Toilet Repair

Toilet Repair

Do It Yourself Toilet Repair
Though few people want to spend the weekend repairing their toilet, hiring a professional is only appealing until you consider the bill. Paying a high hourly rate to have someone else fix a problem as simple as a clogged toilet or leaking toilet repair may leave you regretting the decision. Diagnosing problems first will often save a lot of money, and depending on the problem you may find that you can fix it yourself. Even if the toilet repair ends up being too much to handle, at least the information can be relayed to the plumber and help save some time which in turn will save money.

Clogged Toilet

Clogged toilets aren’t much fun and can be a huge inconvenience, especially if there is only one toilet in the house. Generally, a plunger is enough to clear the clog and get the toilet working again. In this case, do-it-yourself toilet repair is as simple as one, two, three. Take the plunger and place it in the bowl, creating a tight seal over the hole at the bottom. Pump the handle of the plunger up and down a few times to force the air in the bulb down through the pipes. The up and down action will alternately create a burst of air and suction to loosen the clog and send it on its way. After the plunger is pulled away, the water should drain. If it doesn’t, begin the process again.

If several attempts with the plunger don’t work, the blockage is either deeper than first thought, or too much for the plunger to move on its own. This type of toilet repair may require a bigger tool: a water jetter or a plumber’s snake.

Leaking Toilet

Plunging won’t solve a leaking toilet. First, the source of the leak needs to be located. If the bathroom floor is covered with water, check the base of the bowl for leaks, as well as the valve behind the toilet. If there is a shower stall or tub in the bathroom, the leak could be coming from there as well.

If the toilet is leaking from the base, inspect the bolts that hold the bowl to the floor. They may not be tight enough to form a leak-proof seal. Tighten the bolts, but not so much as to crack the base of the bowl. If this doesn't work, the wax seal between the bowl and the floor may have to be replaced. Should this be the case, shut off the main water and drain the bowl before removing the toilet from the floor – if you don’t feel confident doing this, it may be necessary to engage a plumber.

Should the valve behind the toilet be the source of the leak, again, turn off the water, drain the toilet and replace the valve – again, a plumber may be required for this.

Constantly Running Toilet

Sometimes the valve that lets the water into the bowl from the tank might not be sealing as well as it should. A simple way to find a leaky valve is to put a few drops of food colouring in the tank. Watch to see if any of the food colouring leaks out to locate the problem. If coloured water does leak into the bowl, a new seal is generally required.