Nobody loves a broken toilet. When something goes wrong, our first reaction is to get it fixed right away, but calling a plumber is often unnecessary. Read up on these simple steps for troubleshooting toilet problems before you reach for the phone to call your plumber.
Clogged and Overflowing
This is probably the most common problem, and the scariest! First off, to stop the water from overflowing after an attempted flush, simply reach into the tank and prop up the fill valve. This will stop the flow of water before the nastiness hits your floor and potentially causes damage.
Then it’s time to use the plunger, which most of us have handy, but many don’t know exactly how to use. Place the plunger all the way down in the bowl, making a good seal with the hole at the bottom, and then plunge all the way up and down, keeping the seal intact—you will feel or hear the difference when the toilet has become unclogged. Try flushing again at this point.
Constant Running and “Phantom Flushing”
The flapper valve is probably not sealing properly if your toilet sounds like it’s constantly filling. Make sure there is nothing obvious keeping the valve up,such as a water saving device in the tank, and then clean the valve of mineral deposits. Finally, check the chain to see if it is too short and is holding the flapper valve up. Fixing or replacing the valve can also cure the “phantom flush,” when your toilet flushes itself, seemingly at random.
When to Call the Plumber
There comes a time when troubleshooting toilet problems on your own isn’t enough, and it’s time to call in the professionals. These include:
- When backed up or overflowing water is severe enough that it’s damaging the house’s structure.
- When raw sewage is entering the home.
- When you can’t find the source of the leak.
For more expert advice on troubleshooting toilet problems, as well as HVAC and other plumbing services, contact Geisel today. We’ve been faithfully serving greater Cleveland and the surrounding areas for over 75 years.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Africa Studio/Shutterstock”