Apr 24, 2018

5 Reasons Your Toilet Isn’t Working (and how to fix it)

There are several difficulties that can cause your plumbing to malfunction. If you find yourself wondering, “Why isn’t my toilet working?” the experts at Newcomb and Company have a quick troubleshooting guide to getting your toilet back in working order. Here are common toilet problems and solutions to help you quickly and easily resolve your plumbing issues.

The Problem: My Toilet Will Not Flush

If your toilet is not flushing completely, it is likely that the flush valve is the culprit. The flush valve is located at the bottom of the toilet tank, and it keeps your water tank sealed when your toilet is not in use. When you flush the handle, a chain lifts the valve and allows water to drain, or flush, into the toilet. When the flush valve is not fully lifted during use, the toilet will not be able to flush completely. This problem can be initiated by an aggressive use of the handle or gradual decline in the chain strength. You might notice that the handle hangs loosely and lacks resistance when you try to flush.

The Solution: How to Inspect and Repair the Flush Valve

Carefully remove the lid off the water tank on the back of the toilet to inspect the chain and its connection to the valve. Is the chain still securely attached to the flush valve, or has it become loose? If the chain is dislodged, resecure it to the flush valve so the valve lifts high enough to drain your toilet when you flush. If the chain is too long or unstable, simply change or tighten the chain so that it has enough resistance to fully lift the flush valve.

The Problem: My Toilet Is Clogged

When your toilet is overflowing, it is essential that you act quickly to avoid flooding. A clogged toilet means your plumbing system’s drain pipe is obstructed by something preventing the water from draining. Don’t keep flushing a clogged toilet or you may find that your toilet will begin to flood. Instead, you need to work to repair the clog.

The Solution: How to Unclog Your Toilet

In most instances, you can use a plunger to unclog the toilet. The plunger creates a seal over the drain, and the suction as you pull up on the plunger should loosen and remove whatever is clogging the toilet. In some instances, toilets can be blocked by a toy or item mistakenly dislodged in your pipes. There might also be septic blockage causing this issue. For a more severe obstruction, an expert can help you assess and manage the blocked pipes.

The Problem: My Toilet Will Not Stop Running

A running toilet can cause your water bills to rise significantly. You will notice a running toilet by the constant noise and water movement, even when the toilet is not in use. A running toilet often means that the flush valve is not fully closed, which allows a gradual flow of water from your tank. To repair a running toilet, you simply need to ensure that your flush valve is closed completely.

The Solution: Monitor the Flush Valve

First, check the status of the toilet handle. If the handle or lever is partially engaged, it could be slightly lifting your flush valve. To repair this, simply restore the handle to an even level so that it is no longer engaging in a flush. If this is not the issue, check to see if there is an issue with your flush valve.

To check the valve, lift up your toilet tank lid and check on the status of the valve sealing your toilet tank. If it is a problem with the valve itself, you will want to replace the flush valve entirely. The issue could also be with the chain that connects to the flush valve. If it’s tangled, shortened, or doesn’t have enough slack, it could prevent the valve from closing properly. In this case, you will want to attend to the chain until it has the space it needs to close the flush valve fully between uses.

The Problem: There’s Water Under the Toilet Tank

If there’s water underneath your toilet, it is important that you locate and repair the leaks before any damage is done to your home. Unless there is visible water exiting your unit, it is not likely that a flooding or overflowing toilet is the issue. Rather, loose screws and washers are the most likely culprits for excess water underneath your toilet.

The Solution: Find and Repair Leaks

To repair toilet leaks, you first must locate them. Use a wrench to tighten up the screws underneath the water lid. You should also make sure you’ve got washers in place to strengthen the seals. Your toilet’s fill valve also has a washer that might need to be replaced. You will also want to tighten or replace the coupling nut that connects the water supply line to the toilet and the lock nut connecting the supply line and the fill valve. Put a towel under the toilet to catch any drips before you start tightening. It is best to take a comprehensive approach to ensure you repair the source of your leaks.

The Problem: The Toilet Tank Fills Slowly

If your toilet tank takes an extended amount of time to fill up after you flush it, your shutoff valve might be partially closed. The shutoff valve connects the toilet to the wall and allows the water to re-enter your tank after each use. When there is an obstruction or closure involving this valve, it can slow the process of your tank refill.

The Solution: Reopen the Shutoff Valve

To repair your shutoff valve, first locate it at the back of your unit where your plumbing meets the wall. Make sure the valve is open all the way by turning it counterclockwise. Try to flush the toilet again to see if it fills more quickly.

Help! My Toilet Is Still Broken! Toilet Repair Raleigh | Toilet Repair Wilmington

If at-home repair is outside of your comfort zone or if you cannot seem to fix your toilet on your own, call Newcomb and Company. Our seasoned professional plumbers in Raleigh will diagnose and repair your toilet in one visit for a quick and easy solution to all of your plumbing needs. Our experts are also available 24-hours a day for emergency visits. Contact our experts to schedule your plumbing service today!

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