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If there is something that every home is not spared from, it would have to be problems with toilets. Because it is one of the most frequently used piece of plumbing fixture, it is understandable that it will also suffer from potential problems. Let’s take a look how to solve some common toilet problems.

Phantom Flushes

What do we mean by phantom flushes? This is the instance wherein we see water trickling into the bowl even when no flushing has been done. It may be characterized by hearing your toilet tank spontaneously refilling similar to the way it does after somebody has flushed it.

This type of symptom is normally caused by an extremely slow leak coming from the tank and allowing the water to end up in the bowl. The most common culprit is a defective or worn out flapper or flapper seat.

Is this bad? To a certain extent, yes! Because aside from the wasted water, it can also jack up your water bill. How do you solve it? The first step is to completely drain the toilet tank and bowl. Before replacing the flapper seat, clean and check it out first. It is possible that dirt has been trapped and you don’t have to make a replacement. However, if the flapper seat is worn or damaged, then you need to replace it to stop the phantom flushes.

Toilet Problem

Source: Byron’s Plumbing

Trickling Water

This is different from phantom flushes in the sense that it comes with a sustained hissing sound that is produced by the water trickling from the supply line and into the tank. The most common source of the problem would be the refill tube, ballcock, float, or the inlet valve assembly.

The resolve the problem try to adjust the float first to check if it is causing the problem. If this does not solve it, ensure that the refill tube is extending about a fourth of an inch from the rim of the overflow tube. The last resort would be to replace the ballcock assembly to stop the water from trickling.

Slowly Draining Bowl

Also referred to as weak flush, this is commonly the result of clogged holes found under the rim of the bowl. The good thing with this is that it can almost always be solved by using a simple curved wire that goes into the space between the rim and the bowl.

Use the wire to gently poke all of the flush holes to remove the debris. A small mirror can help you see underneath the rim. While you’re at it, clear the siphon jet as well. Just make sure that you do not scratch the bowl in the process.

Toilet Problem

Clogging

Many homeowners are fearful of toilet clogs primarily because of the number of other problems it brings with it. However, there are many tools that can be used to ensure that clogged toilets are cleared up easily.

The most common would have to be the plunger, which has proven to be extremely effective against minor clogs. When done properly, the clogging would be cleared in virtually no time at all. For more stubborn clogs, a closet auger would be great. Simply insert the end into the drain hole and start twisting the handle to push it forward and dislodge any clogs in its path.

Seals

The standard bathroom toilet would have five seals at the very least. Each of these seals have the potential to leak due to a number of reasons like age and faulty installation for example. The largest seal would have to be the one that sits between the bowl and the tank. Any breakage in this area will result in a major leak.

To solve this type of problem, you would need to drain and remove the tank, and turn it upside down for easier access. Smaller seals like those in the mounting bolts or the base of the ballcock are usually replaced in the same manner. For these seals however, usually slight tightening would stop leaks.

Another seal to check would be the wax seal at the plastic flange. You will know that this seal has been broken if you see water underneath the base of the toilet. The entire toilet has to be removed to completely replace the wax seal. Other problems associated with seals would often require professional service.

If you are unsure of what to do in solving common toilet problems, your safest bet is to always call a licensed professional plumber.

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You know your toilet is leaking, but not sure where it is coming from?

Leaks in the toilet are leading reasons for a high water bill. It is easy to see if a faucet is dripping and get it fixed in time. But a slow and silent leak in the toilet is not always obvious and can lead to major leakage over a period of time without one realizing it. This not only leads to major water wastage but also a whopping water bill which can severely cripple your finances. An estimated 1 trillion gallon water leakage happens all over American annually while the monthly leakage figures can range from anywhere between 300 gallons to 60,000 gallons depending on whether it is a slow leak or a running toilet. (more…)

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