Toilet Repair: How to Fix Five Common Toilet Problems

Everybody has a problem sooner or later with their home toilet. For some reason, toilets scare the heck out of people. Today’s modern toilet hasn’t changed very much. Please be aware that many toilet problems can be fixed quite easily by any man or woman. There is no need to call a plumber for many of these simple home toilet problems. Let’s discuss five common problems and offer solutions.

1. Overflowing toilets are a major problem with people. The water in the bowl starts to rise and panic sets in. If you suspect that the toilet is clogged, don’t flush it. If the pipe is clogged, the new supply of water will just cause the bowl to overflow. Try this next time: Quickly remove the top of the toilet tank. Inside at the bottom of the tank is where the flapper is located. If you act quickly enough when the water is rising, you can stop the flow into the toilet bowl by pushing down on the flapper. The flapper will cover and seal the hole that allows the water to go into the toilet bowl.

2. If the toilet bowl is full and you know that something is stuck, use a toilet plunger on it. Many times, just a few strokes with a toilet plunger will force the clog through the pipes. Then the toilet will be working again. If a plunger doesn’t work, try this: Take two or three ounces of concentrated liquid dish soap like Joy or Dawn and put it in the toilet bowl. Also, try adding some boiling water. Let it sit for 20 minutes to an hour, then try the plunger. The slippery dish soap often does the trick. Do not flush the toilet if the bowl is full. You will only cause the bowl to overflow onto your floor. Chances are that there is paper clogging the pipe. The dish soap will help push it along. A dozen strokes with the plunger and your problem is solved.

3. If your toilet keeps a running and doesn’t shut off, it could be time to replace the flapper valve. You can go to a local home store plumbing department and find a flapper replacement kit. Some of the kits have a new rubber seal that you stick over the old hole in the tank. You simply shut off the water supply to the toilet. The water supply valve is usually just under the toilet tank about 8 inches from the floor. Turn the water supply off. Then flush the toilet. There may be a little water left in the toilet tank. Use a sponge or a rag to mop up the remaining water in the tank. Follow the directions. Install the new flapper. Turn on the water supply again and flush the toilet a few times to check for proper operation.

4. You may have to replace the water supply valve inside the tank. There is a valve kit you can buy made by a company called Fluid Master. Sometimes sand or grit can cause the water supply inside the tank to stay on. So you hear that running noise. The Fluid Master valve costs about seven dollars. The water supply has to be shut off and you must use a sponge or rag to mop up the remainder of the water inside the tank. The directions are simple. Put in the new valve, attach the water supply to the valve, and turn on the water. Check for leaks.

5. Don’t throw away a perfectly good toilet. The newer toilets use a gallon and a half of water for flushing. The older toilets use 3 1/2 gallons of water to flush with. The newer toilets have their flushing problems due to lack of water to force the bowl contents down the drain. If you live in an area that doesn’t charge by how much water you use try to keep your old toilet. The older toilets just need to have the insides replaced. Just put in a new flapper and water supply valve. No need to replace the whole toilet.

As you can see toilet problems can be easily fixed by the average person. All you need to know is a little bit about how the toilet works. Replacement parts are cheap and readily available at your local hardware or home supply store. Don’t let toilet problems scare you. You can fix them yourself. There is plenty of information on the Internet about toilet repair.

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