The average person uses a toilet about 6 to 8 times each day. That’s about 2500 times each year.
With so much use, you know it’s only a matter of time before your toilet will need some basic repairs. But does that mean you need to call a plumber for every little thing? Not necessarily.
Here are a few toilet repair tasks you can easily handle on your own and a few that should ALWAYS get fixed by the pros.
1. Basic Clogs
How many times have you accidentally put too much toilet paper into the toilet bowl and tried to flush it anyway? If you’re like most homeowners, the answer is “too many times to count.”
But you don’t have to rush out and call a plumber for a simple clog. Instead, just reach for the plunger.
Cover the hole in the bowl with the plunger and push down. If it’s sealed properly, you should feel resistance when you pull back up. This creates suction and helps remove the clog so water can flow through the line.
Keep plunging until the toilet drains on its own. Then, flush again. It should work as normal.
2. Toilets That Keep Running
Believe it or not, your toilet makes up about 30 percent of your average daily water use in your home. When your toilet keeps running, it blows through gallons of extra water each day.
Though it might seem like a major fix, it’s actually easy to do on your own. Remove the cover of the toilet tank and flush the toilet. Then, pull up on the toilet float arm.
This will cause the flapper valve to fall into place and seal off the water supply. But if it’s damaged, the water will keep running and you’ll need to replace the flapper valve. Your local hardware store will have the right part.
3. Leaks Around Water Supply Lines
Water reaches your toilet from dedicated water supply lines often located at the back of your toilet. Under normal conditions, these connections are tight. But over time, the seals can get loose.
If you notice water dripping down the line or small puddles collecting along the back of the toilet, tighten the water supply connections. All you’ll need is a wrench or a sturdy pair of pliers.
Tighten the connection clockwise. If the water stops dripping, your toilet will be good to go.
4. Replacing Toilet Seats
Toilet seats are one of the most used seats in the house. And that means they see a lot of wear and tear.
The materials can get discolored over time and the hinges often crack after repeated use. But that doesn’t mean you need to replace the entire toilet—all you have to do is replace the seat.
Head to your local hardware store and pick up a new seat. Then, grab a set of pliers or an adjustable wrench and remove the old one yourself.
You’ll need to hold the nut on the underside of the toilet seat in place with one hand while loosening the bolt from the top. Once done, you’ll be able to slide the seat off and install the new one.
5. Loose Flush Handles
The flush handle is what controls the flush valve inside the toilet. But sometimes, it feels loose or just won’t catch at all.
Don’t panic—the repair is simple. You just have to remove the tank cover and inspect the chain that attaches the flush handle to the flush valve.
The chain can slip off after repeated flushes. If this is the case, reach into the tank and grab the chain. Then, reattach it to the flush handle.
When to Call the Toilet Repair Pros
Your home’s plumbing is incredibly complex and, sometimes, DIY repairs just aren’t enough to fix the problem. Worse, trying to make repairs on your own could make the problem worse. It all depends on the type of repairs you have.
Here are three situations where you should always hire a professional.
1. Bubbling Toilet Bowl
When your plumbing is working properly, it shouldn’t make strange noises. But if you hear something that sounds like air bubbles coming up into your toilet bowl, it’s time to call a professional. You likely have a clogged sewer main.
The clog is too deep into the system for you to take care of by plunging. Only a plumber will be able to remove the clog and prevent a sewer backup from happening in your bathroom.
2. Leaks Around the Base
Older toilets aren’t always properly sealed at the base. Over time, water can seep through cracks in the porcelain or through the water supply lines down into the base of the toilet.
The result is a visible puddle or condensation on your floor.
If you notice this, call your plumber immediately. The damage isn’t always a simple fix and you may need to repair the floor around the toilet to completely fix the problem.
An experienced plumber will be able to find the cause of the leak and take care of your toilet repairs quickly.
3. Clogs Due to a Foreign Object
The only thing you should be flushing down the toilet is toilet paper. Anything else can get stuck in your pipes and cause major issues.
If you’ve flushed items like cotton balls or cotton swabs, or you saw your child drop a handful of crayons into the toilet bowl, call your plumber.
Plunging alone may not be able to remove the clog and the items may do damage to the pipes themselves. Your plumber can assess the condition of your pipes and make sure the clog gets removed safely.
DIY toilet repair is possible. But that doesn’t mean you have to try to fix the problem before you call a professional.
If you’re worried about the way your toilet flushes or just don’t feel up to trying to fix the damage yourself, don’t. Contact us today and make an appointment.