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Easy Toilet Troubleshooting | Problems & Solutions

Easy Toilet Troubleshooting | Problems & Solutions

February 2, 2018

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When you flush the toilet, a trip lever lifts the chain, which is connected to the rubber flange at the bottom of the tank. When the stopper lifts up, water in the tank rushes into the bowl via flush passages. Once the tank empties, the ball float trips the ballcock assembly to allow water to refill the tank. As the water level rises, so does the ball float, until it gets high enough to shut off the flow of water. If the water fails to shut off, the overflow tube drains the water out. Now that you know the basics of how your toilet functions, here are instructions for troubleshooting common toilet problems.

Troubleshooting Common Toilet Problems

Remember! whenever working on toilet repairs, first turn off the water at the individual shut-off valve. Flush the toilet and make sure the tank is empty before proceeding.

Noisy Tank

If you hear a loud whine or whistling as the toilet tank refills after a flush, you may have a defective ballcock assembly or restricted water flow.

First, try adjusting the toilet shut-off valve. Sometimes, restricted water flow causes loud toilet noises. If that doesn’t work, oil the trip lever or replace the ballcock washers.

Running/Leaking Toilet

If you hear running water at night, it may be your toilet. You can test if your toilet is running by placing a few drops of food dye into the tank and then waiting to see if it shows up in the bowl. If you see the food dye color in the bowl after within 15 minutes or so, your toilet is leaking.

There are several reasons why your toilet may be leaking:

  • Rubber flapper isn’t creating a seal – Either adjust the stopper guide rod, adjust the chain, or replace the flapper. Make sure there is not tension in the chain.
  • Waterlogged ball float – If there is water in the float ball, replace it.
  • Corroded flush valve seat – Try scouring a rough valve seat with 150-grit sandpaper if it’s plastic and fine steel wool for anything else. If the sealant ring looks damage, replace it.
  • Cracked overflow tube – Replace the overflow tube or install a new valve assembly.
  • Ballcock valve won’t shut off – Oil the trip lever and replace ballcock washer, but if that doesn’t work replace the entire ballcock assembly.
Clogged Toilet

If your toilet is clogged, use a plunger or toilet auger. The best plungers for toilets are the ones with an extra rubber flap, called a flange plunger.

To use a toilet auger (aka closet auger), insert it into the toilet until it reaches the clog. Then, turn the handle to break up the clog.

Sweating Tank

Tank sweating normally occurs in the summer due to the condensation of moist air onto the surface of the cold toilet bowl. One way to get rid of tank sweating is to insulate the inside of the tank. Another solution would be to install a tempering valve that mixes in hot water with cold. This solution, however, requires professional service.

If you are having trouble troubleshooting or fixing your toilet problems, contact the professional plumbers at Fix-It 24/7 Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric.

We provide expert, on-time plumbing services for Boulder and the entire Denver Metro Area, including drain repair, repiping, toilet replacements, leak detection, and more!

Contact Fix-It 24/7 at (303) 214-0277 or schedule service online. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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