Toilets are a mundane part of your household; they don’t need much attention paid to them. That is, until the toilet starts leaking, running, thumping, or facing any other issue that calls for repair. Unfortunately, toilet issues aren’t always a simple repair, usually require the help of a local plumber. There are numerous different things that could go wrong with your toilet, and Jolly Plumbing is the company to call for any of those fixes you might need.
How Does a Toilet Work?
In order to understand what might go wrong with your toilet, it’s important to know how it functions. Here is a quick step by step of how your toilet works:
When you flush, a chain pulls up the flapper located at the bottom of the tank.
The “flapper” is a runner piece that seals the hole which connects the tank to the toilet bowl. It is also known as the flush valve.
When the toilet has finished flushing, the flapper lifts up and water rushed from the tank to the toilet bowl.
On your toilet tank, there is a “fill” valve that is connected to the water supply line on one side, and a float on the other. The “float” is a little balloon of air that sits on top of the water in the tank.
When you flush the water from the tank the float drops down. When the float drops down it open the fill valve and the tank fills with water.
Lastly, when the tank is filled to the desired level, the volume of the water lifts the float. When this happens, the fill valve is triggered to close, and the water stops flowing into the tank.
Common Toilet Problems
Toilet Bowl Leaking: If you are cleaning around the bottom of your toilet, and you notice water around the bottom of the toilet, this could be a sign that it’s leaking. The water that is leaking from the bottom of the toilet is most likely dirty water as well, meaning it was in the bowl when the toilet was used. It is very important to act fast on this type of issue because it has the potential to do major damage. A leak from the bottom of your toilet could damage the sub-floor, flooring, or even the ceilings below the toilet. Those types of repairs can cost thousands of dollars, so make sure you regularly check your toilet for leaks. The leaking could be for several reasons, but it’s best to call Jolly Plumbing and have it checked right away.
Toilet Bowl Draining Slowly: When you flush the toilet, pay attention to how it drains and refills. If your toilet is draining excessively slow and sounds like it’s having a tough time draining, this is a red flag. There could be something wrong within the toilet, or there could be a clog. Having a simple toilet clog is nothing to stress about, but if it’s happening often, your plumbing might have a more significant issue that needs to be looked at by an expert. Sometimes, there isn’t an actual clog directly at your toilet, but a clog downstream from where your toilet is located within your home. This is something that Jolly Plumbing is an expert in taking care of for our customers, and we would be happy to fix for you!
Toilet Bowl Overflowing: Instead of your toilet draining too slowly, your toilet overflows. The overflow could happen when you flush, or when it refills after being flushed. When your toilet overflows when you flush, this could mean that there is a clog, which is something that needs to get fixed right away before your home sustains serious water damage. Having a toilet overflow is possibly one of the worst parts about toilet repair, because it makes the biggest mess. When your toilet overflows, you need to turn off the water supply valve that is located at the base of the toilet. Make sure you get it turned off so you can prevent more water flow to the area, thus prevent further damage. The next step is to call your local plumber. A toilet that is repeatedly overflowing most likely has a clog somewhere along the pipeline—this is an issue that you won’t be able to see and diagnose yourself.
Running Water Constantly: Everyone knows that annoying sound of hearing your toilet run from the other room. Sometimes it’s an easy jiggle of the toilet handle to stop it from running, but sometimes there is a more pressing issue. Some common causes of your toilet running are a long flapper chain, a deteriorating flapper, and/or your float level could be too high. These causes typically have a simple fix, cut the chain shorter, get a new flapper, or adjust the float level; however, if these don’t work you may be facing a more significant issue. There could be components within your toilet or plumbing that are deteriorating that you cannot see without professional equipment.
If you are experiencing any of these issues, give Jolly Plumbing a call. We have over 60 years of experience in fixing and replacing toilets, and we guarantee we can solve your plumbing issue. When you are facing a toilet problem it can really ruin your day. That’s why we make it a promise to get there quickly and get you back up and running in no time. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call, even if you have questions about your toilet or any plumbing need you may have.
Toilet Repair Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most commonly replaced toilet parts?
All toilets are a little different, so it depends on the model you have. However, the flapper and fill valve are the parts that are most exposed to the water and seem to be the parts that wear out the quickest.
How long 'should' the parts inside of my toilet last?
On an average basis, toilet parts last around 4-5 years. However, many factors can either increase your parts' lifespan, such as toilet bowl cleaners that isolate cleanser from the toilet's internal workings or decrease your parts' lifespan, such as hard or heavily chlorinated water.
Why does my toilet continue to run after flushing?
If your toilet continues to run after you have flushed, try giggling the handle. If this works, it probably means that the chain controlling the flapper is too long. You want this chain to be as snug as possible, or else it can fall behind the flapper preventing it from closing correctly.
What is causing my toilet to flush when no one is around?
If you suddenly hear your toilet bowl flush and you know it wasn't done by a human, this is commonly known as "ghost-flushing". It doesn't mean you have a ghost in your house; instead, you probably have a flapper that is going bad.
This phenomenon happens when the toilet tank is refilling due to loss of water through the flapper. When your flapper no longer creating a watertight seal, the water starts leaking into the bowl. After enough water has leaked past the flapper, the float arm will drop to a level where the fill valve will activate and replenish the tank's water. Therefore, the toilet is not flushing; instead, the tank is just refilling.
An excellent way to test this theory is to add a little food coloring to your tank; if you see that the color has leaked into your bowl, then you know you have a bad flapper, and it needs replacing.
If you don't be grateful that you have a considerate ghost that flushes after he is done :)
Jolly Plumbing is your local plumbing and heating company. We promise to offer you upstanding customer service, experienced workers, and a job done right the first time. We offer affordable plumbing services to both residential and commercial sites, so no matter the size of your job, we can handle it. Contact Jolly Plumbing today at 719-473-8545 for any of your plumbing problems.