It’s a fact of life: you need your toilet. You may be comfortable with a sink which drips, but a toilet which needs repair? That needs to be taken care of immediately. The good news is the mystifying appliance can nearly always be repaired at home, saving you money and time (and when you’ve got to go, time is of the essence). There are a few common toilet repairs you should know how to do, and most of them are remarkably easy. To understand how to easily repair a toilet you have to know how it works. We’re here to walk you through some of the most common and simple repairs to your most-used piece of plumbing.
How Your Toilet Works
Your toilet tank is where most issues occur, so it’s important to know what’s in it. There are three major components of the inside of your tank: the fill valve, the flapper, and the flush valve. When you push your toilet’s handle down to flush, a chain or handle connected to the flapper (usually exactly what it sounds like, a small flap on the bottom of the tank) pulls the flapper up. The flapper is what kept the water in the tank. The flush valve takes advantage of the open flapper to send water down into the bowl, flushing your waste down. Once the tank is empty, the flapper goes back down and the fill valve pumps fresh water into the tank. The fill valve connects to a small balloon (called a ballcock), which floats on top of the water to signal when the tank is full. If all this happens without any issues, you don’t need to repair anything.
Toilet Constantly Running
Unfortunately, not everything goes so smoothly every time. Repeated use frequently wears out the parts inside your toilet’s tank, and you need to repair them every now and then. One of the most common problems is when a toilet continues to run after the flush cycle is completed. This could mean your ballcock isn’t registering when the tank is full. It’s an easy fix, either by replacing the ballcock to a more modern float cup, or by a simple tightening which lowers the ballcock and sends the ‘full’ signal earlier on in the flush cycle. If the toilet continues to run, your flapper could have worn out and needs replacing, which as easy as popping a new one right on.
Another common but often panic-inducing problem is when your toilet handle is loose or not functional. This isn’t a cause for alarm! When a handle is loose, there’s one of two problems. It’s either just come slightly unscrewed, or it’s not connecting to the chain which lifts the flapper. The first is by far the easiest repair, as it just requires some tightening with a screwdriver. Keep in mind the threads go counterclockwise for security, and don’t over-tighten it. For a disconnected chain, reach into the tank (the water’s clean, don’t worry!) and pull the chain or rod back up to the hook on the inside of the handle. It should pop back in, but if you’re noticing there’s a missing link or a broken hook, you will need to replace the part. All toilet parts are readily available at any home repair store, and cost only a few dollars at the most.
The only toilet repair which might not come easy to the standard homeowner is a leak. There are two types of leaks: one from the tank to the bowl, and one from the bowl to the ground. The tank to the bowl is the same as a constant run caused by the flapper. If water is leaking into the bowl regularly when not being actively flushed, your flapper most likely isn’t forming a tight seal and needs replacement. If the bowl is leaking on the ground around its base, you might need to replace the rubber ring underneath the stem of the bowl. This does require moving the toilet which might seem like a big repair due to the weight but actually takes very little more than the tools you already own. If you’re nervous, don’t be afraid to call in an expert! We’re always here to help you, whether isn’t an emergency or not. Contact Sin City Plumbing today at (702)-431-6502 for immediate assistance.