might mean that the porcelain has cracked- though this would be apparent if it were true. Most commonly, the wax ring located underneath the toilet may have shifted and became loose.
- First shut off the water supply to your toilet and flush the water out.
- Now that the toilet and bowl are empty unhook it from the water supply and unbolt the toilet from the floor.
- Lift it straight up and place to the side. Now the old wax ring should be perfectly accessible.
- Remove the old ring and replace it with a new one. They only cost around 4 dollars. Once installed, place the toilet firmly over the new ring and bolt the toilet down securely
Tip: Whenever you work on a toilet, take a few minutes to don a pair of rubber or latex gloves and sanitize the base of the toilet with a disinfectant.
You may also experience a sluggish or weak water discharge every time you flush the toilet bowl. The bowl could have a partial clog or perhaps the clog is somewhere downstream. You know it is clogged when the water goes back into the bowl and the draining is very slow.
Dripping and continuous water filling of the tank
When you flush the bowl, the tank will fill up with water automatically. But if you still hear a persistent dripping sound after the tank is full, there is a leak somewhere along the line or the system. Tracing the root cause of this problem can be a bit complicated.
Low water level
After flushing, the tank fills up completely. But when you notice that there’s a considerable drop in the water level sometime after the tank fills up, that means water is leaking out somewhere.
One cause of this problem is a crack in the piping or the interior colon of the bowl. If this is the case, your only recourse is to replace the bowl with a new one.
Suction sounds coming from the sink and tub
When you flush the bowl and you hear gurgling sounds, you probably have a clogged toilet vent pipe. It could be a partial clog or a full clog. You can’t tell the cause of the clog by yourself. You need to get the professional services of a licensed technician to fix the issue.
You’re just getting ready to fall asleep, and you hear the toilet flush. Fear grips your heart as it starts to pound fast- you are the only one home. After a couple seconds, you realize that for some reason, your toilet is flushing all by itself.
This water wasting problem is caused by water leaking from the tank into the bowl. To correct it, simply replace the rubber flapper. To test your toilet for this problem, drop food coloring dye into the tank of your toilet. Avoid using the toilet for 30 min and then check the bowl for any signs of the food coloring dye. If present in the water, you have identified the source of the problem.
Without repairing your toilet flush, this problem can waste up to 200 gallons a day!
Toilet Keeps Running After Flush
You do your business, press the handle and the toilet starts constantly running without stop. This problem is caused by a flapper valve not sealing properly. Check to make sure that nothing is preventing the valve from closing properly.
Then, remove any mineral buildup that is around the seat beneath the valve. A third checkpoint is to ensure the pull chain is the right length and is not holding the valve slightly open. Repairing a leaky toilet tank flush valve can be tricky, so better leave this to our experts.
DIY Toilet Repair: Toilet Overflowing
You did your business, and your business was too large. You flushed, and now your toilet is filling, and filling and about to overflow. To prevent a wet mess, reach into the tank to lift the fill valve higher. The fill valve looks like a ball floating atop the water. This will stop the flow, allowing you use the plunger to remedy the situation.
An Inefficient Toilet
Did you know that toilets manufactured before 1994 are very inefficient? On average these old toilets use up to 3.6 gallons of water every time you flush. Now this is a problem for your water bill. Compare this to newer toilets that use only 1.6 gallons per flush. Despite the reduced water usage, the newer models have just as strong of a flush as the old.
If you wish to save money on your water bill then you may choose to look for a new toilet. Some models offer a dual flushing system which uses less water for liquid waste and the entire 1.6 gallons for solid waste.
How Much Does a Toilet Repair Cost?
The cost of repairing your toilet largely depends on the type of problem that needs to be corrected.
For budgeting purposes, here are the current going rates for toilet repairs in the United States:
- Replace toilet hardware $35 – $135 per job
- Install new toilet $200 – $500 per job
- Replace toilet wax seal $45 – $160 per job
- Install new shutoff valve $25 – $65 per job
Please take note that these figures are only the average estimates. Our plumbing technicians will be in a better position to give you the exact cost of your toilet repairs once he has completed his inspection.
Leaving aside the mess and inconvenience caused when a toilet fails spectacularly, even routine problems can be a headache. Clogs, leaks, and broken seats are a pain. Not only that, an inefficient, leaky, or always running toilet can waste water and cause higher utility bills.
Toilet Troubleshooting: Usual Causes of Toilet Problems
Leaks: There are several places where a toilet can spring a leak. Sometimes the leak will be obvious, but other times, you’ll have to inspect your fixture carefully to determine the source of the pool of water on your bathroom floor.
Supply Line: This is usually a flexible hose which runs from a valve in the wall or floor and leads to the bottom of the tank. Find the water supply valve, shut off the water, and then drain the tank by flushing the toilet. Unscrew the line from both the valve and the tank. To install the replacement, attach the new hose and hand tighten the locknuts at both ends.
Fill Valve: If the leak is at the fill valve itself, you’ll need to replace the fill valve and its gasket. Again, turn off the water supply and flush the toilet, then use a couple of wrenches to remove the fill valve and gasket. After you install the new parts, turn the water supply back on and make sure there are no leaks. If necessary, tighten it little bit more, maybe a quarter-turn or so.
Other leaks will require more work. If the tank itself is leaking, either it or the spud nut will have to be replaced. To be done safely, the job requires two people to avoid injury when moving the heavy porcelain reservoir.
Of course, the most difficult and time-consuming repair is replacing the wax ring where the toilet meets the drainage pipe. We recommend hiring our highly-qualified team of technicians for best results.
