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  • Simple Toilet Repairs You Can Do On Your Own

    Toilets are ubiquitous fixtures, present in every sort of home and business. Despite their constant presence, many homeowners may not know how to fix minor issues with their toilets - and when to draw the line and call in the professionals at Roto-Rooter. Let's review a few simple toilet repairs you can do on your own:

    Changing or adjusting the seat and lidtoilet

    Many people think of repairing a toilet and immediately start considering plumbing issues. There are parts of a toilet that can break or become misaligned without affecting connected pipes or water flow, however. A broken seat or lid is such an issue, and something eventually encountered by many homeowners. A new seat can also freshen up a toilet's appearance, and the first steps of the process detailed below can also help fix a loose seat.

    Replacing or adjusting a lid / seat is a relatively simple process. First, locate the two hinges where the seat screws into the fixture. These are typically located under a plastic cover that must be pried up or popped open. Then, unscrew the nuts and plastic washers. To replace the seat, remove the nuts, washers and bolts, then follow the process in reverse to attach a new lid / seat. To repair a loose or misaligned toilet seat, adjust to the angle you desire and re-tighten the nuts to attached to the hinge bolts.

    Fixing a running toilet

    A running toilet may be an easy fix at home or indicative of a more complex problem. A few easy toilet repairs to consider include replacing the flapper valve. The flapper is the flexible rubber valve attached to the flush lever. It’s job is to stop the flow of water once the toilet's tank is filled. Since the flapper is made of rubber, it can degrade due to wear or become stiff so that it is no longer flexible enough to form a good seal. Sometimes the flapper closes down over the chain that connects it to the flush lever, preventing it from sealing. Adjusting the chain can fix that problem, while replacing the flapper itself is also a simple affair. If the flapper allows water to flow when the tank is full, it's time to replace it.

    You should turn off water flowing to the toilet, then flush it to remove most of the remaining water in the tank. At that point, assess how the flapper is connected to the toilet and remove it. Bring the old flapper with you to a hardware store and select a substantially similar model, taking care to ensure the size is the same. Then, follow the package's instructions to install the new flapper and do away with the annoyance of a running toilet. Roto-Rooter created a useful video with step-by-step instructions for replacing a flapper.

    Are you encountering issues with a toilet that seem too complicated to fix on your own? Call Roto-Rooter to gain expert assistance and repair your toilet.


  • Eco-Friendly Toilets: What To Look For in Selecting One

    What To Look For in Eco-Friendly ToiletsDo you know how much water you're using with each toilet flush? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, standard toilets now use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, but older models can use anywhere from 3.5 to 7 gallons each time you flush. If you have a large family, your water consumption can run extremely high, but replacing your old appliance with an eco-friendly toilet could help you lower the water bill and beneficially impact the environment. Here are a few features to consider when choosing your eco-friendly toilet:

    Water usage
    Minimize your water consumption by finding a water-saving toilet. Low-flush toilets use water amounts that range from 1.28 gallons to as little as 0.8 gallons per flush. Some toilets even have multiple flushing options for solid and liquid waste.

    Type of flushing
    If you think there is only one type of flushing mechanism for every toilet, think again. Different toilet styles come equipped with various bowl-rinsing actions. A few types of toilet flushing mechanisms include:

    • Vacuum assisted.

    • Jet siphon.

    • Double cyclone.

    • Gravity aided.

    Appearance
    A basic toilet has a tank, a seat and a curved underside that tapers to the floor. However, the appearance of your average toilet is changing. For example, you can find tankless‚Äč, eco-friendly toilets and latrines with a flat base all the way around the bottom of the fixture. A toilet with this sleek, seamless design is a lot easier to clean. You no longer have to try to wipe out any nooks or crannies - instead you can swipe a cleaning brush down the side of the bowl and be done.

    If you're going for more of a minimalist look in your home, there is also an option for a wall-mounted eco-friendly toilet. This design has no tank or base, and instead allows you to attach the bowl directly to the wall to conserve space.

