Having an issue with your toilet can be annoying at best and disastrous at worst. Unfortunately, toilet problems are all too common, and they can happen anytime in any home. The bright side is that many common toilet problems only take a few steps to fix, meaning you may be able to complete them yourself with some basic tools. Keep reading to discover common toilet problems and how to fix them.
What to Check When Your Toilet Breaks
When you have an issue with your toilet, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of how your toilet works. This knowledge will help you know what to do when your toilet breaks. We recommend taking the lid off the tank and watching your toilet flush a few of times, so you can see what happens behind the scenes.
When you flush the toilet, the flushing handle pulls the chain upward, which lifts the flapper up inside the tank. This action opens up the flush valve, allowing the water in the tank to flow into the toilet bowl. This process forces the water in the bowl to go through the trap at the bottom and out to your main drain pipe. As the tank empties, the flapper then closes completely, allowing new water to come in and fill up the tank again. Water will come in through the fill valve and a float mechanism will signal the valve to shut off when the tank has filled.
That’s the basic process for how a toilet works, assuming all parts are functioning as they should. If one of these parts malfunctions, you’ll have problems with your toilet. When something goes wrong, you should check out the flushing handle, chain, flapper and fill valve as these are some of the most common components that you may be able to fix yourself.
Common Toilet Problems
Are you experiencing an issue with your toilet? Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common toilet problems, and what you should do in each of these situations. Remember that if you aren’t sure what to do if your toilet stops working, it’s better to contact a professional to ensure the repair goes smoothly.
1. The Toilet Won’t Stop Running
If you have a toilet that runs constantly and won’t shut off on its own, the problem is likely in the tank. It could be that the flapper is worn out or not functioning properly. If the flapper isn’t creating a proper seal, water will keep running through the tank and into the bowl, so the tank is constantly filling and wasting water.
Check the flapper to see if it needs a replacement. The lift chain could also be the problem in this case. If the chain is too tight, it may not allow the flapper to close all the way. You can easily adjust the chain length so that the flapper can function correctly. Less commonly, the problem could be with the fill valve. Check to see if the fill valve needs to be cleaned or replaced.
2. The Toilet Fills Slowly
For most toilets, the tank should fill up in about one minute. If it seems like yours is taking a lot longer, the likely culprit is the fill valve.
Over time, the fill valve may wear down, move out of alignment or become clogged with debris. Check your fill valve to see if you need to clean, adjust or replace it.
Other causes for this issue include a waterlogged float ball or a problem with the water supply valve, usually found on the wall behind your toilet. Ensure the valve is open all the way and that it’s not clogged with buildup.
3. Stuck or Loose Toilet Handle
If the flushing handle doesn’t function properly, it can mean the toilet keeps flushing or won’t flush at all, both of which can be frustrating issues to handle. When the handle is stuck, it can cause the water to keep running, and it may mean the handle is too tight. You can try loosening the nut on the inside of the handle mount, cleaning the parts of the handle mount and adjusting the chain if needed. When the handle is too loose, however, you may be unable to flush properly. If that’s the case, clean the mount, tighten the nut holding it together and adjust the chain.
4. The Toilet Won’t Flush Correctly
If your toilet isn’t flushing right, it could be due to several different issues. One of the simplest answers is that the toilet may be clogged. Use a plunger to help unclog the toilet. If the toilet still isn’t flushing correctly, check the flushing handle to make sure it’s attached properly, tightening or loosening the nut on the inside if needed.
Next, check the chain inside the tank for the proper alignment and level of slackness and the water level in the tank. If needed, adjust the water levels — check with your manufacturer for instructions and proper water levels for your unit.
5. The Toilet Leaks
A leaky toilet can have many different causes — but all are serious issues to solve as soon as possible, as leaking water can damage floors and other surfaces in your home. The most important thing to do in the case of a leak is to determine the source of the leak. Here are four places to check:
- The water supply valve
- The connection between the tank and the supply line
- The connection between the tank and the bowl
- The mounting seal around the base of the toilet
If you want to know how to fix toilet leaks, the answer depends on the source and location of the leak. In general, once you figure out the leak’s origin, you should check all seals, nuts, bolts, valves or any other fasteners in that area of the toilet, tightening up anything you can.
Call in the Professionals at Tom Drexler Plumbing for Help With Toilet Issues
While some common toilet problems only require a quick DIY fix, you may encounter some issues that are just too much for you to handle yourself. That’s where we come in to provide professional toilet repairs and replacements. If you’ve tried to fix the issue to no avail, it’s time to let the experts handle it.
Contact our highly rated team at Tom Drexler Plumbing for help from a business that’s been around for nearly 40 years. We’ll get a technician out to your home to inspect and solve the problem as soon as possible. You can rest easy while we take care of your plumbing issue, with exceptional quality of work and unmatched customer service. Request service today or give us a call at 502-716-5478.