While it may not be something you talk about a lot or worry too much about, the toilet is one of the most important parts of a home. After all, everyone uses it. It works hard day in and day out. It stands up to a lot. It is no surprise then that the toilet breaks down every now and then.
Sometimes issues are easy to fix, but other times, they require the help of a professional. It is important to understand just what can go wrong with your toilet. This will allow you to react fast to a problem so it doesn’t become a major pain in the neck.
Know Your Toilet
A toilet is a fairly basic piece of equipment. It isn’t really that complex. It features the bowl, which has the seat and lid. Water goes into the bowl to assist with waste removal. Behind the bowl is the tank. The tank is where all the working parts of the toilet are. Inside the tank is a system that allows water to flow from the hook up to your home to the bowl. When you press the handle to flush, a flap lifts on the tank. The water inside the tank then goes into the bowl to create a flush. The tank then refills with water to wait for the next flush.
Knowing how each part works can be helpful in troubleshooting what may be wrong with your toilet. Here’s a look at some common problems.
Not flushing can actually be a few different problems depending on what exactly is happening. If pressing the handle is not producing any result, then the issue is probably in the tank with the flushing mechanisms. Chances are the chain came off and just needs to be reattached. Sometimes the handle can wear out so that it doesn’t grip like it should. When you press it, it is just moving around and not actually triggering the flush, so the handle mechanism may need to be replaced.
If the issue is nothing goes down when the toilet is flushed, then it is probably a drainage issue. Typically, you should be able to plunge and free the clog, but any clog should be checked out by a professional expert in toilet repair. Often a clog is something more severe than just a little backup.
Again, this issue is often due to a clog somewhere in the drain system. This is best left to a professional, who can explore your lines to see if there are more severe issues. Trying to push a clog through may lead to broken pipes or more serious issues, so any problem with drainage is best left to the professionals.
Your toilet, once flushed, should refill with water and then sit until it is flushed again. Any water running between flushes is an issue. You should not be hearing your toilet kick on at random times. It can indicate there is a leak somewhere in the system. If you are not sure you hear it running, then try this quick trick. Add some food coloring to the tank after it has filled after a flush. Go back and check it periodically. If the water in the bowl is colored or you see colored water around the toilet, then you likely have a leak.
Tank Not Refilling
The tank has to fill for the toilet to be able to flush. If it isn’t filling, there is an issue somewhere stopping the water. Double check the valve to be sure the water is turned on. If that is okay, then the flushing mechanism valve might be damaged. Typically, replacing it can fix this issue.
When it comes to toilet issues, you simply cannot ignore them. You cannot be without a working toilet. Luckily most problems are not hard to fix. In addition, it is usually a new part that can fix most issues, so they are also not too expensive. However, when you have a reoccurring issue or one you can’t figure out, you should always consult with a professional.