Don't let toilet issues put a damper on your mood and your wallet. Discover the 8 most common toilet problems and how you can easily fix them now.
Toilets are more dangerous than sharks. Yes. You read that correctly. It’s true!
For instance, way back in 1996, toilets injured 43,000 Americans. Sharks injured a paltry total of 13.
Clearly, toilets pose more of a health risk than you might think.
Of course, there’s more than one type of toilet problem. And, though being injured by one fits the description, it’s not why we’re here! Instead, we want to talk about toilet problems of the plumbing variety.
Though undeniably less hazardous to health, they remain a costly frustration. In terms of time, money and…ahem…practicalities, it pays to keep a toilet in good working order.
Thankfully, there are numerous DIY solutions to the most common problems. Want to learn more?
Keep reading to discover 5 common toilet problems (and how to fix them!).
1. Dodgy Toilet Seats
Let’s face it, no-one likes sitting on an ill-fitting toilet seat.
It wobbles, shifts, and moves around under your weight. It’s fear-inducing. The toilet should be a place of refuge. You should feel safe and secure on the seat. It’s often easiest to find and fit a new seat.
Find a replacement from the local hardware store. Next, remove the old seat from its throne. This is as easy as opening the hinge covers and removing the nuts. Do this for both sides and it’ll come loose.
Next up, pop on your new seat. Align the holes, insert a bolt, and tighten shut with nuts.
While you’re at it, why not stop the lid slamming shut too? There’s nothing more shocking than a slamming seat in the early hours of the morning. Solve the problem by upgrading to a slow-close lid.
2. Constant Dripping Sounds
Is your toilet always dripping?
There’s nothing more annoying. You’ve tried flushing it again, but nothing seems to work.
In reality, the problem is likely caused by your fill valve. This is was activates after you flush to refill the tank at the back. The fill valve is often called a ballcock. If it’s been installed incorrectly or is set awkwardly, then it can start to drip.
You might need to replace it.
Do it by emptying the tank of its water. Do that by turning off the water supply, flushing the toilet and disconnecting the water supply line from the ballcock. At this point, you’ll probably have to unscrew a nut that holds the fill valve in place.
Good start! You should now be able to remove the ballcock from the tank. Pop your new one inside, in its place. Now, ensure ‘the nipple’ on it faces the overflow tube. Tighten the locking nut to secure it in place.
Finally, replace the water supply line and place the small tube of the fill valve inside the overflow tube holder.
…You can turn the water supply back on now.
Sometimes something more serious may be happening! You never know, it might be time for a new toilet. You can learn more about this eventuality by clicking that link.
3. The Toilet’s Clogged
A clogged toilet is rarely a glamorous situation to resolve.
If we’re honest, it’s never a proud moment when you clog the toilet…especially when you’re in someone else’s house. In fact, the primary problem here is usually navigating the awkward social situation.
First thing’s first though: how to unclog it.
Thankfully, there’s nothing too technical about it normally. Start by acquiring a toilet plunger. Now, the best ones have a flange extension on the rubber end. This enhances the fit against the toilet.
Now the fun really starts. Be prepared to make a bit of a mess. Push and pull against the toilet hole to build up the pressure inside the drains. With one final swift pull, the water should start flowing.
4. Dodgy Handle
Dodgy handles can be a pain as well.
For one thing, they can make it harder to flush. But they can keep the loo running as well. They’ll become loose or damaged and prevent the mechanism operating correctly.
However, it’s another easy fix.
The trick is to understand the thread that’s used inside the tank. You’ve probably heard the old rule of thumb: ‘lefty loosey, righty tight-y’. In other words, untighten most things by turning it left; tighten by turning right.
In this case, the opposite is true. Facing the toilet from the outside, turn the nut that’s inside to your left to unscrew. Next, simply take out the old handle and lever, and pop your new one in.
Tighten it all up with a new nut (turned to the right). You're good to go!
5. Bowl Keeps Filling Up
There’s nothing more terrifying than a randomly full toilet bowl. You just know it means bad news.
However, the problem doesn’t necessarily indicate a major issue. In many cases, the tank is simply leaking its water into the bowl.
A handy hack to check this is by putting some dye into the tank. If the bowl turns the same color, then you know the tank is at fault. More accurately, you know ‘the flapper’ in the tank is at fault.
The flapper is responsible for draining the water from tank to bowl when you flush. The flapper lifts when you flush, allowing water in.
Replace the flapper, solve the problem. Start by turning off the water supply again. Next, empty the tank by flushing the toilet. When that’s done, remove the chain from the old flapper and pop your new one in! Job done!
Time to Sort Your Toilet Problems Out!
There you have it: the 5 most common toilet problems and how to fix them.
Toilet problems come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, as we saw in the intro, the primary hazard may be to our health! However, more often than not, it’s a technical fault we have to worry about.
From dodgy seats to clogged drains, there is all manner of things that can go wrong with a toilet. Hopefully, this post has highlighted the main issues, and demonstrated how to solve them!
Want more posts like this? Read more #DIY posts on the blog now!