It happens to all of us. You come home after a long day of work only to find that the toilet has been running all day since you left earlier that morning, or better yet, you come home to find a sizable puddle around the base of the toilet. Toilet problems are annoying but the good part about them is that they are fairly easy to fix, even for somebody with minimal maintenance experience. Below are some common toilet problems and how to go about fixing them.
Problem: Toilet is always running:
A majority of the time when a toilet is constantly running the culprit is the flapper. The flapper is the rubber piece attached at the end of the chain which is also connected to the handle. To confirm if the problem is indeed the flapper all you must do is add food coloring to the tank and look into the bowl. If you see food coloring in the bowl then the problem is likely the flapper.
Replace the flapper and see if that corrects the problem. If it does not then you have a faulty or misconfigured fill valve. To replace the flapper just detach it from the toilet handle and take it to a hardware store for a replacement. Reattach the flapper and make sure the length of chain is the same as the original.
Problem: Toilet is clogged
Clogged toilets are never fun. A common and obvious reason for a clogged toilet is too much waste material in the line of the toilet. The easiest solution for this problem is a plunger. If a plunger does not solve the problem then you will need to use a toilet auger. A toilet auger is similar to a pipe snake but is specifically shaped for toilets. Do not use drain cleaning products as they are usually not designed for use in a toilet.
Problem: Toilet was flushed but never refilled
The most probable reason for this problem is a broken fill valve. The fill valve is the device inside the tank that has a float ball (or cylindrical plastic piece) connected to it. Occasionally the ball or plastic piece will get stuck in the up position which leaves the valve closed not allowing water to flow. A simple tap of the piece will cause it fall and will solve the problem. If this does not work the fill valve must be replaced.
Toilets are a part of our everyday lives and like most things in life they break. However, when a toilet breaks, nearly all of the common problems are easy to repair. With a little bit of patience and some quick detective work, there isn't any reason why you can't get your toilet up and running again in no time.