Common Toilet Problems You Can Fix Yourself

While they have a relatively simple design and last a long time, toilets are frequently used and can experience a variety of problems. Not all problems require a professional plumber, however. A savvy homeowner can fix many of them on their own with the right tools and know-how. Today, we will go through some of the most common toilet problems and show you how you can fix them yourself!

Before you begin addressing your toilet problem, you should grab some simple tools to make your job a lot easier. Stop by your local Grayco Hardware & Home to find everything you need.

The Toilet Runs Continuously

If your toilet seems to always be running or making noise even when you’re not using it, it might be because your toilet’s flapper seat needs maintenance. Usually the flapper seat has stopped making an effective seal and water is trickling from the tank into the bowl. This can also cause phantom flushes, where the toilet appears to flush on and off for no reason.

To resolve this issue, you should first drain both the tank and the bowl, clean your flapper seat and check it for material defects, and replace the flapper seat if necessary.

The Toilet Has Started Leaking

If your toilet begins to leak, the first step is always to find where the leak is coming from. Once you have identified the source of the leak, you can begin to repair it.

If the leak is at the water supply, check both the water supply line and the water supply valve mounted at the wall. Tighten any loose components while making sure not to overtighten. If the leak is from where the tank and bowl conjoin, you may need to replace the gasket and bolts between them. If the leak is from the flapper, you may need to replace it.

If the leak is at the base of the toilet, it is probably leaking because the wax ring sealing the toilet flange and the floor drain opening has become unsealed. To fix this problem, you will have to remove the entire toilet, and may need to call in an expert.

The Toilet Is Clogged and/or Overflowing

The most common toilet problems are clogs and the resultant overflows. There are a few different ways to solve clogs that you can try. If you are worried about overflowing at any point, simply turn off the water supply valve and then try to solve the clog.

  • First, a simple plunger, or a force-cup plunger, may be capable of removing the clog by putting the bulb into the bowl’s drain and forcefully pumping to unclog the drain. Then release the handle gently to let a small amount of water in and see if the drain has cleared.
  • If the plunger cannot get the job done, you may need to use an auger. While using an auger, try to avoid scratching your bowl. Simply insert the auger into the drain, then push the rotor down whiling twisting the handle.

The Toilet Handle is Loose or Sticks

Your toilet’s handle may be too loose or start to stick. If the handle is too loose, open the tank and find the handle’s mounting nut. Clean away any grime around the nut, then tighten it using an adjustable wrench and test the handle until it turns smoothly. Remember that most flush handles are reverse-threaded, meaning you tighten the nut by turning counterclockwise.

If the handle is sticking in the down position and your toilet is constantly running, check the mounting nut and make sure it is not overtightened. Then clean the shaft threads and check that the flush arm is operating properly and adjust it if necessary.

There’s No Water in the Tank

If your toilet’s tank appears empty, you should first make sure that the water supply valve is fully opened and ensure that the water supply line is not leaking. If this doesn’t solve the problem, check that the float arm is working properly and adjust it if necessary.

Finally, you may need to replace your fill valve by first disconnecting to the nuts that connect both the supply line and tank to the valve. Then remove the valve, take the replacement valve and attach it to the tank and water supply line, in that order.

Find Everything You Need at Grayco

The Plumbing section at Grayco Hardware & Home has everything you need to fix the most common toilet problems yourself. Our store representatives will be happy to provide advice and help you find what you’re looking for. Visit us today!

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