Banner

What are the Most Common Maintenance Problems Related to Toilets?

It’s easy to forget about toilet maintenance — until your toilet starts malfunctioning. That’s always a frustrating situation! The good news is that toilet maintenance is relatively simple, so you can easily prevent serious toilet problems. Before you call emergency plumbing services to your Hendersonville home, read on to learn the most common maintenance issues for toilets and how to avoid them.

The toilet is clogged or flushing slowly

A clogged toilet is one of the most common — and annoying — household problems. It’s usually caused by flushing items besides toilet paper and waste, such as cigarette butts, feminine care products, etc. To prevent clogs, don’t flush trash down the toilet. Even so-called flushable wipes can cause clogs because they don’t break down quickly.

If your toilet is clogged, you may not need to call your local Hendersonville NC plumbers just yet. Try to unclog it yourself with a plunger. Choose one with an extended flange to force water down the pipes. This can help with simple clogs trapped in the S-bend.

For advanced unclogging, invest in a drain snake aka a toilet auger. This tool goes further into the pipes and uses vibrations to loosen the clog.

Water trickles into the toilet bowl

Have you noticed that your bowl’s water level seems high? Ever hear it refilling when no one has flushed it? That’s a phantom flush — but don’t worry, your toilet isn’t haunted. This tends to happen when the flapper degrades, causing water to trickle from the tank into the bowl.

Water leaks onto the floor around the toilet

No one likes a soggy floor around the toilet. It’s unpleasant and can contribute to mold and mildew. If you frequently find wet spots at the base of your toilet, there is likely a seal that’s leaking. Check all the pipes and caps on the toilet. You can replace any damaged seals or use a plumber’s putty as a stopgap.

The toilet bowl is slow to drain

Does the water in the toilet bowl take forever to drain when you flush? You may not need to call the Hendersonville, NC plumbers yet — often, slow drainage is caused by clogs in the bowl itself. This is called a weak flush, and it’s most likely to happen when the drainage holes under the rim get clogged. Simply use a wire hanger to pull out the clog

The toilet doesn’t flush well

The main function of a toilet is to flush away waste, so you want to ensure it can flush easily. If you find that it’s hard to trigger a flush, check the handle and flapper. These two components must be in good shape to work correctly. A loose handle can’t sufficiently pull up the flapper.

If the toilet doesn’t flush at all, check to see if the handle has detached from the flapper. It’s an easy fix that saves you from calling emergency plumbing services!

If you can’t move the handle itself, mineral deposits or rust may have built up around it. A bit of vinegar can loosen the bolt and get the handle moving again. Hard water makes this problem more likely, so you may wish to invest in a water softener.

Water continues to run after flushing

As mentioned above, an overfilled bowl could be due to a damaged flapper. However, if you notice that the running water happens after a flush, it’s likely an issue with the water level. Inside the tank, the refill valve determines the level at which the toilet stops refilling. Older toilets use a ballcock, which is a floating ball that sets the level. Newer models have a float cup that does the same thing. In any case, you can lower the float to prevent overfilling the bowl.

Bad smells

If your bathroom constantly reeks and no one has made a “deposit” recently, check the caulk around the base of the toilet. Damaged or missing caulk allows water and odors to get trapped under the toilet. This is also a recipe for mold and mildew. Also, if the toilet is not firmly anchored to the floor, it may rock back and forth, which is a whole other problem. To fix it, trim away any damaged caulk and re-seal the toilet to the floor.

Wrapping Up

You can fix many simple toilet issues yourself. Regular maintenance can prevent problems before they happen. That said, toilet parts do degrade over time. Keep an eye on the entire toilet fixture and know when to replace parts or seek professional help.

If the problem gets severe or multiple fixtures are failing simultaneously, it’s a good idea to call emergency plumbing services. Leaks can cause water damage to your floor, while pipe damage can lead to costly repairs. If the tips above don’t help, it’s time to call the plumbers. Hendersonville, NC homeowners should reach out to Four Season Plumbing for quick, expert repair.

What are the Most Common Maintenance Problems Related to Toilets
Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.