Toilet maintenance is something we don’t often think about until problems develop. Some require specialized skills and tools, but the following are common problems that you can try tackling on your own. You can always call on a trusted plumber if the going gets tough.
- Your toilet flushes on its own. This can happen when a badly seated or worn flapper allows water to leak into the bowl from the tank. To fix this problem, turn off the water supply and drain the tank and the bowl. Cleaning the flapper seat may be all that’s needed, but if the flapper itself looks damaged, replace it.
- The bowl empties slowly. This happens when the holes under the rim become clogged with debris. To fix this, carefully clear out the debris from each hole with a piece of coat hanger wire. A small mirror can help you see this hard-to-reach area.
- Your toilet makes a hissing noise. This typically occurs when water trickles from the supply line into the toilet tank through the inlet valve. To solve this, first check if the float is sticking. If it’s working fine, make sure the refill tube only extends 1/4″ below the rim of the overflow tube. If you’re still hearing hissing, you’ll need to replace the inlet valve assembly.
- Water is seeping out from around the toilet base. This usually means the wax seal is leaking. To replace it, you’ll need to drain the tank and bowl, and remove the toilet. If the flange the toilet sits on looks damaged, it’s more than simple toilet maintenance that’s required, and you’ll need professional help.
- The drain is clogged. To unclog a toilet, it’s best to use a force-cup plunger that’s designed to fit down into the drain and create a seal. Plunge forcefully several times, check whether the clog has cleared and repeat as necessary. If it won’t clear, it’s time to call a plumber.
Image via Shutterstock.com