Toilet issues are inevitable for any homeowner. Whether it’s constantly running or threatening to overflow, toilet problems can keep you on your toes until they’re solved. It may not be your ideal way to spend an afternoon, but it’s a necessary duty that must be performed every now and then.
The major issues when troubleshooting toilet issues is figuring out what is causing the problem and deciding when to call a plumber. Once you discover the root of the problem, you can move forward with your toilet repair with either a professional or a DIY repair.
Repairing the Five Most Common Toilet Issues
When troubleshooting toilet issues, understanding what is causing the problem is the first step to repairing your toilet. Here is a list of common toilet problems that plague households - including yours. Luckily, many toilet issues can be solved with a simple DIY plumbing repair.
We know that sinking you feel when the water in your bowl starts to rise. However, an overflowing toilet doesn’t mean you need to panic!
First, turn the water supply off to your toilet (behind the bowl there should be copper tubing). If you suspect that the toilet is clogged, don't flush it. If the pipe is clogged, the new flood of water will just cause the toilet to overflow.
Quickly remove the top of the tank. The flapper will be at the bottom of the tank. Push down on the flapper. You might be able to stop any more water from releasing into the bowl. When the water is shut off, you can try plunging or snaking to clear a clog. If plunging doesn’t work, try dropping some Dawn or other dish soap into the bowl.
After doing so, let it sit for a while. The soap should help break up the clog. Repeat plunging after you let it sit. If that doesn’t work, it could mean something more serious that requires a video inspection from a professional plumber.
Running tanks are not only annoying, but also wasteful and cost you more money than you might realize. Replacing the flapper is one solution. To test it out, push down on the flapper with a stick when you hear the water running and listen for it to stop. If it stops, you know the flapper isn’t sealing properly and needs to be replaced. Flappers are super easy to replace, and most assemblies come with clear instructions.
After replacing the flapper, check the fill tube length and make sure to cut it back so it's at least 1/2-in. above the water line.
Bad Water Supply Valve
Whether because of age or wear, sometimes your water supply valve will go bad. Sometimes sand or grit can cause the water inside the tank to keep running. Luckily, water supply valves are cheap (less than $10, usually). First, shut off the water supply. Use a sponge or rag to mop up the remainder of the water inside the tank.
Next, put in the new valve and attach the water supply to the valve. Turn on the water and check for leaks.
The flapper valve may be saturated and dropping too quickly. Inspect the flapper valve during a flush. It should stay up until about 80 percent or more of the water has drained from the tank. If it drops sooner, install a new flapper.
Slow or Sluggish Flush
If you’re noticing your toilet flush slowly, this may be indicative of several things. The toilet could have a partial clog or the obstruction could be further down in your pipes.
Fill a five gallon bucket of water and dump it into the toilet as fast as possible with minimum splashing. If the flush is more vigorous, then it is probably not a clog. If water backs up into the bowl and drains slowly, you have a clog on your hands. Serious clogs will need the help of a professional plumber.
When to Call Your Local Sacramento Plumber
Many of these common toilet problems can be addressed with a simple DIY fix. Proper research and knowledge make DIY projects more than doable, which can save you plenty of time and money. However, remember to use your best judgement; if it’s a serious plumbing repair, or if you’re not comfortable fixing your toilet yourself, then calling a professional plumber is the best decision.
Express Sewer & Drain can provide a quick fix to all your toilet flush problems. Our plumbing professionals won’t shy away from a blocked toilet, no matter what! Contact us for more information about our wide range of toilet repair and replacement services for your residential, commercial, and municipal plumbing needs.