    Other features
    Little kids are not the best at gently putting the toilet lid down when they're done in the bathroom. If you're tired of constantly hearing the top slam down on the seat, find a green toilet that sports a soft-closing seat and lid. With this device in place, you'll always have a blessedly silent bathroom.

    The handle placement is another aspect to keep in mind. Most toilets position the flush handle on the side of the toilet tank, but a button is another popular option. These flushing buttons are usually located on top of the tank in the center. If you want to go more traditional, choose a side handle, but if you're feeling adventurous, try something new, like a top button.


  • Is Your Toilet Running? Here's What to Do | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Running toiletAfter flushing the toilet, there's the familiar sound of water running to refill the tank and bowl. However, if this sound goes on for longer than usual, it could mean you have a leak that could be wasting a considerable amount of water.

    A leaky toilet that's constantly running can waste as much as 200 gallons of water in a single day. That could rack up to more than 6,000 gallons a month, which can also result in an incredibly high water bill.

    Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to check for leaks and repair them:

    1) Check the water level

    In order to determine if you have a leak, you can mark the water level in the toilet tank, turn off the main water supply and wait. Then, check to see where the water level has fallen. If it's any lower than your initial mark, you have a leak.

    2) Check the flapper

    The flapper mechanism inside the tank could be improperly sealed, causing the leak. They suggest pushing the flapper down when the water is running. If it stops, this means the flapper isn't sealing correctly, and that it needs to be replaced.

    3) Check the fill valve

    There could also be a leak in the fill valve, which could cause the water to run. To check for this, lift up the float arm inside the toilet tank while the water is running and the tank is filling. Adjust this arm so that the water stops filling the tank 6 to 12 inches below the top of the overflow pipe. If you notice a leak in the fill valve, it's time for a replacement.

    While toilets aren't complicated mechanisms, it's important that all repairs and replacements are done right. If you're not the DIY type, or just want expert help, contact your local Roto-Rooter today.


  • How to Pick the Right Plunger | Roto-Rooter Blog

    Pick the right plungerSinks, showers and toilets can often become clogged for many different reasons. For many such jobs, a plunger can do the trick and get things rolling again.

    However, in order to ensure a job well done, you must think like a professional plumber and make sure you are choosing the right plunger. Here are three points to keep in mind when shopping for a plunger:

    1) Get the right tool for the job
    There are two main types of plungers, and each type serves a unique purpose. The classic flat-bottomed plunger is meant, perhaps quite naturally, for flat surfaces like sinks. In contrast, the more curved bottom of a toilet requires a protruding flange plunger, which looks like a flat plunger just with an extra bit coming out the bottom.

    2) Make sure it can form a tight seal
    Plungers work by creating a vacuum within the drain, and then allowing you to use this vacuum to your advantage to unclog things. In order for this to happen, however, the plunger needs to be able to make a tight seal around the drain in question. This is why older plungers with cracks or holes in them don't work very well. Before getting a new plunger, be sure it is able to create a good seal both today and well into the future.

    3) Is it comfortable to use?
    Sometimes, plungers don't work unless you put a little elbow grease behind them. Be sure you buy a plunger with good grip that is comfortable to use, as you don't want to strain yourself while clearing a drain.

    If you find that even the best plunger is not doing the trick, fret not. Some clogs are just too big or tricky for a plunger to handle. In those situations, you're much better off calling in a professional plumber. A professional plumber as more than just a plunger at his or her disposal!


  • How to Remove and Install A Toilet | Roto-Rooter

    New toiletIf your worn-out toilet has seen better days, it might be time to finally replace it with an updated one. This is something you can tackle yourself, but if you don't trust your DIY skills, contact your local Roto-Rooter plumber for professional assistance.

    5 steps for removing a toilet:

    Step 1: Turn off the water supply

    Completely cut off the water supply by turning the shutoff valve that is located either on the wall or on the floor near the toilet. Give the toilet one final flush to drain the water from the tank and bowl.

    Step 2: Disconnect the supply line

    Remove the supply line from the valve by unscrewing it with a wrench. Know that a small amount of water will drip out once you remove the supply line. Have a bucket on hand to catch the water so it doesn't drip all over the floor (or you!)

