If there’s one thing that all households have in common, it’s toilet problems. Just when you think things are going well, a plumbing issue arises and more often than not, the culprit is the toilet.
Instead of letting anxiety boil over and ruin your day, take a few deep breaths—preferably outside of the bathroom—and get ready to tackle the problem head on. Here are the most common potential issues with your toilet and some ways to fix them:
If you’ve ever sat down to use the toilet and felt it wobble back and forth, you know how startling it can be. Loose toilets should be taken care of immediately, even if there aren’t any leaks. This is because eventually, it will leak (see the 2nd example below) and that leads to rotting and mold.
Often some simple caulking can do the trick, but make sure it’s the anti-mold type used for bather and kitchen. If the wobble is large toilet shims (available at any hardware store) may be necessary. If your efforts to stop the wobble are unsuccessful, call in a professional to avoid costly repairs down the road.
Nothing’s worse than heading into the bathroom and stepping in a large puddle of water. Is it from the shower? The sink? Did someone miss the toilet? Stray water in the bathroom is never appealing, but the source could be a leaky base or a leaky tank or supply lines on your toilet.
When you use the toilet, if you hear any sort of squishing or swishing sounds, you likely have a leaky base, even if the toilet itself doesn’t move (like it does in the 1st example).
A leaky base can happen due to failing or degrading seals around your toilet’s base. A leak can occur even if the toilet itself does not move or wobble. Toilets leaking at the base need to be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid major damage to your home. Unless you are experienced with toilet removals and wax seal replacement it would be a good idea to give your plumber a call to investigate and replace the wax seal if needed.
Check the full length of the supply line between the angel stop in the wall to the base of the toilet tank for leaks. Also check around the bottom of the tank including both bolts connecting the tank to the toilet. Simply tightening may solve the problem, otherwise replacement of gaskets, seal or supply line may be required. An experienced handyman or plumbing professional is recommended for this work if your DIY efforts fail to stop the leaking.
You know that annoying sound that’s heard from every inch of your house? Like someone left the sink on somewhere? If you keep hearing the sound of running water, check your toilet. Sometimes all it takes is a little jiggle of the handle to stop the water running, but if it doesn’t stop, you likely have a bigger problem. Keep in mind that leaking water can add substantial dollars to your monthly water bill, so a timely fix is important.
A leaky toilet tank flapper or faulty fill valve is most often the culprit for a toilet running periodically on its own. Replacement of a flapper and/or fill valve is a task that anyone with modest handyman skills can accomplish. Pick up a high quality parts at your local hardware store and refer to toilet flapper/fill valve installation videos available on YouTube for help. If replacing the flapper and/or fill valve does not solve the problem then time to call in a professional.
If it becomes apparent that with everything maintained and functioning your toilet just will not flush properly then it may be time to go shopping. Chronic flushing problems are usually the result of older toilets and unless you want to keep gambling on whether or not the bowl will empty, you may need a new toilet.
Be cautious when considering a “low water use” model for a new toilet because flushing performance is greatly influenced by the amount of water used and often the small amount of water saved with a higher water use efficiency is not worth the head aches associated with poor flushing, aka if you have to flush multiple times to get the job done, where is the water savings? Consult a plumbing professional for help.
We’ve all experienced the unpleasantness of a clogged toilet. Usually, it’s an easy fix. Just grab a plunger and get to work. However, if you find that a plunger isn’t fixing the clog, or if you experience consistent bouts of clogging, you may have a deeper problem.
Rather than simple waste buildup, there is a high probability that you have an accumulation of non-degradable waste in your pipes. If an experienced handyman you may try using a plumbing snake on your own, otherwise it is best to bring in a plumbing professional to make sure everything is taken care of properly.
Unfortunately, not all issues with your toilet can be fixed without professional help. If you’ve tried the solutions we’ve listed to no avail, don’t hesitate to give us a call. At JB Water, we’re always here to help you with your plumbing questions, including providing advice for those attempting a do-it-yourself solution. In any case our plumbing professionals are available for 24 hour service. Call us today at (480) 969-3193.