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First Things to Check When a Toilet Breaks

A toilet malfunction can happen at any time. Before calling in the plumbing professionals, it is best to first assess the situation to see if there is something that can be done without the assistance of a plumber. From a running toilet, to a broken toilet flapper, here are a few simple items to check when your toilet malfunctions:

Is the lever in bad shape?

When you push down on a toilet lever to flush, a corresponding lever inside the tank lifts a flap at the bottom of the tank, allowing the water to empty into the bowl, while washing away its contents and refiling with new water. Often, one of these two levers might be in need of repair and may start sticking when you flush, causing the flapper valve inside the tank to stay open, and water to keep running. Sometimes, all it takes to stop a running toilet is to just lift the outside handle back to its original position. If this is the case, the chain between the handle and the flapper might be tangled, or the flush lever may be warped, bent or broken.

Roto-Rooter recommends that when you replace the flush lever, or do any other sort of toilet maintenance, you first turn the water supply valve counter clockwise to shut off the water.

Examine the lift chain

The lever inside the toilet is connected to the flapper by a chain. When you push down on the handle, the lever inside lifts the chain and the chain lifts the flapper. If the lift chain becomes disconnected or is too long, the toilet handle will wiggle in place when you try to flush.  If the chain is too taught, it might be suspending the flap in place and causing a slow leak. If your toilet will not flush, or if it won't stop flushing, there's a good chance you need to fix the lift chain.

Is the flapper broken?

Over time, the flap might become warped or accumulate grime, which, according to Apartment Therapy, can result in a leak. If the flap is dirty or warped, it won't seal the tank correctly. If one of the hinges on the flap is broken it will cause it to fall back into place crooked with each flush. If this is the case, no need to worry because toilet flappers are as cheap and easy to replace as a lever or chain.

If everything appears to be working as it should and you are certain that your toilet isn't clogged, call the plumbing professionals at Roto-Rooter to help assess the situation and get your toilet working properly again in no time!  



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