Four Common Toilet Problems You Can Solve for a Healthier Flush
We all have toilets in our homes, but sometimes we forget about the care modern plumbing needs to ensure a smooth flush every time.
Many people will get creative with their toilets, flushing unusual items down there, wearing down the appliance, and forcing themselves to get a replacement earlier than they should need to. At Lion's Plumbing and Heating, we believe in treating a toilet with respect. That’s the only way to make them last a long time without clogs, leaks, or other issues.
Some of the easiest ways you can take care of your toilet aren’t always obvious. We've compiled a list to help you know the best practices and methods to get the most out of your toilet. Keep reading to learn the best ways to take care of your toilet, as told by experienced, qualified plumbers.
Avoid Clogging with Proper Flushing
One of the most common problems with a toilet is clogging. Clogs can happen for many different reasons, but often they’re because many people overestimate the strength and capabilities of their toilet. To prevent damage and clogging, you have to be careful of what you flush down there.
Many of our clients try to flush things down the toilet that simply won’t go. Though they may look like they’ll fit down the U-bend, feminine products, paper towels, Q-tips, and cotton balls are all common causes of toilet clogs. Never put these down the toilet, or you could end up with a clog you can’t fix. Grease, which seems like a good idea for a toilet instead of a sink, also can’t go down the plumbing. When it cools in the water, it’ll congeal and build up in the pipes, leading to problems down the road.
Clogging can happen for many reasons, even if you only flush the right things: waste and toilet paper. Too much toilet paper, or too much waste, can easily cause blockages. Sometimes it’s safest to practice the double flush method, with waste going in one flush and toilet paper in the next. This can reduce the load, helping everything go down as it should.
Sweating occurs when heat and humidity cause water to accumulate on the outside of the toilet, eventually dripping and forming puddles on the floor. As the heat of summer approaches, sweating is a common issue that many of our clients can’t avoid. It sounds harmless, but excess moisture can be dangerous if it causes water damage in your bathroom or if someone slips on the wet floor.
You can avoid sweating in a couple of ways.
First, you can reduce the heat or humidity of your bathroom. Installing an air conditioner or dehumidifier in your bathroom will help remove the moisture that condenses on the toilet, effectively preventing the cause of sweating.
If this is too costly of a solution for your budget, especially with the need to run a machine constantly to prevent heat and humidity, you can also install an anti-sweat valve on your toilet pipes. An anti-sweat valve goes on the water-supply pipe and will add hot water to the toilet water line, keeping the water in the bowl warmer than usual. This will prevent water from condensing around the outside of the bowl, helping your bathroom stay dry.
Maintain the Right Water Level
It’s essential to keep a proper water level in the toilet to prevent overflowing when flushing and ensure your waste has enough water to get down the pipe. Maintaining the proper water level will prevent clogs, incomplete flushing, and floods. Because of this, it’s very important to monitor the water level both in the bowl and in the tank.
If you notice your toilet has an improper water level, there are some tricks to try that can keep it running properly.
The best thing you can do is adjust the float. Most toilets will have a ball-and-arm float in the tank. The float is what maintains the water level in the toilet, so you’ll want to take note of the level it rests at in the tank. The ideal level is always 1 to 2 inches below the fill valve, but there may also be a line that shows the proper level. If the water isn’t at this level, you may need to adjust.
Turn the water supply to the toilet off so that the tank empties and inspect the float height and fill valve. If they seem to be damaged, these parts should be replaced. If they’re in good condition, you can adjust the amount of water they allow. Use a screwdriver to raise or lower the float height to the desired level, and you’ll find the toilet gets the right amount of water.
Not all toilets use this type of float system, but adjusting your specific float height will help you with the water level.
Stop Your Toilet Running
If you have a running toilet, it can result in increased water bills, damage to your toilet, and no flushes. You need to make sure that the whole system is leak-free to make sure you aren’t running water through the toilet all the time.
Check the components of your toilet tank to see why the water is flowing. Inspect the toilet flapper to ensure it’s sealing correctly. If the flapper isn’t sealing, you’ll need to replace it. The float height can also be the culprit: a float that rests too high will force the overflow pipe to run constantly. Similarly, a faulty fill valve will leak and fill the toilet continuously. You can stop this by replacing the fill valve.
Many of the most common problems with a toilet can be fixed quickly through smart prevention and simple adjustments. But sometimes, a toilet needs professional care and attention. If this is ever the case—if you have a clog you can’t unblock, a valve you can’t replace, or leaky pipes that need repair—we’re the trusted toilet expert you can call.
Lion's Plumbing and Heating knows all the best methods to repair your toilet. Reach out to our team if any toilet repair is too difficult for you!