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What are the Most Common Toilet Problems?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 16, 2024
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Some of the most common toilet problems are slow or sluggish plumbing that affects the speed of the flush, an overflowing toilet, and a tank that does not fill to the adequate water level. Dripping water in the toilet tank is another of the common toilet problems many people encounter in the home. There are various other toilet problems that are relatively common, including a loss of water level. This may occur gradually over minutes or hours.

Diagnosing toilet problems is typically not the biggest issue for many individuals, but finding an effective solution often is. Understanding the components of the toilet tank and how they work can help to understand common toilet problems should they occur. For instance, a defective or worn fill valve may cause toilet problems that prevent water from filling the tank. Toilet valve repair can help correct the problem.

One of the most common toilet problems is a toilet that constantly runs. This may be due to a torn rubberized valve, which is supposed to lie flat at the bottom of the tank. Replacing this valve often helps to solve the problem and prevent loss of water. When the flapper is allowed to form a tight seal, running water will be eliminated.

A broken lift chain or a chain that has become tangled or loose can cause toilet problems. If a lift chain is defective, the toilet will not flush. This is a common problem that is easily corrected.

Another problem with toilets occurs when the flush handle becomes cracked or broken. Without a functional handle, the toilet will not flush. Flush handles, however, are easily replaced at most large hardware or home improvement stores. A new handle is inexpensive and can be installed easily by most individuals.

Leaking toilets can be another problem in many bathrooms. This may leave water condensation along the tank and toilet bowl, as well as a puddle of water on the floor. Some plumbers fix this problem by installing temperator valves, and this should normally be done by a professional or someone with experience in plumbing. Alternately, using a shallow pan to catch the water before it accumulates on the floor may provide a temporary solution.

Many households have faced the problem of the toilet overflowing and becoming clogged. Often this toilet problem will be corrected with the help of a household tool known as a plunger. If this doesn't successfully unclog the toilet, flushing repeatedly will only increase the water level and cause continuous flooding and overflowing. It's safer to repeat the steps of forceful plunging and wait to see if the water level decreases before flushing again. An auger, sometimes referred to as a toilet snake, may be more helpful for fixing stubborn clogs.

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Discussion Comments
By Reminiscence — On Mar 08, 2014

One of the easiest toilet-related repair jobs is replacing a toilet seat, but I had a really tough time with it last year. Different manufacturers have different ways of dealing with bolt tightening. Metal washers and bolts can crack the toilet, so these pieces are sometimes made out of a strong plastic material. The toilet seat I bought used plastic nuts that were supposed to break off whenever the proper torque was reached. Once these nuts snapped off, it would be nearly impossible to remove them, so the seat should remain tightly attached to the commode.

I started tightening the plastic nuts, and one of them snapped off halfway up the bolt. It took a miracle to unscrew it, and there were no replacements in the box. I tried to find other plastic nuts at a hardware store, but the manufacturer used an unusual bolt size. I had to contact the manufacturer directly in order to get a replacement nut. Some toilet seat models do get discontinued, so I suggest sticking with a popular brand that's the right size and shape for your commode.

By Buster29 — On Mar 07, 2014

My mother-in-law called me a few weeks ago to report her toilet tank was not filling up very quickly. I had made my share of toilet repairs in the past, so I thought it would be a simple repair. I was wrong. When I took the lid off the tank, I could see it was nearly empty. I filled the tank manually with buckets of water, then flushed. Everything worked well.

The problem started once the float sank. Water should have been flowing out of the refill tube. Instead, it was leaking out of the flush valve assembly in dribs and drabs. It would take 20 minutes for the water to reach the full level. When I turned on a sink faucet near the toilet, the refill tube suddenly worked for a little while. I suspect the entire assembly needs to be replaced, but a professional plumber would have to do it because of the location.

Somehow, the sink plumbing and the supply line to the toilet have become inter-dependent, and her toilet won't fill unless other water lines are turned on or off in the right order. It's the strangest toilet problem I've ever seen.

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