Toilets are a vital part of any home, offering comfort and convenience. They also help prevent costly water damage from flooding and overflowing.
However, issues can still arise in the tank, bowl, and drain sections of your toilet. If you are considering hiring a professional service, Hubbard Mechanical is the right choice. Let’s take a look at the most common problems and what you can do to resolve them.
Clogged toilets are one of the most common plumbing problems, and they can happen for several reasons. While many clogs can be fixed with a plunger or drain cleaner, repeated toilet clogs could signal a larger issue in your home’s pipes.
To help prevent future clogs, never flush non-flushable items like wet wipes and feminine hygiene products. These items can restrict proper water flow and cause clogs in your toilet and other parts of your home’s drain lines.
If your clogged toilet doesn’t respond to plunging or drain cleaner, try a closet auger or plumbing snake. These tools are designed to reach deep into your toilet’s drain line and break up or retrieve the clog. To use the snake, insert the end of the device into your toilet’s drain opening and crank it to move it deeper into the line. Once it reaches the clog, turn the handle to break up or pull out the obstruction.
Another common cause of clogged toilets is mineral buildup. You can try using a mineral-removing product to dissolve these deposits, but if the problem persists, you may need to remove your toilet and scrub it clean. If you’re not comfortable doing this, a plumber can safely remove your toilet and clean it thoroughly.
You should always shut off the water to your toilet before attempting any repairs or disassembly. Once the water is turned off, remove your toilet and inspect the floor for damage. If the floor is rotted, you’ll need to have it rebuilt by a professional before replacing your toilet.
Some clogged toilets are caused by issues with your home’s sewer line. These clogs affect the entire home’s drainage system and are more complicated to fix. A professional plumber will be able to use a sewer line camera to locate the clog and determine the best way to clear it.
If your toilet is leaking from the bottom, check the wax ring that seals the flange (the horn) to the drain opening set into the floor. If the wax ring is cracked or worn, replace it with a new one.
A toilet’s tank is the part of the toilet that holds water. It has several seals, and any one of them may break down, causing leaks that can quickly become serious and costly. Thankfully, replacing these parts is usually very easy.
Leaks in the toilet tank usually indicate that the tank is leaking at or around the bottom. The leaks can be caused by a cracked tank or a broken wax ring, and either of these will need to be replaced. Luckily, a toilet tank is relatively light and can be lifted to replace the ring or the wax seal. A simple wax ring can be purchased at most hardware stores for a reasonable price, and installation is pretty straightforward.
Another common problem is a toilet that won’t flush. A professional explains that this issue is often caused by a disconnected or displaced flapper chain, which can easily be fixed with a new one. It’s also possible that the float in the tank needs to be adjusted, and you can do this by stopping the water supply, draining the toilet tank, and using a hex wrench to remove the valve on the bottom of the tank and the coupling nut attached to the water line.
If the water in your toilet tank is rusty or brown, this is a sign that there are iron or manganese bacteria present in your home’s water supply. This is fairly common in homes that get their water from a well. The best way to avoid this issue is to make sure that your home’s water has been treated by your local municipality before it comes out of the ground.
A final problem with toilet tanks is that they can develop condensation that causes them to sweat. The best solution for this is to keep the room where the tank is located fairly cool and to add an insulated liner to the top of the tank to prevent condensation. A small amount of condensation is to be expected, but if it becomes excessive or if the tank itself starts to crack, it’s time to call in a professional.
Water Heater Issues
Your toilet is probably one of the most used fixtures in your home, but it can also be the most neglected. Whether you have a clogged toilet or water leak, quick and effective repairs are essential to avoid further damage and expensive utility bills. The good news is that a professional plumber has the tools and expertise needed to address even the most stubborn problems.
Many minor issues with toilets can be fixed by the homeowner using a specialized plunger. For example, a minor clog can often be cleared with a flanged plunger that has a special rounded shape for getting under the seal at the base of the toilet. If a clog persists, there is likely an underlying issue with the plumbing system, and a plumber should be called in to make the necessary repair.
Likewise, if the toilet keeps running, it could be due to a flush valve that is broken. This valve moves stored water from the tank into the toilet bowl after you flush, and if it breaks, you’ll be constantly wasting water until it’s replaced.
Other common causes of a running toilet include a damaged fill tube or a loose flapper that can’t lift up and down correctly to drain the toilet. If the problem is with the fill tube, a simple repair involves disconnecting the overflow tube from the tube and clipping it back into place. If the problem is with a loose or corroded flapper, adjusting or replacing it should fix the issue.
Leaks from the tank are another common cause of a constantly running toilet. A professional plumber can quickly diagnose and fix this type of problem, which is usually caused by a broken fill valve or flush valve.
Another reason your toilet might keep running is that the water heater hasn’t been producing enough hot water, which can then overpower the cold water from the toilet and raise the temperature of the tank. If this is the case, turn off the water supply to your toilet at the shutoff valve located next to the flush valve or at the main shutoff valve where the water line enters your home. Then, flush the toilet to drain the tank and either sponge it out or vacuum it with a wet/dry vac.
Float and Fill Valve Issues
The float and fill valve in your toilet tank regulates the water level inside your toilet. If they become misaligned, it can lead to an overflowing toilet or a continuously running toilet. To check this, lift your tank lid and visually inspect the float and fill tube to see if it needs to be adjusted. You can also try adjusting the handle mounting nut. WD-40 can help loosen the nut. If the problem persists, your water supply line may need to be replaced. A new line is usually made of steel braid and connects with a click that signals a secure connection.
Over time, it’s normal for pieces to fall out of place or break. This is especially true with older homes. During toilet installation, it is important to use quality parts so your toilet lasts a long time and doesn’t require frequent repair. It’s also a good idea to use a rubber lining in your toilet tanks to prevent condensation from occurring. These problems often occur due to aging or wear and tear.
Leaks From the Base
Leaks from the base of your toilet are not only unsightly, but they can also be dangerous. The leaks can expose your bare floor to moisture and mold. Luckily, most of these leaks are easy fixes for a plumber. The most common cause of these leaks is a loose or cracked wax ring. To fix this, the plumber will remove your toilet and replace the wax ring.
Another possibility is a blocked or clogged vent stack. This is a common problem in old houses and can cause gurgling noises, foul smells, or slow draining. If you suspect this is the case, call a plumber immediately.
A clogged toilet can ruin your day, but it doesn’t have to. If you have a plunger, you can usually clear the clog yourself. If you’re unsure what’s causing the clog, get free, no-commitment estimates from licensed plumbers near you. Keep in mind that, if the clog is deeper than your plunger can reach, you’ll need to hire a licensed plumber for a more involved repair.