There is a common misconception whenever your plumbing system goes awry, that the plumber must be called ASAP. That is not true! There are some minor things that someone who is clueless to plumbing issues can even tackle, and this goes especially for toilets. Basic toilet repairs are necessary from time to time, so here are some facts about your toilet system, some common issues, and how you can fix them without the help of a plumber.
The first things to focus on are the toilet bowl and the toilet tank. Most of the DIY problems come from either of these. The toilet bowl includes the base and it sits right above the floor. The toilet tank is the top portion that includes the handle to flush that rests near the wall.
Repairs – Toilet Bowl
Around the base of your toilet there should be some type of seal there, whether it is wax, silicone, or some other sealant. You might find that if the seal is old, a leak can easily develop. This results in a wet bathroom floor, which can lead to even larger problems if not addressed quickly. If you notice that your floor is wet, don’t try to make any quick repairs until you turn off the water supply to the toilet. Once the toilet is dry, you can then begin removing the bowl and cleaning the pipe and join, then moving onto the replace the toilet in its place and resealing it completely. One thing to keep in mind is if you find that there is water leaking onto your floor but the seal is in perfect condition, it could be a crack in the porcelain. Although this is unlikely, it does still happen. In this case, no repairs will need to be done and you would have to order a replacement toilet.
Repairs – Toilet Tank
Issues pertaining to the toilet tank are much more common than toilet bowl problems, with the most common being that the toilet is always running. The reason that this happens is because there is a leak somewhere in the tank. You can easily find replacements for the system that won’t cost you an arm and a leg at your local hardware store – and most stores supply all of the parts of an inner tank together in one complete kit.
All that may really be needed for a toilet that is constantly running is a check on the length of the lever wire inside of the tank that attaches to the flapper at the bottom. If the wire is too short, the flapper can’t fully close and that results in running water. If the wire is too long, it may not open completely when you flush it. It is also a good idea in this instance to check out the flapper that stays on the bottom of the tank. It can deteriorate from using bleach and other household cleaning products. If the flapper can’t cover the hole at the bottom of the tank completely, you will continue seeing leaking water.
If the flapper is still in pretty good condition, you will want to shift your focus to the ball cock. It should rise a good amount so it can trigger the shut off on the refill valve. But, sometimes the ball cock can get waterlogged and will need to be emptied or sometimes replaced.
All of the parts that were mentioned in this article can be easily found at a hardware store; they will come in a kit or can come as individual pieces as well. If you’ve tried correcting these problems to no avail, you may want to contact a plumber who can fix these issues for you.