While having the best toilets can translate to convenience, economy and efficiency, they might be insufficient if they become problematic. So if you have a great toilet that seems to fail working the way it is supposed to be, you don’t have to worry! You can fix common toilet issues yourself! Not convinced? Keep reading in the following section.
How Does A Toilet Work?
Before anything else, let’s discuss the workings of a toilet. And to understand it better, start removing the lid from the water tank before flushing it a couple of times.
By pushing the handle, a chain will start lifting the stopper, tank ball or flapper.
The water in the tank will start flowing through the flush valve opening into the toilet bowl. Then, it will force wastewater into the main drain.
The tank will be emptied next, as the flapper valve will close and the water will run through the ballcock or fill valve to refill water into the tank. Once the tank is full, there is a float mechanism to find on the ballcock that will turn the water flow off.
Common Toilet Problems and Fixes
Even if you have not encountered any of the following issues with your toilet, you can have the following troubleshooting guide handy.
1. The toilet isn’t flushing
You can check the flush handle that you have to adjust because it can be too tight or too loose. But remember, flush handles are reverse-threaded. In this case, you have to turn the nut counterclockwise to tighten and clockwise to loosen it.
On the other hand, you can check the flush lever before lifting the arm and adjusting if needed. If you have to replace the lift or handle arm assembly, you should take it to the hardware to buy the correct one.
You should also check the lift chain to see if it is attached to the flapper and the lift arm correctly. Adjust or untangle it if necessary.
Also, you should ensure that the flapper is sealing the flush valve opening, and replace it if warped or damaged.
2. The toilet does not stop running
If the toilet is running non-stop, it simply means the water keeps flowing into the tank through its fill valve.
This costly issue needs immediate fixing because it wastes both money and water.
The problem can be in the fill tank. Take a look at the flapper. If you notice that it is not sealing the opening of the flush valve, then the water will keep leaking into the bowl, causing the toilet to run constantly in order to fill the tank. As needed, you might have to replace the flapper.
But if the problem is still there after replacement or if the flapper seems to be in good shape, replace the entire flush valve assembly.
3. The water level is too high that water spills into the overflow tube
You might have to clean the fill valve or replace it especially if your ballcock or fill valve is an old model.
The issue can also be due to debris in the fill valve causing the shut-off mechanism to malfunction. You can check the label or manufacturer instruction to clean out any debris.
4. The toilet is leaking
You should pay attention to the problem as soon as you notice it. Otherwise, water will damage the flooring. But then, you should wear waterproof gloves to clean the tank because you might be dealing with wastewater.
5. There is water stain on the ceiling just below the bathroom or a leak where the toilet is meeting the floor.
Inspect the mounting bolts securing the toilet to the floor. If needed, check if the toilet is positioned correctly and then tighten the bolts.
If the leak persists after tightening or you find damage in the bolts, you should uninstall the toilet and inspect the toilet anchor flange, the bolts and the wax ring sealing the toilet and waste pipe connection.
Look for cracks in the base. If there are, replace the entire toilet or the toilet bowl only.
6. There is water dripping from the tank’s side.
Inspect the tank and look for cracks. If there is a crack in the tank, you might have to replace it or the entire toilet.
On the other hand, water may be condensing if the tank is still in good shape. The condensation might be due to cool water entering the toilet tank in the humid and warm space of the bathroom.
Turn the exhaust fan on or install one for proper ventilation.
This condensation might also be caused by a leaking flapper. When this happens, your tank will constantly drain, while cool water will keep entering the warm tank. For this problem, you might have to replace the flapper.
7. The water is leaking where the tank is connecting to the bowl
You can check the bolts securing the tank to the toilet bowl. It might need tightening. But if the leak persists even after tightening the bolts, you can replace the gasket and the bolts between the toilet base and the water tank.
Check the tank and look for cracks. If there is a crack, you might need to replace the tank or the entire toilet.
8. The water level is dropping
If you notice that the bowl water level is dropping, your toilet might be having two problems. For one, the water could be moving or siphoned slowly from the toilet bowl due to a clog such a tissue paper stuck in the bowl’s colon.
To check if there is a clog blocking the colon of the toilet, you can empty the toilet bowl, and then get a flashlight and mirror to see the inside of it.
On the other hand, there might also be a crack in the bowl’s piping or interior colon. To solve the issue, you should replace and install a new toilet bowl with one of most efficient toilets on the market.
Fixing common issues of the best toilets does not have to be complicated. You can DIY these things and restore your toilet’s normal function. But if the issue persists, you can always get a helping hand from someone with the knowledge and the skills to solve the specific problem.
Arthur C. Jackson is the resident handyman and toilet expert for BestToiletGuides.com. Drawing from his experience, Arthur’s writing tends to focus on helping consumers find the best deals for their bathroom products and helping inform homeowners of simple DIY toilet fixes to save them money.