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4 Common Toilet Problems You Can DIY

“Start with the bathroom.” 

One of the tips seasoned home buyers would often share with the beginners is to check the kitchen and the bathroom. Several factors that add or subtract to a real estate’s appeal are whether or not the craftsmanship is up-to-date, the faucets are running, and the walls are mould-free.

When taking care of your home, these two areas also need special attention, especially when the plumbing needs work. While pipework and other complex systems need professionals to take care of the problem, toilet repair is a skill that homeowners need to learn. Some toilet problems are quite easy to fix! Calling plumbers for a minor issue like a broken faucet or faulty valve can cost you a lot of money, which is why you need to make sure that you know how to repair small problems.

Before tackling the remedies, it’s crucial to find out how a toilet works. That way, you can quickly identify when your toilet is acting out of ordinary. 

Take a tour of your bathroom and lift the lid to check inside the tank. The tank holds large amounts of water for when you flush the toilet. Two parts make this whole contraption possible: the flush valve and the refill valve. As their names suggest, these valves help flush the water into the bowl and refill the tank with new water, respectively. The refill valves have four different variations:

Refill Valves

Float cup fill valve

  • a modern design that is usually made out of plastic

Floatless fill valve

  • a modern design that cannot be installed in older water tanks

Diaphragm-type ballcock

  • an older style that used to be made of brass but has plastic counterparts

Plunger-type ballcock

  • the oldest type that is typically made of brass

When people flush toilets, the handle or button pulls a lever that lifts the ballcock or refill valve. The lever allows the stored water in the tank to flow through the flush valve and out into the toilet bowl. Because the water comes in large volumes, it pushes the wastewater into the home drainage system and, eventually, the sewer lines.

Once the tank is emptied, whatever the model may be, the refill valve opens the water supply valve. As the tank fills up, either a floating ball or cup rises with the water level. Floatless fill valves, however, shut off the water supply automatically when the water pressure reaches a certain level.

Even if the names are hard to remember, watching the whole system work from your water tank helps. Now, let us use this knowledge when tackling common toilet scenarios that you may encounter. Don’t worry; these are easy to remedy:

This first step is extremely vital to the success of your DIY repair. By making sure the water supply is turned off, you are preventing any kind of further damage that may be caused by the leaking water. Aside from the damage, this can cause to your walls, ceiling, and carpet, you could also end up paying for the removal of damaged furniture together with the cost of replacing it. Additionally, turning off the water supply will also help prevent you from making too much of a mess during the repair.

The Toilet Won’t Flush/Handle Is Broken

One of the most straightforward fixes to make is a broken toilet handle. Test the handle once or twice and check if the lever lifts quickly or not. As this can be a sign that your handle may be too tight or loose, you can adjust the nut counterclockwise to tighten it or clockwise to loosen.

Sometimes, the lever might have gotten disconnected from the handle. In this case, simply reconnect the lever.

The Toilet Won’t Stop Flushing Water

Commonly called “phantom flushes” by plumbers, you will know this is happening in your toilet tank refills water on its own without prompting. Once you see that water is trickling into your bowl, this means that the flapper or toilet flusher covering your flush valve is faulty. To remedy this, drain the toilet tank of its water and check the flapper. If it’s damaged, make sure to replace it with a new one. You’ll immediately see the results with your month’s water bill

The Toilet Tank Won’t Stop Refilling

In cases where the flapper valve is working well, and you hear long hissing sounds coming from the tank, it’s time to check the refill valve. Because this hissing sound is usually caused by water coming into your toilet tank through the supply valve, letting this issue prolong may cause overflowing and other messier problems for your household, even a flood. Removing the lid of the tank, check these three things: the float, the refill tube, and the ballcock.

Check first if the float is stuck to the side of the tank. After that, make sure that the refill tube is only extending about 1/4″ below the overflow tube. These two tubes work together to supply the tank’s water and keep the toilet tank from overflowing. Finally, check if the ballcock automatically shuts off the water after flushing the toilet. Once you find the cause of the problem, make sure to adjust or replace any of the items. You may also choose to bend the arm that holds the float down to shut off the water supply. This “fine-tunes” your float ball to shut off the water at a specific level.

The Toilet Is Clogged/Toilet Not Flushing

One of the homeowners’ worst nightmares, clogs are the most common toilet dilemma. Purchasing a force-cup plunger is a better investment than the standard ones most houses have. Insert the bulb down the drain and pump the lodged object through. Without pulling the bulb out, inspect whether the drain is clear. If the toilet remains clogged after a few repetitions, use a closet auger. Make sure not to scratch the sides of the bowl as you twist and push the rotor downward.

Even the best toilets encounter these problems. By learning how to DIY these solutions and repairing your toilet, you will not only save yourself money, but you will also learn new household tricks. If these toilet issues continue, however, you may want to call for a professional to help you out. You can check here for the qualities you must look out for in an emergency plumber. You may either find a one via community listings, ask for a recommendation from your neighbour, or give us a call, and we will be on our way.

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