Warner Service knows about plumbing, whether it’s residential or commercial. We’re counting down the most common toilet problems and how to fix them.
The toilet's blocked or clogged. This is one of the most common plumbing problems. It could be because your kid turned the toilet into a small bathtub for a stray kitten. They could've flushed a Happy Meal toy. To fix toilet overflow, grab a plunger or drain snake.
Flushing turns the shower water cold. Older homes have pipes that aren't conducive to taking a hot shower and flushing the toilet at the same time. While you try to warn your kids about this, the real plumbing solution is to reduce how fast the toilet uses water.
Close the supply valve slightly, buy a low-flow toilet, or place a jug of gravel, pebbles, or sand in the toilet tank. The toilet may take longer to fill and make noise, but this reduces the temperature fluctuation in the shower.
The toilet overflows. You hit the handle too many times and water spilled over, or it's been a little too cold outside. If the toilet has a mechanical problem, wrap an old towel around the base of the toilet for easy clean-up. Turn off the toilet water supply line by locating the line’s valve near the bottom of the bowl. Turn it counterclockwise to stop water flow from the toilet.
If this doesn't stop the plumbing overflow, remove the tank cover. Then, lift the float cup high enough to stop running water. Turn the water heater valve off until the water flow stops completely. Use a small cup to remove any excess water at the brim of the bowl.
Water gathers. If water is on the floor around the toilet, fix the problem right away. Immediacy avoids moisture damaging the subfloor. Check the tightness of the tank bolts, fill valve/ballcock, mounting nut, and supply tube coupling nut. If it's loose, replace the washers.
If it’s humid and water is dripping from the side of the tank, it’s condensation. Use proper ventilation or buy a toilet liner kit, a foam panel placed inside the tank.
It could also be due to a wax ring that no longer seals or a cracked toilet base. If the toilet leaks constantly, the toilet base is cracked and needs replacement. If leaking occurs during or after a flush, replace the wax ring.
The toilet handle won’t budge. Lowe’s suggests removing the tank cover and cleaning the mounting nut (located on the inside behind the handle). This will operate the handle smoother. If a buildup of lime is around the mounting nut, clean it with a brush dipped in vinegar.
From basic clogs and blockages to faulty parts and drips, toilets are a tricky appliance. To keep the toilet running efficiently, download our Plumbing Maintenance Checklist: