Quick Fixes for Toilet Plumbing Problems

Most homeowners know what to do if they get a clogged toilet. Reach for the trusty plunger, and that should take care of it. Beyond that, though, do you know how to troubleshoot any other common toilet problems? If your toilet is acting up, check out these quick fixes. It could be something simple that you can handle without a service call to the plumber.

Problem: The toilet seems to flush spontaneously.
Solution: This is known as the phantom flush. It occurs when water slowly leaks from the toilet tank into the bowl. It may seem to run intermittently. This is almost always caused by a flapper or flapper seat that is damaged. To fix it, first drain the toilet tank and bowl completely. Then you can clean the flapper seat. Check the flapper for damage; it probably needs to be replaced.

Problem: Your toilet is making a constant, low hissing sound.
Solution: This low hissing sound is the sound of water running slowly into the toilet tank from the supply line. There are several different parts that could be the source of the problem, including the float, the refill valve, and the inlet-valve assembly. The hissing sound is most likely being caused by water trickling in through the inlet valve. Check the float first; it may need to be adjusted. Next, check the refill tube. It should extend only about ¼ inch below the overflow tube. If these things don’t resolve the problem, then the inlet-valve assembly may need to be replaced.

Problem: The toilet bowl flushes weakly or empties slowly.
Solution: If the toilet seems to empty very slowly when you flush it, then the rim holes are probably clogged. Around the rim of the toilet bowl, there are very small holes underneath the edge of the rim. Over time, these holes can get clogged up with sediment and mineral deposits. When they clog, the bowl flushes slowly. You can open the rim holes up by poking them with the end of a wire hanger. (Just be careful to not scratch the toilet bowl.)

Problem: A toilet seal is leaking.
Solution: Every toilet has multiple different seals that could leak. You just need to figure out which seal is the leaky one so that it can be tightened or replaced. The biggest seal is located between the toilet tank and the toilet bowl. If this seal leaks, you will definitely notice it; water will spray out from the seal every time you flush the toilet. In order to replace this seal, you will need to drain the tank and remove it. It will be easier to work with the tank if you turn it upside down after draining it. Then, remove the old seal and apply a new one. There are additional seals located at the mounting bolts of the toilet. You may be able to fix this by tightening the bolts, but if that doesn’t work, the seal will need to be replaced. There is another seal located underneath the toilet, between the base of the toilet and the floor. If water leaks underneath the toilet, it will cause the floor to rot. If this seal is damaged, you will have to remove the toilet in order to remove and replace the seal.

If you have a toilet problem that’s troubling you, call Scott English Plumbing. We are here to serve Orange County residents 24/7. Give Scott English Plumbing a call today to schedule a service call.