Most common problems with toilets can be easily fixed by the homeowner. Unfortunately as a long-time Atlanta plumber, I’ve seen that far too many home-owners are too afraid to even approach their toilet when it has a problem. The following are three of the most common problems associated with the toilet in the home and how to fix them.
One of the most common problems with a toilet experienced by homeowners is running water. After flushing, the toilet water refills in the back of the tank; however, you may hear the water continue to run even after the tank is full. Often times jiggling the handle that controls the flush will stop the water from running. However, this is only a temporary fix and should be remedied. Often times this can be fixed by simply bending the float arm which controls the water filling in the tank. Over time this can slip down a bit and needs to be readjusted. You may also be able to put some food coloring in the back of the tank to check to see if water is seeping into the bowl. If this is the case you may want to go head and replace the inner workings of the tank. This is a very inexpensive and easy repair.
Another common problem with toilets is clogging. More often than not, this can be fixed with a simple plunger. A plunger uses vacuum to force clogs down the drain. If a plunger does not do the trick, the drain may need to be snaked. They do sell drain snakes at hardware stores that can often times be attached to a cordless drill. Often times this will remove the clog for you; however, if the clog is very deep in the drain it may require a plumber with a much longer snake.
Finally, if you notice a leak at the base of the toilet the wax seal may need replacing. This seal is placed between the drain and the toilet and keeps water from seeping out. To replace the seal you will need to turn off the water to the tank and remove the water line. There should be two bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. Simply loosing these bolts and the toilet will lift up. Remember to empty the water in the back of the tank before lifting the toilet. After replacing the wax ring simply reattach the toilet to the floor. These are some basic plumbing tips that can help anyone do a little home improvement without the help of a professional.