    Step 3: Remove the tank

    Take the tank top off and place it somewhere out of harm's way. To detach actual tank from the bowl, simply use an adjustable wrench to remove the bolts that are located at the bottom of the tank. Lift straight up and twist.

    Step 4: Remove the toilet

    To remove the toilet, loosen the bolt caps that are on the base of the appliance. With a partner, rock the bowl back and forth to free it from its wax gasket.

    Step 5: Clear the old putty

    There is going to be a lot of gunk where the toilet once sat. To remove it, use a putty knife to scrap the wax off the base. Be sure to clean and level the mounting surface before you proceed with the installation of the new toilet.

    Before you remove the old toilet, be sure to turn off the water supply.

    6 steps for installing a toilet

    Step 1: Set the bowl

    Prepare for the bowl to be in place by inserting closet bolts on either side of the base. This will help keep the toilet in place.

    Step 2: Lodge in the wax ring

    To install the wax ring, completely turn the toilet bowl upside down. Place the ring on the waste horn with the tapered end facing the toilet. For your reference, the waste horn is the knob located on the base of the toilet. For a quick and easy ring installation, heat it up before you secure it. A warm ring is easier to work with than a cold one.

    Step 3: Position the toilet

    Flip the toilet over and place it onto the base. Gently press down against the wax ring. Rock the bowl back and forth a couple of times to make sure it's secure.

    Step 4: Secure the toilet

    Once the bowl is in place, secure it by tightening the nuts on the closet bolts that are located on either side of the base of the toilet. Next, place bolt caps on the closet bolts so nothing sharp is sticking out. Apply waterproof sealant to the base of the appliance.

    Step 5: Attach the tank and seat

    With the closet bolt and sealant in place, it's time to attach the tank. First, slide the tank bolts through the opening at the bottom of the tank. Once they're aligned, slowly drop the tank down. Secure the tank in place by tightening a nut onto each bolt. The installation of the actual toilet seat may vary depending on brand, so consult the manufacturer's guide for proper instructions.

    Step 6: Install the water-supply line

    You want to install the water-supply line just how you removed it. Simply use a wrench to screw the supply line back onto the valve that is located underneath the toilet bowl.

    Step 7: Turn on the water supply

    Turn the water supply back on and test your DIY skills by giving your toilet a flush. Congratulations! Your toilet is officially installed.

    Once again, while it seems textbook easy there are many outside factors to count in. If you're a novice to plumbing DIY this one is best left to your local Everett Roto-Rooter professional.


  • Is Your Toilet Running? Here's What to Do | Roto-Rooter

    Flushed toiletAfter flushing the toilet, there's the familiar sound of water running to refill the tank and bowl. However, if this sound goes on for longer than usual, it could mean you have a leak that could be wasting a considerable amount of water.

    A leaky toilet that's constantly running can waste as much as 200 gallons of water in a single day. That could rack up to more than 6,000 gallons a month, which can also result in an incredibly high water bill.

    Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to check for leaks and repair them:

    1) Check the water level

    In order to determine if you have a leak, you can mark the water level in the toilet tank, turn off the main water supply and wait. Then, check to see where the water level has fallen. If it's any lower than your initial mark, you have a leak.

    2) Check the flapper

    The flapper mechanism inside the tank could be improperly sealed, causing the leak. They suggest pushing the flapper down when the water is running. If it stops, this means the flapper isn't sealing correctly, and that it needs to be replaced.

    3) Check the fill valve

    There could also be a leak in the fill valve, which could cause the water to run. To check for this, lift up the float arm inside the toilet tank while the water is running and the tank is filling. Adjust this arm so that the water stops filling the tank 6 to 12 inches below the top of the overflow pipe. If you notice a leak in the fill valve, it's time for a replacement.

    While toilets aren't complicated mechanisms, it's important that all repairs and replacements are done right. If you're not the DIY type, or just want expert help, contact your local Roto-Rooter today.


