Constantly running, clogged, or leaky toilets never make for a fun scenario. Knowing how to diagnose the root causes of these problems will help you resolve them quickly and inexpensively. To start, let’s list some common toilet issues:
- Leaking, either around the base or in the tank.
- Constant running or double flushing
We’ll look at the probable causes for each of these and how to fix them.
There are two areas where your toilet may be leaking: around the base, or between the flapper (at the base of the tank) and the drain. One way to find the source of a leak is by using red food coloring.
Start by flushing the toilet and wiping the area around the base clean. Wait for the tank to refill, then add a teaspoon of food coloring. Flush and wait an hour. Once time is up, use a dry paper towel to wipe around the base. If it comes away with the food coloring, your leak is around the base. You probably need to replace the wax ring or flange.
If it’s not at the base, repeat the experiment with the food coloring, except don’t flush this time. Wait an hour, and then check the toilet bowl. If the water has turned red, you probably have a warped or damaged flapper that is allowing the tank to drain. Replacing the flapper can easily fix this problem.
If you notice that your toilet is constantly running, you may have a problem with the flapper or drain seat. If those appear to be undamaged, check the fill valve. It may have sediment buildup that’s keeping it from sealing properly. The seal itself might also be damaged. That can be checked by removing the fill valve cap.
If neither the flapper nor the fill valve needs fixing, then your tank’s water level might be too high. To lower the water level, adjust the floater cup on the fill valve so that it sits lower in the tank.
The tank lever could also be an issue. Replacing it can keep it from sticking in place and holding the flapper open.
The most common problem a toilet will face is clogging. Often, this can be fixed by using a flanged plunger. If that doesn’t solve it, use a plumber’s augur or snake. Simply insert the spring into the toilet bowl drain and work it until the clog is clear.
If you’re facing persistent problems with your toilet, calling a plumbing expert can help set things in order again. If you have questions or need plumbing repairs, contact Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning today.