You may wonder how this can be considered an Earth day concern and it’s because some of these issues cause a lot of water waste. Toilets are an important necessity in every home, but with use over time, problems can occur. While larger issues require a plumbing professional, smaller problems can be fixed easily without complete overhauls to your toilet. Find out how to resolve the top three problems plaguing toilets on your own without the expensive repairs.
Continual Running Water
Image via Flickr by LMRitchie
“The toilet won’t stop running.” You’ve probably heard this expression before. Several factors could cause a constantly running toilet, but if you follow these steps, you should be able to solve the problem. First, take the lid off the tank. Locate the fill tube, the slim tube that carries water into the tank. Make sure the tube is firmly connected.
If the tube connects firmly, check the float. Attached to an arm that moves up and down, this piece measures how much water has filled the tank, stopping the water flow at the correct amount. If this piece isn’t functioning properly, the tank won’t fill correctly.
If you notice after you flush that the water is reaching the float and arm yet the water is still running, you may need to replace the piece. If the water isn’t reaching the float and arm because the parts are too high in the tank, adjust the arm and float height to the correct level.
If the flapper isn’t closing completely, adjust the chain length. Many toilets have only a clip that holds the chain in place. Make sure you flush the toilet several times after making this adjustment: adjusting the chain too high will not allow the toilet to flush enough, but making the chain too loose can lead to a weaker or nonfunctioning flush.
When the bowl of your toilet is emptying slowly, you’re facing a weak flush. Clogs in the small holes around the rim of the toilet that provide water to the bowl can be the culprit. To unclog the holes, carefully thread a piece of strong wire into each hole to remove any residue, being careful not to scrape the bowl.
If you’re having a difficult time reaching the small holes, a dental mirror can help you find them. If the buildup is over the tops of the holes and a wire is too fine, consider using a wooden paint stirrer. This object is stiff enough to remove the buildup, but isn’t abrasive enough to scratch the porcelain.
Accompanied by the sound of water filling the bowl, or the toilet turning on and off by itself, phantom flushes are among the easiest toilet problems to address. When the flapper or flapper seat in the toilet becomes old or degraded, slow leaks can develop in the tank and run into the bowl.
To correct this problem, either replace the flapper unit or adjust the chain so that the flapper is flush to the drain.
While toilets are one of the hardest working units in any home, a few simple fixes can help you develop solutions to common toilet problems.