Having a broken toilet can be one of the biggest nightmares homeowners have to face. It is almost impossible to function without a toilet in your home. Usually there is no need to wait for a plumber to get the toilet fixed.
Toilets are a simple operating fixture. Most components to fix a toilet are found at your local hardware store and require no major tools. With a little information you can figure out exactly what needs replacing which cuts your toilets down time immensely.
The toilet has two main components a tank and a bowl. All of the operating mechanisms are in the tank. These operating components consist of levers, floats and seals. The water supply is directed into the toilet bowl through the tank.
One of the most common problems is the running toilet. There is a float system inside your toilet tank that controls the level of water. In the bottom of the tank there is a valve that seals the water in the tank maintaining its water level. Over time this valve can become hard or decompose, causing it not to seal properly. When the water is not sealing off, it will cause the float to keep triggering the water to run in. Shut the water off to the tank. Remove the valve and take it with you to the hardware store is insure an exact match. Replace valve, turn water back on, and you no longer have a running toilet.
Another issue is a toilet that becomes plugged. Grabbing the toilet plunger is the first weapon of choice. There is an “S” trap at the bottom of the toilet that all the debris goes through before it totally leaves the toilet fixture. Sometimes there is too much debris to eliminate all at once, causing the toilet not to eliminate. With the plunger, you can force enough pressure to push that debris through the trap. However the plunger sometimes isn’t enough to force it through. There is a tool at the hardware store called a toilet snake or auger. This auger is designed to make the bends in the “S” trap. With a few pushes the auger pushes through the plugged area and eliminates the plugged toilet issue.
The toilet bowl itself has no operating system in it, but it does have a seal on the bottom at the floor. Occasionally this seal will erode and water will leak out the bottom of the bowl. Replacing this wax seal is not difficult, but often times can be a little messy. You need to turn off the water supply to the tank and try to get as much of the water out off the bowl as possible. There are two bolts holding the bowl to the floor, one on each side of the bowl. Remove these bolts and carefully remove the bowl off the drain pipe. On the bottom of the bowl over the drain pipe is where the wax seal is at. Remove this old seal and replace it with the new one. Place the toilet back on top of this new seal and press down on the bowl to anchor it on the seal. Replace the bolts back on the bowl, anchoring the bowl to the floor. Turn the water back on and another fix solved. Remember that any time you remove your toilet bowl to always replace this seal.
These are three of the most common fixes with a toilet. None are too difficult and most of them are purchased for less than ten dollars, saving time and dollars for the cost of a plumber.