Many homeowners find that their bathroom is one of the most used rooms in their home. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the toilet breaks every now and then. A broken toilet can cause major setbacks for everyone in the household. Even if you have more than one toilet in your home, you still have to walk out of your way to find the next bathroom.
If you have a broken toilet, you probably want it fixed as soon as possible. While unclogging a toilet is a simple fix, you may not be able to solve every toilet problem that easily.
Several issues can arise within the tank as this area contains several moving parts. You may encounter continuously running water or strange noises. Perhaps you have water accumulating at the base of your toilet.
So what problems require a professional plumber? Here are some instances when your toilet is past the DIY stage.
Water Near the Toilet Base
Do you see water accumulating around the base of your toilet? First, try to clean the area with a paper towel. Leave a few extra paper towels at the base and wait a couple hours. If you find the area wet after a while, you may have a worn wax seal around the toilet base.
To fix this, you will need a plumber to replace the wax ring.
If the paper towels aren’t wet when you return, check the connection between the tank and hose supply. Use the same paper towel method on this area and see if you can find the leak.
Watch the flush valve and supply hose on each end for any drips. You may need to replace the supply hose if you find the leak in that area. Otherwise, leaks at the bottom of the tank mean you need to replace the flush valve.
Slow Tank Refill
Toilet tanks that take a long time to refill could have a broken flush valve or leaking flapper. Remove the tank lid and flush the toilet. If you see the flush valve sticking or hear trickling water, you need a new flush valve.
You may also see water seeping through the flapper. This leak would make filling your tank with water take longer. The only way to resolve a flapper leak is to repair the seal. Call a plumber for both of these part replacements.
Irregular Running Water
A leaky flush valve in gravity-flow toilets can cause sporadically running water. Check that your toilet tank ball falls onto your valve seal. If it lands off-center or doesn’t connect at all, you need to replace the valve. To fix this problem, a plumber will need to remove the defective tank ball and then put the new valve in place.
Constant Running Water
The chain in your tank may cause water to run constantly. Make sure the chain can seal the hole at the bottom of the tank. If not, the flapper can’t drop low enough to seal the hole. Most chain issues don’t require a plumber. You can adjust the chain length yourself by unlatching the clip and decreasing or increasing the length.
Listen for a faint trickle of water. This sound may be coming from the ball cock. This ball connects to a float mount to shut the valve when water reaches the appropriate levels.
When the seal between the ball and float mount arm wears, the seal is broken and causes the tank water to run. To fix this, you will need a plumber to replace the rubber diaphragm seal.
The seal may just have dirt blocking the area. In this case, you can clean the area from sediment yourself. To clean the seal, simply unscrew the diaphragm screws and wipe away any residue.
The best rule of thumb to fix a broken toilet is to call a plumber. They can either come and fix the problem or walk you through the process to fix your toilet. In the end, getting professional guidance will save you from wasting your time and resources.