A broken toilet is an enormous task indeed. Perhaps no room in the house is quite as practically necessary as the toilet so when it starts to malfunction, it can induce a fair bit of panic! Nasty noises and unsightly overflowing aside, it can be pretty easy to sort out common toilet issues. This definitive guide will help you diagnose the issue and see to it that the problem can be set straight with a bit of DIY.
As always, you’ll want to shut off your water supply before you get to work. Have a plunger to hand and ensure that it is large enough to cover the opening located at the very bottom of your bowl. Add a few cups full of water to the bowl as required and keep plunging. Secure the suction cup onto the opening at the bottom of the bowl and develop an even, forceful pump. You will hear a gurgling sound in the pipe and the build-up of pressure. You can try to flush now to see if the issue is rectified. If the toilet begins to overflow, just shut off the water supply before it can!
Firstly, check the water is at the water line in the tank. Not having enough water in there will cause the toilet to run constantly. Check the water valve is on all the way, and if not turn it on fully.
By removing the top of your toilet tank, you should see a floating arm which you can lift. If, once you lift the arm, the water flow stops, then you’ll realise that the issue is the tank water is not rising high enough to turn off, so the pipes are overcompensating with more water hence the overflowing. This can be a problematic issue as the accumulated water wastage can be huge. Check to see if the floating arm is misaligned and make sure that when you flush the toilet, it does not catch.
Identify early on whether or not you have a sealed plastic ballcock or a metal ballcock. Unscrew the floating arm after you have turned off the mains water supply (of course) and flushed the toilet. You can remove the entire assembly from the overfill tube and remove unsatisfactory assemblies, replacing them with newer, more effective items, should their predecessors be worn or broken.
Not all toilet malfunctions are internal. Some are highly obvious! Broken or cracked seats are quite common and luckily, not too serious. You can easily remove the old seat and checking to see where the seat and lid connect to the bowl. From them on you can replace your old broken item with a brand spanking new seat. You’ll just need to make sure that you select the right size and get installing!