How To Troubleshoot Basic Toilet Repair

Basic Toilet Repair 101

While there are many different types of toilet models and styles that may require certain parts, we want to provide you with some simple tips for basic toilet repair. Because there are many issues that can occur with your toilet, you may need to seek advice from a professional. Yet, if you would like to try and troubleshoot, here are few common problems you might be able to fix.

1. Water Leaking Into The Bowl

This problem is often referred to as “phantom flushes”. If you notice that every once in awhile your toilet refills as if it was flushed by itself then this is most likely the issue. When a toilet runs on its own it is generally a bad flapper or flapper seat that is causing the problem. To fix this, you have to drain the tank and bowl and check to see if the flapper needs to be replaced.

2. Water Leaking Into The Tank

To diagnose this issue, listen for a hissing sound. If you notice this noise, it is most likely caused by water coming into the tank from the supply line. Check the refill tube, the float, the ballcock, and inlet-valve to see if they are working properly. Usually, the hissing noise comes from the water through the inlet valve.

3. A Clogged Toilet

One of the most common issues with toilets is clogs. There are many ways you can try to get rid of a clog. For minor clogs, the most familiar and effective type of tool used is a plunger. Yet, more serious clogs will require another method, such as a closet auger.

4. Leaky Seal

Sometimes the problem of a malfunctioning toilet is due to a leaky seal. For standard models, there are at least five seals that could leak. A major leak would most likely occur between the bowl and the toilet. To replace this, you will have to drain the water. Then you will need to remove the tank to replace the seal. This same procedure will need to be done for fixing the smaller seals as well. Sometimes tightening the bolts can help stop the leak, but if the parts are failing, they will need to be replaced.

Another leaky seal that can cause major damage is the wax seal. This one is located underneath the toilet base. If it is leaking, water damage can occur and rot the floor. If you have this type of leak, do not just caulk around the base of the toilet. Water will still leak underneath and cause worse damage. The only way to solve this problem is to remove the toilet and replace this seal.

5. A Weak Flush

A toilet bowl that empties water slowly is often called a weak flush. A clog underneath the rim of the bowl typically causes this problem. To troubleshoot, try using a curved wire inside of the flush hole to see if you can clean out or loosen any debris.

Of course, if you are not sure what is causing your toilet’s problem, a professional plumber can determine if you simply need toilet repair or toilet replacement.