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Common Toilet Issues (& How To Fix Them)

toilet issues
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There are a ton of issues that can occur over the lifespan of a toilet. Some of them are simple fixes that you can do on your own. Others should be left to the professionals. First, you need to know what problem your toilet has. Let’s go over some of the most common toilet issues.

The Toilet Won’t Stop Running

This can be a major problem for you and your wallet. Not only does a running toilet waste water, it will also make your water bill soar. If you can hear running water in your bathroom when the faucet isn’t turned on, there are a few things you need to look for to determine the cause of the problem.

The Water Level In The Tank Is Getting Lower

Open the top of the tank and look inside. Is the flapper, the rubber plug at the bottom of the tank, sealing correctly? You might have to replace it. If it’s cracked, water could be continuously running into the tank.

If a new flapper doesn’t help, it’s possible that the entire flush valve needs to be replaced.

The Toilet Is Leaking

Get a leak taken care of right away. Water damage can cause serious and long-term problems. If you notice your toilet is leaking, turn off the water supply immediately. Make sure to wear gloves as you could be working in contaminated water.

Chances are that the leak will be in one of five places:

  • The water supply valve
  • The supply line
  • Where the tank connects to the toilet bowl
  • Where the toilet meets the floor
  • The side of the tank

If the leak is on the water supply valve, the supply line, where the tank meets the bowl, or near the floor, you might be able to fix it by tightening some bolts. If the bolts are rusted or broken, you should replace them.

If it’s not a bolt, part of the toilet could be cracked. Check the tank and the base of the toilet. Either way, it’s time to call in a professional plumber.

What If The Tank Isn’t Leaking?

The water could be getting so high that it spills into the overflow tube. If that’s the case, the fill valve is the problem. The water shut-off is malfunctioning and causing the water to continuously run.

Look at your toilet’s instructions for how to clean the fill valve. If cleaning it doesn’t fix the problem, it could have to be replaced. Even if it needs to be cleaned, this is a good time to replace it if it has gotten old.

Toilet Isn’t Flushing Properly

First, the obvious, make sure it’s not clogged. Once you’ve ruled that out, you can begin to search for the real problem.

If the toilet won’t flush at all, it could be the handle. Check if the handle’s bolt is too loose or too tight. Look at the flush lever lift arm and chain. Make sure they are both attached and secured properly. It’s also possible that the flapper needs to be replaced.

If the toilet flushed a little, but not completely, it could also be due to the flapper. Make sure your lift chain is the appropriate length and check the water level in your tank.

It Takes A Long Time For The Toilet To Fill

This problem could have an amazingly simple fix. Confirm that the water supply valve is open. Then, make sure nothing is blocking the fill valve and that it is assembled properly.

On the other hand, if this tip doesn’t work, it’s time to call a plumber. You might not be able to fix this toilet issue on your own.

The Toilet Flushes All By Itself

When the toilet ghost flushes, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Check the toilet for leaks and make sure the refill tube is not running into the overflow tube.

Once you’ve ruled those problems out, it’s time to check that pesky flapper again. You might have to replace it or replace the entire flush valve.

Your Toilet Handle Is Stuck Or Loose

Give the handle and bolts a good cleaning. Loosen or tighten the bolts as needed to get the perfect flush.

Be aware, most bolts on the handle are reverse-threaded. This means that you have to throw “lefty loosey, righty tighty” out the window. You don’t want to accidentally break the bolt by turning it the wrong way.

The Real Question, Do You Need A Plumber?

Possibly, it depends on how serious the problem is. You can probably change the flapper on your own, but a cracked tank should be left up to the professionals.

If you don’t feel comfortable solving your toilet issues, call Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric at 1-800-475-1504. We’ll be more than happy to help.


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