Common Toilet Problems! How To Fix By Yourself

The toilet is a very frequently used place that is present in almost every place you stay or visit, there is no place where you wouldn’t find something as common as a toilet. As it is used a lot, it is also prone to a number of problems which we face on a daily basis. If you have landed yourself in this article, then it is proof that you have been dealing with some issues too. Else if not, then you want a solution to never face anything troublesome ever again.  We always face some or other issues as far as our toilet is concerned. Sometimes, our flush stops working, our toilet gets clogged, the flush handle drops, and many issues that we face while we use a toilet. However, the bigger problem is the maintenance cost. Every time we face some issue, we, without even thinking once about how to fix it, call our plumber at once. The next step is to worry about how to get it fixed or whether it is going to get fixed or not. And to give fuel to the fire of our anxieties, the plumbers always charge us a lot of money for helping you with something that you could have done. Surprisingly, fixing some of the usual issues is quite easy, and takes very little time. If you help yourself and take charge, you will be able to find out that the issues are very petty and you can solve it at once. This is what we are going to discuss in this article. We will be talking about the common problems that you can handle yourself without making a call to your plumber. Hence, let us get started.

Where do most of the issues take place?

Most of the issues that we face are always related to the toilet tank. If we look at the analogy of a toilet, it is mainly divided into two compartments. One is the bowl that is fixed to the floor of the bathroom and another is the water tank that helps us to flush our toilet clean. The bowls are a static thing and they do not have any movable piece. The toilet bowls are made of porcelain and are quite sturdy and durable.  We never really face many issues with the toilet bowl. However, there are a lot of things working in the tank. This piece of the component is fixed to the wall or sometimes comes in unison with the bowl. There are a lot of mechanisms taking place in the water tank of the toilet. Moreover, the best thing is, most of the issues can be resolved if we have some basic ideas. 

The Working of a Toilet Tank

Let us first learn about the working of a toilet tank. Before diving into the problems, let us first understand how it works. The work of the toilet tank is to hold water. On average, the amount of water that a toilet tank can hold is 1 gallon to 1.5 gallons. It is the most important part which is required to clean the toilet after use.  When we flush our toilet, the basic thing that takes place in the tank is, the water rushes down from the tank and into the bowl which takes away all the waste along with it. The water then goes out of the toilet and to the sewer line. Now, if we talk about the components of a toilet tank, there are two important parts of a toilet tank. The first one is called a ballcock which uses a fill valve and the other is the flush valve. The ballcock or the fill valve is used to allow the water to be filled inside the tank after it has been flushed out. Generally, the refill valve inside the toilet tank is located to the left if the flush handle is to the right, and vice versa. You can easily spot the refill valve when you open the lid and try to see the inside of the tank. It is a prominent part located at the bottom of the tank. There are four types of refill valves that you may find. There are slight variations in all.
  • Floatless refill valve: this one is a newbie and the design has come recently.
  • Float cup refill valve: this refill valve is also a new design in the market, but the main difference is that it is made of plastic.
  • Diaphragm ballcock: this is the traditional refill valve that was used in older times and is still used in some places. The older ones used to be made of brass, however, with the change in time, plastic has replaced almost everything, including the refill valves.
  • Plunger ballcock: the oldest design in the list is the Plunger ballcock which was used way back and was made of brass.
If we see, the design does not make much difference as the working of each valve is the same. The primary function of a refill valve is to automatically open the outlet to let the water out to the bowl. The inlet valve is opened as soon as we flush after the water is out, the refill valve shuts off when the water level goes down to the set level. This refill valve is usually operated in pairs with a cup or ball that floats on the water level and it is attached to the refill valve with a lever. The floating ball moves in accordance with the water level of the tank. There are many different types of valve, the one we are talking about is a traditional valve which is used in most of the toilets.  There are many other kinds of valves too, some are floatless and they do the job of flushing the water and the closing and opening of the refill valve by sensing the pressure of the water at the bottom of the tank. To understand the mechanism of your own toilet you can simply remove the top lid of your tank. Usually, it is removable and easy to open. By doing so, you will be able to know what is going on inside your tank a little better.

How to Replace a Ballcock

The ballcocks have been changed over the years and now they are called fill valves because, in some places, they do not use a hollow ball anymore. Although, the traditional designs still use the old ballcocks. They comprised a hollow ball that floated on the water, the ball was able to detect the water level as it floated. Depending on the level of the ball aka the water level, the water inlet is opened and closed.  If you face a problem in the ballcock, you simply need to bend the arm holding the ball down. This will turn off or turn on the water inlet’s valve depending on the motion you move your ball.

Repairing the Toilet Flush Valve

To control the opening and closing of the water outlet on the bottom of the tank, we have a flush valve. This one is usually made of brass or plastic and it is responsible for opening and closing the water outlet. Before we talk about the issues, let us first understand the working of the flush. When you press or push the flush valve, a connector lifts the ball up which releases the water to the bowl.  When all the water is emptied and the water inlet closes, the tank is again filled. If you have a problem with any of the functions, you can repair where the problem exists. If you have an overflowing problem, you can seal the toilet trap too.

Repairing Running Toilets

The most common problem among all and also the most annoying one is the running water. When you have a malfunctioning flapper or the flush valve isn’t properly sealed, you face such issues. When your water level is above the required level, you might face these problems too. You can simply fix this problem by replacing the valve which is again, an easy job.

Fixing the Toilet Flush Handle

experiencing a loose toilet flush handle is very common. Sometimes, you might even see that they come out or fall. There is a very easy way to tackle this problem. You will need to check if the lift wire is disconnected, if so, connect it again properly. Sometimes, it is also possible that you might have a loose screw which you can tighten again to fix the issue.

Unclogging a Blocked Toilet

A blocked toilet can be nasty to handle, but easy to fix. It usually never requires a plumber service to get it fixed. The solution to this problem is to simply use a plunger to unclog it. Most of the time it works. However, if a plunger does not work, you might need to use a toilet auger. If all things fail, then you can contact a professional for help. Usually, it does not go that far, however, there is a possibility and in that case, you can seek help. Conclusion: It is not always possible to have a plumber’s help every time you mess something up. Moreover, it will cost you too much if you ask a plumber to come down and help you with something that can be easy to fix. This article focuses on the small issues that you can fix on your own without requiring any one’s help. Moreover, you will be able to save a lot of money and time. 

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