  • Toilet Flushing 101 | Roto-Rooter

    ToiletAs a homeowner you must balance taking care of a lot of different systems in your house. What's one fixture you use the most? The toilet, of course. Although you might think that toilets can withstand many different materials, these fixtures are actually incredibly sensitive. In fact, flushing the wrong things can create big problems for you and the environment. Here's what you need to know about flushing items down your Port St. Lucie, Florida, toilet:

    The general rule of thumb is that you should not flush anything but waste and toilet paper. The truth is that your plumbing systems are more sensitive than you think. A material you never thought twice about flushing could damage your entire system. Here are a few items that should never meet your toilet bowl and why:

    Antibiotics and other pills

    Sure, flushing pills down the toilet may sound like an easy way to get rid of them, but it actually can pose a threat to the environment and its inhabitants. When released into the sewer systems, certain pills can eliminate helpful bacteria in the water - the same water that animals drink. Don't risk it - toss the pills in the garbage.

    Any kind of wipes

    If you have a little one in the house, you may be using plenty of wipes regularly. Although the packaging may say that they're "flushable," they aren't. The material doesn't break down completely and can get caught on pipes, causing blockages. As a result, you could experience major backup and even flooding in your home. Plus, they're not biodegradable. When wipes slip through the sewage systems, they make it into the ocean. Sea creatures often mistaken them for food and can die after they consume them. Just keep wipes out of the toilet - for everyone's sake.

    Feminine hygiene products

    Ever wonder about the sign on most restaurant bathroom stalls that says, "Do not flush feminine products"? Well, they're onto something. These products are made to absorb water and increase in size. Therefore, they can expand in your plumbing, making it virtually impossible for them to pass through the pipe lines and sewers. Be sure to add a garbage can to your bathroom for ladies to dispose of these products, and even consider putting a sign up if you're having people over.

    If you’ve made one or two of these mistakes and your toilet is now clogged. Be sure to reach out to your local Port. St. Lucie Roto-Rooter for help!


  • 4 Signs That You May Need A New Toilet | Roto-Rooter

    ToiletMost people tend to continue to use the same toilet for years on end. While these systems are designed to last for a long time, they do reach their breaking point and sometimes need to be replaced. To that end, let's take a look at some reasons why it might be time for you to upgrade.

    Excessive clogging

    One of the most common reasons people decide to purchase a new toilet is the fact that it simply isn't doing its job properly anymore. A clog now and again certainly isn't a big issue. However, if it feels like you're reaching for the plunger every time you flush, it may be time to upgrade.

    Cracks

    Due to the fact that most toilets are made out of porcelain, a major issue that a lot of people run into is the cracking of the bowl. Fractures in the lid are also common, however, these are much easier to handle than damage to the bowl itself. If you notice any sort of cracks in this area, stop using the toilet immediately.

    Feel the floor directly under the toilet for dampness or simple water damage for this is a strong indicator that your toilet is leaking. These cracks could be allowing for sewage water to escape back into your house, which is a major health issue. If you do find evidence of this, purchase a new toilet and consult a contractor about possible water damage.

    Internal leaks

    While leaks allowing for water to leave the toilet are obviously a huge problem, another issue you need to concern yourself with is internal leakage. For one reason or another, your toilet may be allowing water to drip from the tank to the bowl itself. If you can hear water hissing back at you when the toilet isn't in use, you may have a leak.

    A pretty simple way to know for sure if you have an internal leak or not is to open the tank and drop in 10 drops of food coloring or a dye tablet. Return the tank lid and wait 10 minutes. If the water in the bowl is colored, you have an internal leak.

    Of course, such a leak doesn't exactly mean you need a whole new toilet. The drain stopper in the tank may simply need replacing. However, if the damage is extensive enough, you may need to invest in a new system altogether.

    It's old

    Finally, a good reason to go out and buy a new toilet is to save yourself on your water bill. After realizing the amount of water being wasted on conventional toilets, the Environmental Protection Agency created the Energy Policy Act of 1992. This regulation stipulated that residential toilets could only use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, which is really all you need.

