If there’s one important element in our homes that we need to get fixed fast it’s the toilet. The modern miracle of indoor plumbing isn’t lost on any of us, but that doesn’t mean our toilets always remain perfectly functioning at all times.
Having to wait to bring a plumber out to take care of a problem can be excruciating and sometimes expensive. Luckily, not every problem requires professional toilet repair. There are many issues in the bathroom that you might be able to handle all on your own, with no need to call back-up.
What kind of problems can be solved with easy DIY fixes? Keep reading and we’ll walk you through some common toilet issues and their easy do-it-yourself solutions.
1. Bowl Is Overflowing
An unfortunate and often messy issue with modern toilets is the overflowing of the toilet bowl.
More likely than not, if your toilet is spilling water over the edges and onto the bathroom floor, it’s because some part of your commode is currently clogged. Luckily, the fix happens to be the easiest, simplest, and most common in all of toilet repair: simply grab the plunger.
The easiest way to clear a clog in the system is to plunge the toilet with a normal, run-of-the-mill plunger. All you need to do is insert the plunger into the toilet while it is full of water (and hopefully just water, but maybe not). Press the mouth of the plunger against the circular opening at the bottom of the bowl.
Form a seal with the plunger over this hole. Then, start a firm and rhythmic push and pull motion with the plunger. This will create a pressure vacuum within the drain and should force the clog to clear.
Give it a good ten or so pumps and then pull the plunger from the hole. If you were successful in your attempts, the water should instantly begin to drain down. If not, give it another ten pumps and see if that does the trick.
Don’t be TOO forceful with your push-and-pull motion, or you’ll end up tossing dirty water all over the bathroom– and likely over yourself as well.
2. A Weak Flush
When you first started using the toilet at your home, it had a powerful flush that swept everything down and out of your home. Now when you use your toilet, it has a weak flush that barely seems to get everything out of the way.
What happened and what can you do to fix it?
A slow emptying bowl is often a result of some clogged holes underneath the rim of the bowl. These holes allow water to flush in and push old water down the drain. If you have a curved piece of wire, you can use it to stick into these holes under the rim and clear debris away.
If you need help finding the hole, using a small mirror to see up under the rim can be a huge help. Anything that’s blocking these holes or the siphon jet should be cleared. With this stuff out of the way, you should find the flush is much stronger.
If this still doesn’t work, you might just need more water to enter your bowl to produce a proper flush. Look for the fill valve adjustment screw at the top of the fill valve, located in the tank.
Adjusting this screw one way or the other should increase the amount of water the floods into the bowl per flush. See if this added water helps solve the issue at hand.
3. The Phantom Flush
One problem that persistently plagues homeowners is that of the phantom flush. This is when one’s toilet bowl seems to flush or fill all on its own. Not only is this a big waste of water, but it can be distracting or annoying for many homeowners to have to deal with, especially if it happens in the middle of the night.
The usual cause for this fairly common issue is a slow leak between the tank and the bowl. This slow leak leads to the refilling of the bowl at random intervals.
How does one fix this on their own without calling in professional toilet repair? Usually one just needs to fix or replace the flapper. You can drain both the tank and the bowl of the toilet, clean the flapper seat and try again. If the flapper itself seems very worn or broken, it can be worth going to somewhere like Home Depot and getting a new one.
Replacing a flapper can be a fairly easy process, but you might want to call a professional if you don’t think you can do this exchange properly.
If this still doesn’t solve the problem, it might be worth looking into the refill tube of the toilet in question. If you hear a hissing sound when the toilet refills, it might be due to water coming in through the inlet valve. Make sure the refill tube hasn’t been pushed too far into the overflow tube (it should only be about a quarter of an inch past the rim of the other tube).
If realigning this tube still doesn’t solve the problem, you might want to call a professional.
DIY Toilet Repair Solutions
If you’re having an issue with your bathroom toilet, the above DIY toilet repair solutions might provide the assistance that you need. Getting your toilet back up and running is a big priority, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one.
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