If you notice some of these problems with your toilet, don’t wait too long to address them, or the damage will cause you more troubles than its worth.
A running toilet is not only an annoyance, it is also a major waste of water. If you hear water running constantly, it is an issue that can be easily identified. One common cause of running toilets is a flapper seal that does not seal tight. Sometimes it is a matter of adjusting it or the chain that controls it. Sometimes, it could be a valve leak. You can identify this by flushing the toilet and looking for a valve leak. This can be detected by lifting the toilet’s float arm while the tank is refilling and adjusting it so that the tank stops filling with about 1/2 to an inch away from the overflow pipe at the top. If the valve still leaks at this point, it should be replaced.
If your toilet rocks back and forth, you should quickly ensure it is fastened to the floor. The movement damages the wax seal and can lead to leaks, or worse, major damage, requiring repairs. You can steady a toilet by cutting plastic shims and slipping them underneath. This may require removing the caulk around the toilet’s perimeter. Don’t forget to caulk around the toilet once you are done and to fasten the bolts, but don’t turn them too snug, they can crack the toilet.
Loudly Banging Toilet Lid
Everyone jumps when a toilet seat slams. The slamming can degrade the integrity of the seat, and by vibration, the porcelain of the toilet too. You can purchase and attach slow close toilet seats. To avoid the clank of an opening toilet from hitting the tank, put a vinyl bumper on the lid.
Cracked Toilet Seat
One of the easiest toilet repairs out there is the replacement of the toilet seat. It’s just a matter of setting the seat and tightening the bolts. Removing the old seat beforehand is a different story. The older bolts are probably so corroded, that you cannot even unscrew the nuts. To remove these, first look at the bolts. If they are plastic, they are not corroded and should come off without issue. Pry the covers behind the toilet seat, and unscrew the bolt with a screwdriver or pliers, while holding the bottom part with another pair of pliers.
If the bolts holding the seat down are rusted, try lubricant to help them turn. If that doesn’t work, get a 1/16th drill bit and drill into the bolt where it meets the nut. If you drill 1/4 inch into the bolt, you will then be able to enlarge the hole with a larger drill bit (1/8 in), and an even bigger one after that (3/16). At this point, a socket wrench can be used to wrangle to bolt out. It should be looser due to the extra space you added with the drill. Keep enlarging the hole and attempting to break the bolt, then remove the parts.
If you live in a humid area and no AC, you may have noticed condensation from your toilet tank dripping down to the floor. This can damage your floors and rot them, so consider purchasing toilets with insulated tanks instead.
If your toilet is not properly vented, it can cause bubbling in your toilet bowl (not while flushing) or the water level may rise and fall sporadically. This tends to be more prevalent when another water-based appliance is operating in the house, as the drain is gasping for air. When improperly vented, water coming through drains will pull water from nearby P-traps, which the drain inside a toilet essentially is. The problem is that the drain is blocked or the vent needs to be cleaned.
A clogged and missing vent is a tough thing to deal with, as it usually requires breaking into walls to examine the drain system. This is something that will need the attention of a plumber.
Poorly Flushing Toilet
Often, plumbers forget to remove the temporary plug that is used for pressure testing the plumbing lines after a project. These are located on the top of the vent pipe on the roof of your home. Inspect the roof and see if you can find a plug covering the vent. Prod through it with a screwdriver and remove it from the vent pipe. If this is not the problem, the plumber who installed the toilet should be consulted to take care of the issue.
If you are finding that the toilet flushes slowly, it’s likely due to the rinse holes being clogged up with mineral deposits. Simply use a straightened coat hanger, to clear out some of the mineral deposits with a handheld mirror to assist in seeing the rinse holes.
The most common toilet issue is a clogged toilet. All you need here is a toilet plunger. Some plungers have a flange extension on the rubber end. This gives the plunger extra vitality to deliver a better, and more immediate pressure pull to get the best results. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of pumps to get the water to dispense into the bowl, or for the clog to come back up into the bowl, while the backed up water exits
Toilet Not Caulked
To prevent trapped odors from the leftover residue, simply use a tube of mold/mildew resistant caulking around the edges of the toilet on the floor. This will seal up the area nicely to protect it from moisture getting in.
Loose Toilet Seat
If the toilet seat is loose, simply remove the seal nuts and insert rubber bushings and seat stabilizers. If you loop the rubber band around the toilet seat, then center the stabilizers so they touch the inside of the bowl, you can drill a starter hole and secure the stabilizers with screws from a stabilizing kit. These can be found online at very low prices.
Corroded Flush Handle
If the flushing handle gets corroded, it will not work properly, irrespective of whether you pull the flap up or lower it. While the repair is simple, there is a trick to getting the flush handle out. The retaining nut located inside the tank is a reverse thread, so if you are facing the toilet the nut has to be turned to the left to loosen. You can then remove the old handle and lever, slide a new handle into place, and thread it on the retaining nut. Remember to tighten it by turning it to the right.
To prevent rusting of screws, which results in rust dust scattering on the toilet every time the seat comes down, all you have to do is dab some clear nail polish onto the screw heads. If the screws are already rusted, the holes should be filled with caulk.