Toilet Repair Tips: Problem & Solution

A recently repaired toilet.

The toilet in your home gets used and flushed many times every day. We expect it to always work reliably, but frequent use means that eventually, something may go wrong. Many minor toilet troubles are easy to repair on your own. However, there can be several reasons for the malfunctioning of the toilet. Use these Orange County toilet repair tips to help you figure out the problem with your toilet and get it back in working order again.

Problem #1: Toilet Doesn’t Flush All the Way

Sometimes the toilet will flush, but not completely. You may have to hold the handle down while the toilet flushes, or you may have to flush a second time. This is actually a pretty easy repair. First, take the cover off the toilet tank. Look for the chain that connects the flush handle to the flapper cap. Check the length of the chain; if it’s too long, the chain won’t get lifted up high enough when you flush. You can shorten the chain by adjusting the number of links. It’s a good idea to check the water level in the tank, too. Look for the fill line, which shows you how high the tank should be filled with water. If the water level is too low, you can carefully bend the bulb of the float valve up and see if that prompts the tank to fill. If that doesn’t cause the tank to fill up, then check the rim holes for blockages. The rim holes are little, tiny holes around the underside of the toilet bowl rim. Those holes can get clogged with mineral deposits, preventing water from emptying into the toilet bowl. You can clean them out with a toothpick to remove deposits and get the water flowing properly again.

Problem #2 – Toilet Randomly Flushes

You hear the sound of the toilet flushing, but there is no one using the bathroom. This can be creepy, but it’s probably just a problem with the flapper valve. Over time, the flapper will get worn, which allows water to empty out of the tank and into the toilet. You can fix this easily by replacing the flapper.

Problem #3 – Low Flow Toilet Isn’t Flushing Sufficiently

Low flow toilets use much less water. However, too little water can keep the toilet from flushing properly. If you have that problem, then you may need to reset the fill valve to increase the water level in the tank. The fill line should be marked on the toilet tank, but if yours isn’t marked, then fill to about half of an inch below the top of the overflow tube.

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Problem #4 – Toilet Keeps Running

If you were to remove the lid of a toilet and flush it, you would see all the moving parts of the toilet. If the toilet continues to run rather then shutting off at the end of the flush cycle it is wasting water and needs to be repaired. It is a good idea to change all the repair parts in the toilet to avoid further complications.

When a toilet runs, it’s usually because the flapper valve isn’t closing properly. Look in the tank just to be sure that there isn’t anything in there blocking the valve. You can also clean under the edges of the flapper to remove any mineral deposits that might be causing problems. Finally, make sure that the chain is long enough. A short chain will hold the flapper open.

Problem #5 – Overflow

You know that sense of panic that you experience when you see that the toilet is about to overflow? Keep calm and lift the fill valve. Take the lid off the tank, reach in, and grab the fill valve. Stick something in the tank to prop the fill valve up so that the bowl will stop filling while you get the plunger.

Problem #6 – Wobbly Toilet

If the toilet is loose (you can rock, it from side to side) or you see water seeping from the sides, it is likely that it needs to be reset with a new wax ring.

These are a few of the toilet problems that homeowners often experience. With this guide, you can identify and fix them. If you are still having toilet problems, though, call Scott English Plumbing. We’ll come out to your home and take care of it. Give us a call today for a thorough evaluation of your toilet fixtures.

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