5 common toilet problems that you can fix yourself

Experiencing a slow-emptying toilet bowl or a clogged toilet? Is it overflowing or does the water keep running? If so, the chances are that you can do a basic fix to take care of the problem. And if the problem persists, then call out the experts to fix it for you. Here’s a look at the most common toilet problems that you may encounter in your home, and what you can do to fix them.

  1. “The water keeps running in my toilet, what is the problem?”

If your toilet is running non-stop and the water isn’t shutting off, it means that the water is continuing to flow into the tank through the fill valve, wasting water and ultimately your money. To fix the issue, you can look in the fill tank and take a look at the flapper, which might not be sealing and causing the water to constantly leak into the bowl. If so, you can replace the flapper, or you might need to replace the entire flush valve assembly.

  1. “My toilet is leaking at the base what would cause this?”

If you notice any waste or water leakages around the base of your toilet, then you need to get this problem fixed as soon as you can. It can lead to floor damage, including wood rot, and result in a much larger problem to resolve. It may be that the toilet needs to be re-seated on the floor thanks to a broken flange or it could be that the wax seal around the base of the toilet needs to be replaced by a professional plumber.

  1. “My toilet bowl empties very slowly…”

You can usually blame a slowly emptying toilet bowl, also known as a “weak flush”, on clogged holes underneath the rim of the toilet bowl itself. To remedy the situation, simply use a curved piece of wire to gently prod and poke each of the flush holes, and rid them of any debris that might be causing the blockage. Take care not to scratch the bowl and use a small mirror to get extra visibility of the issue under the rim.

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  1. ‘My toilet is clogged and now overflowing, what is the best fix?”

It might feel like your worst nightmare, but a clogged and overflowing toilet can be fixed using a force-cup plunger. First, reach into the tank and pull up the fill valve to stop the water running. Then you have to insert the bulb of the plunger into the toilet and pump forcefully. Try to release the handle to let in a bit of the water and see if everything is now clear. Keep repeating until you see the water dissipate down the drain. More serious clogs require the use of a closet auger, where you insert the metal end into the drain hole and twist the auger’s handle as you push downwards, but take care not to damage the ceramic bowl.

  1. “My toilet flusher won’t flush. What would cause this problem?”

Sometimes, you’ll flush the toilet and the handle will move without actually flushing anything away. This can happen when the flush handle becomes loose or disconnects from the rest of the tank. To solve the problem, either reconnect the lift chain that runs from the flapper to the lift arm inside the tank. Or you might need to tighten the handle mounting nut inside the tank, which may have worked itself loose.

While none of these problems are too serious on their own when first discovered and they can be fixed by you, if the problems persist or if the matter becomes more serious, then you really should reach out to your local professional plumber to get the experts in. Talk to us at Ashton today and trust the local Vancouver, BC area plumbing service experts.

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