How to Troubleshoot Common Toilet Problems

A hand pressing down on a toilet handle.

There are no if, ands, or buts about it: toilet problems are inconvenient. Fortunately, learning how to fix toilet problems isn’t always as difficult as some homeowners might think it will be.

You don’t have to be a plumbing expert to troubleshoot these issues. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that repairing some of the most common toilet problems shouldn’t take more than an hour in most cases.

Of course, you should always take the proper precautions before jumping into any plumbing project. For example, some repairs — such as replacing the fill — will require you to first turn off the water supply. Now that you have safety and caution in mind, let’s go over how to troubleshoot common toilet problems.

Toilet Runs Constantly

When discussing how to troubleshoot common toilet problems, it’s impossible not to start with a running toilet. As you probably know, toilets have a very straightforward job. The toilet tank holds a specific amount of water, and when you flush, the water from the tank will dispense into the bowl. However, you might experience an issue where the toilet won’t stop running.

While this problem can be noisy and frustrating, it can also waste a great deal of water. It’s understandable that you want to find a solution as quickly as possible.

Flapper Problems

The particular issue is usually caused by a faulty or improperly-seated flapper. If the flapper is worn or damaged, you’ll want to replace this part. However, if you suspect that the flapper is simply dirty, you can try soaking it in a mixture of water and vinegar. Once you’ve let the flapper soak for some time, it’s best to scrub off any remaining debris with a brush.

High Water Level

It’s also possible that the water level in the tank is higher than it should be. If this is the case, water will constantly trickle over the top of the overflow tube. You can adjust the water level so that it is about an inch or an inch and a half below the overflow tube.

Ghost Flushing

Although it’s not the exact same issue, homeowners may find that their toilet “flushes” on its own — even when it hasn’t been used. This phenomenon is known as “ghost flushing.”

This complication is usually the result of an improperly-installed refill tube. When performing an inspection, you want to check to see if the refill tube is inserted into the overflow tube. If it is, you’ll want to remove the refill tube from the overflow tube right away. You also might need to replace the flush valve if the tip above doesn’t work.

Toilet Tank Won’t Fill With Water

Is your tank not refilling with water when you flush the toilet? There are several potential reasons why this dilemma could occur. First, check the fill valve. You can perform an inspection by removing the tank lid; once you do this, it should be easy to see if the fill valve has any visible damage or has moved in any way.

When learning how to fix toilet problems, it’s important to note that damaged components can lead to various types of issues. You never know what you might encounter. If the tank doesn’t fill, you could be dealing with a damaged flapper — in which case, you’ll want to replace the flapper altogether. When this is the case, you’ll want to replace the flapper altogether. While it may take some troubleshooting, tackling one of these repairs or replacements can hopefully help get your tank filled once again.

Low Toilet Bowl Water Level

If your toilet bowl water level is lower than normal, you could be facing many different problems. For starters, you might have a clog on your hands. Blockages of all sizes — partial and full — can make it difficult for the water in the toilet bowl to rise to the normal level. Fortunately, you can make quick work of this blockage with a plunger.

When discussing how to troubleshoot common toilet problems, it’s impossible not to mention regular wear and tear. There’s a chance that the toilet bowl itself has cracked, and when this happens, you’ll have one of two options: seal the crack or replace the bowl. The choice you make will probably depend on the extent of the damage.

An Insufficient Flush

Does your toilet appear to be working properly, but you’ve noticed a weak flush? As you can probably imagine, a faulty toilet handle can sometimes lead to poor and incomplete flushes. You might need to retighten the handle if it has become loose.

You might also want to check that the flapper has the right amount of slack. If there’s too much slack, the flapper will close too soon and make it difficult for water to flow from the tank into the bowl. Fortunately, you can adjust the flapper so that it has just the right amount of slack. If you don’t feel comfortable tackling this repair, however, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional.

As you continue to learn how to fix toilet problems, you will find that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You may have to try a variety of different solutions before you identify and fix the root of the problem.

Water Leaks at the Toilet’s Base

Toilet leaks are no small matter. Any leak, no matter how small, can lead to costly water damage inside your home. If you’ve noticed water leaking at the base of your toilet, it’s understandable if you’re feeling distressed.

In some instances, you might only have to replace the wax ring in the base of the toilet. This wax ring creates an air-tight seal that prevents water and foul sewer odors from getting into your bathroom.

Although we are discussing how to troubleshoot common toilet problems, you might find that the best solution is to remove the toilet and schedule a replacement. Our Toronto toilet installation experts will help you find a replacement that you can count on.

Address Toilet Problems Fast With the Experts

Now that you know how to fix toilet problems, you can get to work diagnosing and fixing the complication at hand! Of course, not every issue is as simple as replacing the toilet seat or clearing a blockage. It can be difficult — and intimidating — to handle larger repairs all by yourself.
The experts at Same Day Plumbing are here to help with your toilet repairs. We have seen and fixed it all; no clogged or malfunctioning toilet is beyond our level of expertise. Rest assured that we have the tools and experience to assist you, whether you need a toilet service or drain pipe cleaning in Toronto.