6 Common Toilet Problems to Keep an Eye Out For

Common Toilet Problems

If you own several toilets in your home, you’ve probably tried to fix a few toilet problems. A toilet comprises two major parts: the upper tank holding water and the bowl sitting on the floor. Knowing how the two parts work will help you fix any issue that may arise. In this article, you will find common toilet problems that you need to fix as soon as possible.

The good news is that many toilet issues are easy to fix. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the most common toilet problems. You’ll also learn how to fix some of the toilet issues by yourself and when you should hire pros like those offering toilet repairs in Missoula.

But first, let’s look at how the toilet tanks work to help you understand the common toilet issues we’ll discuss in this article. Keep reading to learn more.

Components of Toilet Tanks and How They Work

The tank’s primary function is to hold a specific amount of water temporarily. When you flush the toilet, the tank will release the stored water into the bowl and force out human waste into your home’s drain lines. So, what are the vital components in the tank?

The two essential components that make the tanks function properly are the flush valve and fill valve. When you remove the lid, you can locate the fill valve on the tank’s left side. There are four different types of fill valves, namely:

  • Diaphragm-type ballcock
  • Plunger-type ballcock 
  • Floatless fill valve
  • Float-cup fill valve

When the tank’s water level falls after flushing the toilet, the fill valve will automatically allow water to refill the tank. It will then shut off automatically when the water in the tank rises to a specific level.

The fill valve can close and open when the float cup or floating ball moves up and down, depending on the water level. To understand how the tank’s components work, you can remove the lid and observe what happens in the tank after flushing the toilet.

Common Toilet Problems to Look at and How to Fix Them

Now that you know how the toilet tank works, let’s discuss the common toilet problems you will most likely encounter in your home.

1. Clogged Toilet

When there’s a clog in your toilet, the bowl will up, but water will not drain into the drain line. Flushing non-biodegradable items, such as wipes, sanitary pads, and paper towels, can cause the toilet to block. You should avoid flushing such items in the toilet.

Thankfully, clogged toilets are easy to fix when you have a plunger. You need to plunge the toilet vigorously using the right type and size of the plunger. Alternatively, you can pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar into the toilet bowl to loosen the clog.

2. Running Toilets

Running toilets are a common problem in many households, and can result in wastage of water. Studies reveal that leaking toilets can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily if not repaired. You’ll end up spending a lot of money on water bills.

So, how do you know that your toilet is leaking? While detecting a running toilet can be quite tricky, you can quickly tell if your toilet is leaking by adding coloured liquid to the tank. If you see the colour in the water present in the bowl, know that the toilet leaks.

In many cases, toilets leak when the flappers are faulty. To fix the issue, you’ll have to tighten the flapper or replace it with a new one.

Running toilets can also occur when the tank’s water level is too high. It will cause the water to leak through the overflow tube, down into the tank. 

3. Damaged Fill Valves

As mentioned earlier, the fill valve regulates the flow of water into the tank. It ensures that water automatically fills up the tank up to a specific level after flushing.

If the fill valve is worn out or gets damaged, it can cause a lot of problems. The water levels in the tank can rise higher than normal. Inspect the fill valve to see its condition.

You can fix this issue by tightening the fill valve to prevent more water from entering the tank if full. If the valve is damaged completely, replace it with a new fill valve.

4. Faulty Flush Valves

The flush valve is a brass or plastic fitting located in the tank’s center and attached to the opening at the bottom of the tank. It works with a float ball, flapper, or rubber, which seats on the valve opening to hold water in the tank till you operate the flush handle.

When you depress the handle, a lift wire or chain connected to the handle will lift the flapper from the valve seat, allowing water to flush down into the toilet bowl. When emptied, the tank’s flapper will automatically seal the valve opening to allow water to refill the tank.

If the toilet’s flush valve is faulty, you should fix the problem by replacing the damaged flush valve with a new one. Make sure you get the right replacement.

5. Loose Flush Handles

Another toilet problem that is common in many homes is a loose flush handle. If loose or disconnected from other parts, the flush handles can interfere with the tank’s efficiency. Thankfully, it is one of the simplest issues to fix by yourself.

You can solve the problem by reconnecting the lift chain or lift wire connecting the lift arm and the flapper. Also, you need to adjust the mounting nut present in the tank. The nut has reverse threads that need counterclockwise rotation during tightening.

6. Wobbling Toilets

If your toilets are wobbly, you should anchor them securely even if there are no visible leaks on the floor. Most toilets usually wobble when not resting properly on the floor.

Your toilet can wobble if the toilet flange connecting the toilet with the drainpipe is slightly above the floor. It will raise the toilet, causing it to wobble.

So, how do you fix the problem? You can tighten the flange bolts to hold the toilet in position or inserting shims between the toilet and floor.

Final Words

When you detect any of the common toilet problems mentioned above, you should fix them as soon as possible. Failure to do that can worsen the issues, resulting in more devastating impacts. The good news is, you can solve most of the issues by yourself. However, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber if the DIY fixes don’t work for you.


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