Clogs: Most clogs are fairly easy to fix. A few minutes with a plunger will do the job most of the time. However, there are some things to remember when unclogging a toilet:
- Never use a coat hanger or other improvised object to remove a clog. You will most likely scratch the bowl.
- Never use chemical drain cleaners in a toilet.
- If you have to use an auger to clear the blockage, use a closet auger. They are specially designed for use with toilets.
- When using a plunger, make sure there is at least some water in the bowl. It will help create a vacuum which will cause enough pressure to release most clogs.
Broken or Loose Toilet Seats:This is a fairly simple repair. Toilet seats are attached to the bowl with two locknuts under the lip of the bowl. Simply unscrew the locknuts and install the new seat. Consider using some inexpensive bushings or a seat stabilizer to keep the seat from sliding around.
Flushing Problems: Do you know how to fix a toilet that won’t flush? Once you find it difficult to flush, it could either be the water supply is limited or there is no water at all, or there a certain blockage in the flush tank obstructing the flow of the water.
If the case is the latter, you can replace the valve yourself. This can be easily bought in your local hardware or plumbing supplies. Over time, the valve wears out and might need replacement. It is also essential to tighten the handle as it could also be the case.
Overflow: There are times when the lever or the flush ball has worn out and will cause your tank to overflow. You will notice this because the water continues to flow after you have released the handle or if you still hear water flowing even after flushing. It could also be that the refill valve is trapped with dirt or damaged.
The Non-stop water flow is a different case. You can fix this by moving the float ball as it might probably be sitting too high. Intake assembly toilets has clips attached to the rod, these need to be adjusted to lower the water level.
Leaky Tank: Clean and dry the floor area in the toilet. Once done, put several drops of food color in the bowl and leave it for a few minutes. Check if there is colored water the dry floor earlier. If you notice streaks of colored water then your toilet is probably leaking.
Check the wax ring as it might have dislodged. See if there are loose bolts, tighten them up. In the case that the tank is really cracked, then a replacement is needed.
Water Leaks: Sometimes there are occurrences of flush and handle valve issues. The solution to this is to reposition the flush ball once again. A flush ball sitting too high could cause the water leaks to happen. In the event that a broken valve is causing the problem, might as well replace it.
Condensation and Moisture around the Tank: This is a common scenario during cold weather. Your local hardware store sells insulation for tanks that is quite easy to install.
Top Common Causes of Toilet Clogs in Your Home
Unsolved leaks and clogs in your toilet? There is a saying that prevention is better than cure, so once you’ve found a solution to your problem, make sure that this does NOT happen again. However, you need to figure out why this happened in the first place.
Here are some common causes of toilet clogs:
According to Angie’s list, one of the most reputable US directory websites for local businesses, one of the main culprit is the use of toilet paper! You may think it’s not a big deal – but it is! This is exactly the case, most especially if you’re using the double ply toilet papers in the market today. If you have no other choice but to dispose these in your toilet, better use Scott tissue (the single ply ones) than those that are thicker. But overall, it’s best to avoid throwing these in your toilet!
Personal Hygiene Products
You may think flushing down diapers and tampons are excused. Not at all! These come in second in the list. That includes condoms, Q-Tips, baby wipes, dental floss and sanitary pads. Don’t believe everything you read on the label. Even if it says “flushable” – do NOT take the risk.
Okay, so you don’t often find hair on the toilet right? Well, some people have the habit of cleaning their brushes and flushing afterwards. Doing this tends to clog the toilet when these hair form into clumps. And oh, did we say this also includes pet hair?
Okay, aside from your toddler’s toy car, there are other foreign objects that can get stuck, like your trusty toilet freshener. You know those tank deodorizers that are hung within the walls of your toilet? If these fall and get stuck once flushed, you will need a plumber’s snake to push it out.
You will definitely need to be more careful with your plumbing system to save you more money from expenses and to prevent future headaches.
How to Fix a Toilet That Keeps Running
Okay… there’s water running but it’s not coming from the faucet. You listen closely and it’s coming from — the toilet. Can you imagine how much money and water is wasted if this problem continues?
Not everyone knows how to resolve running toilet problems, so hiring the services of a local Kansas City plumber is the fastest and best method of solving the problem.
Some people opt to troubleshoot common plumbing issues by themselves. A number of toilet dilemmas can be fixed easily by carrying out some minor tweaks and adjustments and it’s just a matter of knowing what to do and how to do it. But before doing so, it is best to figure out the cause of all these before carrying on any solution.
Your Stuck Flapper
In order to fix this toilet malfunction, simply grab the flapper and securely close it in your hand. Carry out any required adjustments and it should respond well to this approach.
The Intermittent Filling
The solution for intermittent filling differs based on its root cause; however, the most general method of correcting this is by removing the buildup of mineral and cleaning the tank. You can also simply replace the flapper to directly fix the problem.
Toilet Repair: Your Dysfunctional Flapper
Close the valve of the toilet which is frequently located underneath the toilet tank. Flush the toilet to verify that it is closed. If the tank refuses to fill up, then this proves that the valve has been successfully closed.
Remove the flapper and the chain and replace it with a new one. Use a finger to remove any mineral you find around the rim of the flapper. Remember to make use of a sponge while replacing the flapper.
If You Need Help Troubleshooting Toilet Issues, Call Plumbers 911
Plumbers 911 makes it easy and affordable to hire the best and most reliable plumbing professionals around. All of our contractors must complete a rigorous screening process to join the ranks of the best in the business.
Each technician has over 10,000 hours of training including toilet tank installation and repair, passing an extensive background check and frequent drug tests. Plumbers 911 only works with the absolute best contractors in the business.
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