    Before this, many toilets used twice this amount of water for each use. So, if your toilet has survived the fall of the Berlin wall, it may be time to upgrade. The initial investment may hurt, but your wallet will thank you in the long run.

    If you’re unsure whether it’s a quick fix or you need a brand new loo call your local Terre Haute Roto-Rooter today!


  • 4 Items You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet in Roseville | Roto-Rooter

    Although toilets may seem like the most handy garbage can, it is definitely not OK to treat them like one. It's probably just a habit by now - clean your ears, drop the Q-tip in the loo; remove the hair from your brush, toss it in the toilet. From here on out, remember that human waste and toilet paper are the only things you should be flushing down your Roseville toilet.

    Here are four items that should never meet your toilet bowl:

    Feminine hygiene products

    Ladies, this is a big one. You'll often see multiple warning signs on display in public restrooms telling you not to flush tampons or sanitary pads down the toilet. The reason being these products are designed to soak up moisture, which then causes expansion. A constant flow of tampons will absorb a ton of water from the system, making it difficult for these products to pass through the pipe line and sewers.

    Dental floss

    You may think that a tiny piece of string won't do much harm, but that's where you're mistaken. The more you flush this product, the more it starts to bunch up. Eventually, the tangled web of dental floss will take up residence in the middle of your pipe line. Additionally, floss is not biodegradable. When it does manage to make its way through the system, it will seep into the Earth and cause harm to both living creatures and the overall environment.

    Cat using toilet'Flushable' wipes

    Contrary to what the packaging reads, you should never flush wipes down the toilet. They have the potential to get caught on pipes and cause blockage. As a result, your entire plumbing system will be backed up, causing major flooding. While wipes do manage to slither their way down the sewage line, they are not biodegradable. So once they hit the compost pile, it's all down hill.

    Kitty litter

    This is a common mistake for all you cat lovers out there. When you toss the liter down the toilet you aren't just flushing fecal matter and urine, but clay and sand as well. If you didn't already know this, kitty litter is made from wet clay and dry sand - two products that should never be flushed down the toilet. Moreover, cat waste carries toxins and parasites, so you're flushing these bacteria into your local water system.

    Ever wonder where it goes after it leaves the toilet? Check it out.

    For more questions or concerns about what not to flush down your toilet, call your local Roseville Roto-Rooter for professional advice.


  • Signs You Need to Replace Your Toilet | Roto-Rooter

    Bathroom toiletWhen it comes time to replace one of the most important fixtures in your home – your toilet, of course – do you know what to look for? You may have been able to remedy smaller problems in the past, like a broken flapper valve or chain, but what are some of the signs you might need to scrap the old fixture and get a totally new one?

    Running toilet

    A running toilet may be a sign of a broken flapper valve, which is easily replaceable, but what happens when you replace this part and the toilet continues to run? This could be a sign of a deeper problem with the toilet itself, especially if it is an older fixture.

    Cracks in the tank or bowl

    Cracks in pretty much any part of the fixture could mean serious money for repairs, and water on the floor could be a sign that it's time to go. To test for cracks in the tank, put dye in it and wait – the crack will become discolored as the dye seeps through, and then the leaked water on the floor will show color. If the bowl or tank is cracked, you have to replace them – there is no quick fix for this kind of problem.

    Wasted water

    Older toilets may not be the most efficient when it comes to saving water. It may be worth it for your utility bills sake to think about investing in a low-flush toilet that conserves water – relieving both the environment and your wallet. Toilets manufactured before 1980 can use up to seven gallons of water with each flush, as opposed to the newer models that use no more than 1.6 gallons for major flushing and less than a gallon for just flushing away liquid.

    It needs too many repairs

    Maybe all of the above is wrong with your fixture, maybe more. When it gets to the point when it seems like you're fixing something on your toilet every other day, and it still isn't working the way it should, you should consider purchasing a new one. It's just not worth the hassle of rebuilding the toilet piece by piece. If you replace every part of your toilet over a long period of time, is it still the original fixture anyway?

    If you think your toilet may need to be replaced, don't hesitate to contact the experts at Roto-Rooter for a professional opinion today.


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