A leaky, running toilet wastes more water than a dripping faucet. In fact, solving toilet problems by repairing a leak can save hundreds of gallons of water a day.
Signs of toilet problems include the sound of running water and the toilet turning on and off without being flushed. The following are some toilet repair facts and advice on fixing common toilet problems.
Clogs are the most common toilet problems. Usually a plunger can clear minor clogs. This video shows you step-by-step how to plunge a toilet.
You may occasionally hear your toilet begin to refill, as though someone had flushed it. A toilet that cuts on and off by itself, or runs intermittently, has a problem that plumbers call a phantom flush. The source is a slow leak from the tank into the bowl, and it is almost always caused by a bad flapper or flapper seat. The solution is to drain the tank and the bowl, check and clean the flapper seat, and replace the flapper if it's worn or damaged. This video shows you how to replace a flapper valve on a toilet.
If you hear a constant hissing sound coming from the toilet, it’s likely water trickling into the tank through the supply line. First, check to see if the float is sticking or if it needs an adjustment. Next, make sure the refill tube isn't inserted too far into the overflow tube. If neither of these adjustments fixes the problem, you'll probably need to replace the ballcock assembly.
A bowl that empties slowly, also known as a weak flush, is often the result of clogged holes underneath the rim of the bowl. You can use a curved piece of wire, such as a coat hanger, to push gently into each flush hole to clear out any debris.
A standard toilet has several seals, each of which has the potential for leaking. The solution is to find the faulty seal and tighten or replace it. The largest seal is between the tank and the bowl. Replacing this involves draining and removing the tank.
The smaller seals at the mounting bolts and at the base of the ballcock may also fail and cause leaks. You can replace these as well. Tightening the bolts or mounting nut is often enough to stop the leak.
Another seal is the wax ring seal mounted on a plastic flange underneath the toilet base. If this fails, water will leak underneath the toilet base and will eventually cause serious damage to your floor. To repair a leak around the base of the toilet, you'll need to remove the toilet and replace the wax seal. If the leak is the result of a broken flange, it is best to call a professional plumber.
If these tips and tricks don’t work, Roto-Rooter experts provide 24-hour emergency toilet repair and replacement services.