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Let’s Talk Toilets: Basic Repair for DIYers

masters heating and coolingThere are some repairs you can make for toilets that don’t require the services of a professional. As basic toilet are necessary from time to time, you’ll want to have a sound introductory knowledge about your toilet, common issues and how to resolve them.

You’ll first need to recognize the toilet bowl and the toilet tank. Most basic problems stem from either of these. The bowl includes the base and sits right above the floor, and the tank is the top part, with the handle to flush that rests at the wall.

Toilet Bowl Issues and Repairs

You’ll see around the base of the toilet that there is a wax, silicone or other type of seal present. You also may notice that if that seal is old and defective, a leak can develop, resulting in a wet bathroom floor. If you notice this issue, be sure you don’t do anything repair-wise until you turn off the water supply to the toilet. Once the entire toilet is dry, you can remove the bowl and clean the pipe and join, following up with replacing the toilet in its place on the floor and resealing it thoroughly. (Note: If the seal is in perfect condition but you still notice water leaking, you may have a crack in the porcelain. Although this is extremely unlikely it is possible, in which case no repairs would be valid and a replacement toilet would have to be ordered.)

Toilet Tank Issues and Repairs

Tank problems are far more common than bowl problems, with one of the most familiar being a toilet that runs non-stop. This is caused by a leak somewhere in that tank. Replacement parts for this toilet repair are not expensive and are easy to find; in fact, many home improvement and hardware stores supply all the parts of an inner tank together in one complete kit.

All that may be needed for a toilet that runs constantly is a check on the length of the lever wire inside the tank that is attached to the flapper at the bottom; if the lever wire is too short, the flapper won’t be able to fully close, resulting in running water. If it is too long, it may not open completely during flushing. You also should take a look at that flapper on the tank bottom. It can deteriorate from using bleach and other common cleaning products. If the flapper cannot completely cover the hole at the tank bottom, you’ll get leaking water.

If the flapper is in good condition, check the ball cock. It should rise adequately to trigger the shut off on the refill valve. The ball cock can sometimes get waterlogged and need to be emptied or replaced.

All parts mentioned above can be found easily at home improvement stores as a kit or individually as well. If you’ve tried troubleshooting your problem and still cannot find the problem with your toilet, contact Masters to set up an appointment for one of our experts to inspect your toilet. We make service calls to Decatur, Angola, Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and all surrounding areas.

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