When a toilet starts acting funny there aren’t that many things that can go wrong. A little expertise and a few dollars can fix many common problems with a household toilet.
The Ways of a Toilet
Before a person can fix a toilet, it is important to know a little about how they work. In the back of the toilet there is a float that controls the water level in the tank. There is a bar on the back of the handle that connects to a plug in the bottom of the tank. When the toilet is flushed, the bar lifts the plug and lets the water out. The water slowly runs back into the toilet through the refill valve and when the floating ball levels out it stops. These mechanisms are the basis for most home toilet repair since they are ease to get to and simple to fix.
Five Simple Toilet Fixes
Most of these require that you take the lid off the toilet tank. Remember that the water in the tank is clean but may splash a little if you flush the toilet with the top off.
- Loose Handle – Look at the back of the handle inside the tank. There should be a small screw that holds the handle on. Look over the connection before you tighten it. If there are any obvious cracks or wear spots the handle should be replaced. If the back of the handle is in good shape just tighten the screw and it should be fine.
- Loud Flush – If the toilet sounds very loud after a flush the water pressure is likely too high. Most toilets have a water valve under the tank in the back. Turn down the pressure and it should quiet down.
- Water in the Float Ball – The floating ball in the back of the toilet is like a hard-shelled balloon. Sitting in the cold water in the back of a toilet can cause the outer shell to break down and let in water. If this happens, the float will get too heavy and needs to be replaced.
- Splashing or Running Water Sounds – In the back of the toilet there is a pipe that connects directly to the bowl called the overflow pipe. There should be a tube that runs down into it from the refill valve called the refill tube. If the tube comes out of the pipe, the water won’t refill the bowl properly. The water has to raise high enough in the tank to run down the overflow pipe. This running water causes the noise and is easy to fix by simply putting the tube back into the pipe.
- Toilet Doesn’t Flush – If you push the handle and nothing happens then the chain that connects the handle to the plug at the bottom of the tank has likely come loose. Reconnect the two parts and the toilet will flush again.
Don’t be afraid to repair a toilet
Many people don’t like to deal with toilets because they think they are dirty or the won’t understand what’s wrong. In reality, toilets are pretty simple machines. With a little bit of information it is easy to fix minor problems without calling a plumber.