Tips On Solving Toilet Problems
August 21, 2018
Seals That Leak
A common toilet contains at most five seals that can start leaking. The solution is to find the seals that are leaking and either tighten or replace them. The largest seal is between the tank and the bowl. If this seal were to break, every time a flush occurred water would come out from underneath the tank. To replace this seal all you would have to do is drain and remove the tank, turn the tank with the bottom facing up for better access, remove the seal and replace it with a new one. There are smaller seals at the mounting bolts and at the bottom of the ballcock. If broken, these will cause smaller leaks. Usually a good tightening is all it takes but we recommend to replace them to be on the safe side.
The last seal is a wax seal on a flange that sits underneath the toilet's base. If this seal breaks, water will leak from the the bottom of the toilet causing damage to the floor. Applying caulk around the base without repairing the leak will cause more problems. This method only traps the water allowing it to accumulate and cause floor damage faster. To repair the seal, you'll need to remove the toilet completely and replace the wax seal. Note, if the flange is damaged, you will need to contact a professional plumber to have it replaced.
A Pesky Clog
The most common problem is a clogged toilet. There are a variety of tools that can help you clear a clog. A plunger is the most commonly used for minor clogs. Insert the plunger into the toilet's bowl and pump with force. Slowly lift the plunger to see if the clog has been cleared. Repeat as needed.
For more stubborn clogs, use a tool called a closet auger. Insert the auger into the drain hole and twist the handle while you apply a downward force to the handle. Make sure not to scratch the bowl of the toilet.
Bowl Empties Slowly
Also called a weak flush, this issue is caused by clogged holes underneath the rim of the toilet's bowl. Use a piece of wire to poke each flush hole gently. This will clear out any debris residing inside. If needed, use the wire to clear debris from the siphon jet at the bottom of the drain.
Water That Trickles Into Tank
If a hissing sound is coming from your toilet, it is most likely the supply line trickling water into the tank. The parts you want to check are the float, the refill tube and the ballcock or inlet-valve assembly. The hissing sound usually comes from water going through the inlet valve. Check to see if the float is stuck or needs adjustment. After that, check if the refill tube is inserted too far inside the overflow tube. This should be 1/4" below the rim of the overflow tube. If this doesn't correct the issue, you will most likely need to replace the ballcock assembly.
Water That Trickles Into Bowl or "Ghost Flushes"
Sometimes you will hear your toilet refill as if someone has just flushed it. Plumbers call this a ghost flush because the toilet cuts on and off by itself or runs intermittently. A very slow leak from the tank to the bowl is the cause. The leak is caused by a bad flapper or a bad flapper seat. First drain the tank then check to see if the flapper seat has any debris around it. Clean off as much as possible. It is a good idea to go ahead a replace the flapper if it is worn or damaged.
Contact the professionals at Marquez Plumbing to ensure that your toilets do not fail on you when you need them the most.