A malfunctioning toilet can cause major disruptions to your daily routine, so it's important to know how to troubleshoot common toilet problems. In this ultimate guide, we'll walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to diagnose and fix the most common toilet issues.
A properly functioning toilet is essential for any home or business. However, toilet problems are inevitable, and they can be a major source of frustration. Whether it’s a clog, a leak, or a running toilet, these issues can be costly and even cause damage to your property if left unresolved.
Fortunately, most toilet problems can be fixed without the need for professional plumbing services. This guide will provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary to troubleshoot and fix common toilet problems.
Tools and Materials You Will Need for Common Toilet Problems
Before you begin troubleshooting your toilet, it's important to have the right plumbing tools and materials on hand. Here is a list of what you will need:
- Adjustable Wrench
- Replacement Parts (such as a flapper, fill valve, or wax ring)
Understanding the Anatomy of a Toilet
Before we dive into specific toilet problems, it’s important to understand the basic anatomy of a toilet. A typical toilet consists of several parts, including the tank, bowl, flush valve, fill valve, flapper, and wax ring.
The tank is the upper part of the toilet that holds water until it’s flushed. The bowl is the lower part that holds water and waste. The flush valve is responsible for releasing water from the tank into the bowl to flush waste down the drain. The fill valve refills the tank with water after a flush. The flapper is a rubber seal that covers the flush valve and allows water to pass into the bowl. Finally, the wax ring is a seal that connects the toilet to the drain pipe and prevents leaks.
Common Toilet Problems and Solutions
One of the most common toilet problems is when the toilet won't flush. Here are some possible causes and solutions:
- The Flapper is Stuck
The flapper is the rubber seal that covers the flush valve. If it becomes stuck, it will prevent water from passing into the bowl. To fix this problem, simply reach into the tank and gently lift the flapper. If it's stuck, clean it off and reposition it properly.
- The Chain is Too Loose or Too Tight
The chain that connects the flapper to the flush handle can become too loose or too tight, preventing the flapper from opening properly. To fix this problem, adjust the chain so that there is some slack but not too much.
- The Lift Arm is Broken
The lift arm is the metal rod that connects the flush handle to the flapper. If it's broken, the flapper won't lift and water won't flow into the bowl. To fix this problem, replace the lift arm.
- The Water Level is Too Low
If the water level in the tank is too low, there won't be enough water to create a proper flush. To fix this problem, adjust the float on the fill valve so that the tank fills with more water.
- The Clog is in the Trap
If the toilet bowl fills with water but won't drain, there may be a clog in the trap, which is the curved part of the drain pipe beneath the bowl. To fix this problem, use a plunger or an auger to remove the clog.
- The Clog is in the Main Drain
If the toilet won't flush at all and the water level in the bowl remains the same, there may be a clog in the main drain. To fix this problem, use an auger to remove the clog. If the clog is too deep, you may need to call a professional plumber.
- Toilet Keeps Running
Another common toilet problem is when the toilet keeps running even after it's flushed. Here are some possible causes and solutions:
- The Flapper is Not Sealing Properly
If the flapper is not sealing properly, water will continue to flow into the bowl and the tank will keep refilling. To fix this problem, clean the flapper or replace it if it's damaged.
- The Chain is Too Loose or Too Tight
As mentioned earlier, a loose or tight chain can cause problems with the flapper. Adjust the chain as necessary.
- The Float is Not Adjusted Properly
The float on the fill valve controls the water level in the tank. If it's not adjusted properly, the tank will keep refilling. To fix this problem, adjust the float so that it's at the right level.
- The Fill Valve is Broken
If the fill valve is broken, it won't be able to properly regulate the water level in the tank. To fix this problem, replace the fill valve.
- Toilet Leaks
A leaking toilet can cause damage to your floors and walls and waste a significant amount of water. Here are some possible causes and solutions:
- The Wax Ring is Damaged
The wax ring is the seal that connects the toilet to the drain pipe. If it's damaged, water will leak from the base of the toilet. To fix this problem, replace the wax ring.
- The Tank Bolts are Loose
If the bolts that attach the tank to the bowl are loose, water will leak from the tank. To fix this problem, tighten the bolts.
- The Tank Crack is Cracked
If the tank is cracked, water will leak from the tank. Unfortunately, there is no fix for a cracked tank and you will need to replace the entire toilet.
- The Flush Valve Seal is Damaged
If the flush valve seal is damaged, water will leak from the tank into the bowl. To fix this problem, replace the seal.
Conclusion: Common Toilet Problems
Toilets are essential to our daily lives, and when they're not working properly, they can be a major inconvenience. However, with the right tools and knowledge, most common toilet problems can be easily fixed without the need for professional plumbing services. By following the troubleshooting tips in this guide, you'll be able to diagnose and fix common toilet problems with ease.
If you ever find yourself stuck with any of the common toilet problems we discussed in this article today, call Cactus Plumbing and Air for quality and fast toilet repair service.