The majority of toilet problems are not that complex and are caused by very simple things going wrong. While it is easier to have someone to fix your issue without understanding completely what caused it, having a little information on what causes these problems can’t hurt. Here’s 4 of the most common causes of toilet troubles:

1. Flapper Not Working Properly

The flapper is the part in your flush tank that’s connected to the chain, and gets lifted up when the flush handle is pushed down from the outside. As long as no one’s flushing, the flapper sits firmly on the outlet that allows water to go out from the tank to the toilet bowl. When water seems to be constantly flowing into the toilet bowl even when no one’s flushing, there’s most likely something wrong with the flapper. Perhaps the chain attached to it keeps getting stuck somewhere, or some of the parts attached to the flapper are gone/loose and need fixing. Taking a good look at the flapper while the toilet is being flushed will help.

2. Valve and Float Trouble

The valve and float are also parts that sit in the tank. They regulate the water level in the tank, so that an overflowing tank or a tank that does not fill would most likely be caused by the valve and float not working properly (or flapper trouble). If the valve is not fully open, this could cause the tank not to fill high enough, not allowing the flapper to fully close the outlet to the toilet bowl. This could cause the toilet to run. This issue can also happen when the float is not at the right height. If it is too low, this again does not allow the tank to fill enough, causing the toilet to run. And if it is too high, the pressure could lead to leakage through the flapper. These are problems that can be easily fixed by adjusting the valve or level of the float.

3. Loose Bolts at the Back of Toilet Seat

If your toilet seat keeps shifting under you, it’s probably because the bolts that attach the seat to the toilet bowl have gone loose. While tightening them won’t take you more than a few minutes, this fix will last you a long time. Sometimes, when the bolts are tight enough, it could also help to install rubber bushings and seat stabilizers to help your seat stay firm. At other times, a seat might get unstable from one or more stabilizers falling off, causing the seat to be unbalanced. At this point, it might be best to replace the seat.

4. Clogging

When your toilet is clogged, water from the flush will fill up the toilet bowl and take longer time than usual to drain. How long it takes to slowly drain is a fair indicator of how badly clogged your toilet is. While a plunger or plumbing snake may solve the problem most of the time, there are times when you may have to take the whole toilet out.

While these are some of the most common toilet problems, occasionally the problems extend beyond your actual toilet and sometimes even your bathroom, which is when it is advisable to seek expert help.

Let’s be honest: Nobody thinks about their plumbing and heating until there’s a problem.

What most people don’t realize is that most of those problems can be anticipated and often avoided with regular maintenance – usually at a far lower cost than a repair or replacement.

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