A slow-filling toilet or running toilet, or a toilet that isn’t flushing, may not need to be fixed by a plumber. Many problems can be fixed by DIY. Learn how to fix a toilet.
How a Toilet Works
You can better understand the function of your toilet by removing the lid and flushing the toilet several times. This is what happens:
- Pushing the handle raises the flapper, also known as the tank ball or stopper. It covers the flush valve opening.
- The flush valve opens into the toilet bowl and allows water from the tank to flow through it.
- The tank water forces the wastewater through the trap into the main drain.
- Upon emptying the tank, the flapper valve closes. Water flows through the fill valve to refill the tank.
- A floating mechanism is installed on the fill valve/ballcock to stop water flow when the tank is full.
Before you Start Toilet Repairs
Here are some solutions and common problems. Although most toilet repairs are simple, there are some things you should keep in mind to avoid any problems.
- Follow all codes applicable to your job.
- If these tips don’t work for you, or you have any questions or doubts about your repairs, consult a licensed plumber.
- Do not tighten nuts, bolts, or other connectors too much. The toilet will be cracked if you tighten the metal hardware too much. They will be damaged if you tighten up the plastic fasteners.
- To avoid damaging connectors or fasteners, take care when turning them. Protect the finish of metal fasteners with tape or using a wrench.
- To avoid cracking the tank lid, carefully lift it off and place it in a safe location.
- You should ensure that the parts you buy fit your toilet. If you are replacing a flapper on a toilet, choose the type (flexible, solid-frame, or 3-inch) that is most compatible with the part. To find the right replacement, it may be a good idea to bring the part you have to the store.
The Toilet Will Not Stop Running
If a toilet is running constantly (water flows into the tank via the fill valve), it can waste water and cost money. The fill tank is often the problem. so you should replace your toilet with a low flow toilet. It is the best option.
The Tank’s Water Level is Falling
- Make sure the flapper is in good condition. The flapper should be replaced if it isn’t sealing the flush valve opening. If this happens, water will continue to leak into the bowl. As needed, replace the flapper.
- If the flapper is not in bad shape, or the replacement doesn’t resolve the problem, it may be necessary to replace the whole flush valve unit.
The Tank isn’t Leaking or the Water Level in the Tank isn’t High Enough to Overflow into the Overflow Tube
- It is possible that the fill valve needs to be replaced or cleaned. It is a good idea to replace an old model fill valve or ballcock with a new fill valve.
- The water shut-off valve may not function properly if there is any debris in it. For cleaning debris from your fill valve, please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- For more information about how to troubleshoot and fix a running toilet, visit Test a Toilet for Leaks.
As soon as you see a leak, fix it immediately. Your subfloor and floor will be damaged by water. Water can cause damage to your subfloor and floor.
Water Supply Valve Leakage:
- Turn the nut about an eighth of a turn behind the valve. Take care when working with the supply pipe. It is possible that you will need to hold the pipe as you turn the nut.
- If necessary, tighten the connection between the supply valve supply line and the supply valve supply line.
- Verify the supply line. Replace the supply cable if you notice damage or it’s older than five years.
Leakage Where the Supply Line Enters The Toilet Tank:
- If necessary, tighten the connection between the supply line and the toilet.
- You must ensure that the fill valve assembly is securely attached to the tank’s bottom.
- Verify the supply line. Replace the supply cable if you notice damage or it is older than 5 years.
Leaks Where the Tank Connects to the Toilet Bowl
- Make sure to check the bolts holding the tank to your bowl. If necessary, tighten them.
- If the bolts are not tightening and the leak persists then replace the bolts or the gasket that is located between the tank & toilet base.
- You should inspect the tank for cracks. You may be able to replace the toilet tanks only if the tank is cracked. You can replace the whole toilet if it is not cracked.
Leaks Where the Toilet Meets the Floor and/or Water Stains on a Ceiling Below the Bathroom:
- Make sure you check the bolts holding the toilet to the ground. Make sure that the toilet is correctly positioned and tighten the bolts if necessary.
- If tightening bolts does not fix the leak, or the bolts are damaged you will need to remove the toilet from the bathroom and inspect the anchor flange which holds the bolts, and the wax rings that connect the toilet to the waste pipe. How to replace a toilet wax ring
- You should inspect the toilet base for cracks. You will need to replace the bowl and the entire toilet if cracks are found. How To Replace a Toilet provides step-by-step instructions for replacing the toilet bowl.
Water Seeping From the Tank’s Side
- You should inspect the tank for cracks. You may be able to replace the toilet tank if the tank is cracked. You should replace the whole toilet if it is not. Step-by-step instructions are available in How To Replace a Toilet.
- If the tank has not cracked, it could be condensation from cool water getting into the tank from the warm, humid bathroom. To ensure adequate ventilation, turn on your bathroom exhaust fan. A leaking flapper can cause condensation. The tank will continue to drain, and colder water will constantly enter the tank. As needed, replace the flapper.
The Toilet Will Not Flush Correctly
Toilet is Blocked
- Turn off the water supply valve immediately and you notice that the toilet isn’t flushing correctly. This will prevent the toilet from overflowing.
The Toilet Won’t Flush.
- If the flush handle is too loose or tight, check it and adjust it as necessary. Flush handles are often reverse-threaded. This means that you will turn the nut counterclockwise to tighten and loosen.
- Adjust or replace the flush lever lift arms as necessary. It’s a good idea if you need to replace the handle or lift arm assembly.
- Make sure the lift chain is properly attached to both the lift arm’s flush valve base and the flapper. Adjust or untangle as necessary.
- The flapper should seal the flush valve opening. Replace the flapper if it is bent or damaged.
- If you want to get rid of this problem so try a powerful flushing toilet. It is the best option.
The Toilet Does Not Flush Completely
- Check that there isn’t too much tension in the lift chain. As needed, adjust.
- Make sure the tank is at the right water level. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to adjust the tank’s water level.
- You must ensure that the flapper fits your toilet correctly and is the right size. If necessary, replace the flapper.
The Toilet Fills Slowly
- Check that the water supply valve has been fully opened.
- Clean out any debris from the tank by checking the fill valve assembly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. How To Fix A Slow-Filling Toilet explains how to inspect these elements.
When the Toilet is Not in Use, It’s Noisy
Water is Always Running.
- The Toilet Won’t Stop Running has more information.
- Check that the water supply valve has been fully opened.
When the Toilet is Not in Use (Ghost Flushing), it Flushes.
- You can find more information in The Toilet Won’t Stop Running or The Toilet Leaks.
- The refill tube that runs from the fill valve must not be inserted into the overflow tube. If necessary, remove it from the tube and attach it to the outside.
- Check that the flapper seals the opening of the flush valve. Clear away any sediment and replace the flapper, if needed.
- If none of the above steps solve ghost flushing, replace the entire flush assembly.
The Locked or Loose Toilet Handle
To Allow the Toilet to Run Continuously, the Handle Must be Kept in the Down Position.
- Check that the handle mounting bolt inside the tank isn’t too tight. If necessary, loosen the nut slightly. Flush handles are often reverse-threaded. To loosen the nut, turn it clockwise.
- Make sure to clean the handle mounting nuts and shaft threads in order for the handle to work smoothly.
- Check that the flush arm is correctly pulling up the chain and opening the flapper. As needed, adjust the arm or chain.
Too Loose a Handle on the Toilet.
- Remove any buildup or debris from the tank’s handle mounting nut
- To ensure that the handle moves smoothly, tighten the mounting nuts carefully. Flush handles are often reverse-threaded. To tighten the nut, turn it counterclockwise.
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