Toilet Troubleshooting Tips for the Most Common Problems

Toilet troubleshooting—it’s probably not on your list of preferred leisure time activities. Nevertheless, when its got to be done, somebody’s got to do it. That might be you, or it may be a qualified local plumber if a few simple DIY tips don’t do the trick.  Here are some toilet troubleshooting pointers you can try yourself before you call for professional help, but keep the number handy.

Problem: Bowl Doesn’t Empty on the First Flush

Try this: Remove the tank cover and check for slack in the toilet in the flapper chain. Flush the toilet and observe the action of the flapper valve. The chain should pull the valve open all the way, far enough to allow the entire contents of the tank to flush into the bowl. If it doesn’t, take a few links of slack out of the chain and try again. Also, check to see if the tank is refilling all the way up the inscribed refill mark on the inside. If it’s not, adjust the screw on the float valve to raise the water level.

Problem: Phantom Flushes

Try This: These are those short flushes you hear (often in the middle of the night) even though no one’s using the toilet. The phantom behind these flushes may well be a leaky flapper valve. It’s an easy DIY fix. Buy one at a hardware center and follow the instructions.

Problem: Toilet Runs Continuously

Try This: Something may be blocking the flapper valve from closing, allowing water to flow into the bowl. Alternatively, a defective fill valve could be overfilling the tank and spilling water down the overflow tube. Take off the tank lid and examine the flapper. Make sure nothing’s stuck in the valve opening and obstructing proper sealing function. Then, check to see if the water entering the tank is running down the overflow tube. This indicates a defective fill valve. Get a plumber to handle it.

When toilet troubleshooting on your own fails, contact the plumbing pros at Beyer Boys.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Anna Yunak/Shutterstock”

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