When a toilet breaks down, it throws everyone off. The utility is quickly taken for granted until it breaks down. For families with only one available bathroom in their household, a broken toilet quickly becomes a terrible nightmare — the quicker the repair, the better. Luckily, anyone can complete the most basic toilet repair. You need the proper equipment. Remember, you can always call a plumber, but, depending on who you call, prices can be very high. So what pieces will you need? Let us take a look.

The Components Of A Toilet

Before we look at some common solutions to toilet repair problems, let us familiarize ourselves with the different parts of the toilet. Toilets might seem complicated, but they contain relatively few working elements. This list will help us understand some instructions later on.

fixing toilet
  • Bowl — The central section of the toilet that holds the water.
  • Tank — The large backside that contains the water needed for flushing and the working components of the toilet.
  • Inlet Valve — Supplies water for the toilet, typically found against the back wall.
  • Supply Tube — The tube attached to the stop valve which carries the water from to the pipe.
  • Float Ball — A device that measures the water supply on top of a tank. The float ball prevents overflow.
  • Overflow Tube — Connected to the refill tube, the overflow tube take a small amount of water from the stop valve to fill the toilet.
  • Flapper — A rubber piece found at the bottom of the toilet’s tank. When lifted, water from the tank rushes into the bowl.
  • Chain — A chain that ties the flapper to the trip level. It lifts the flapper.
  • Trip Lever — Connected the flushing handle, the trip lever lifts the flapper, initiating a flush.
  • Refill Tube — The refill tube fills the tank back up when the water runs too low and cuts off the supply when it runs over.
  • Wax Ring — The small ring that separates your toilet from the floor. Useful in preventing mold and stabilizing the base of the product.
  • Trap — The trap is under the toilet. Its function is to divide the toilet from the sewage line.
  • Closet Bend — The closet bend dumps raw waste into the sewer.

How To Fix A Leaking Toilet

fix leaking toilet bowl

To fix a leaky toilet, the first thing you have to do is turn off the inlet valve. Doing so will cut off water supplies to the bathroom. Next, check the float ball. There is usually a small screw on top of the float ball that allows you to choose how much water flows into the overflow tube.

If the float ball fails at keeping water out of the overflow tube, then it is likely damaged and will need replacing. The problem does not lie with the float ball,

If the toilet leaks around the inlet valve and connecting coil, you will probably need a new assembly piece to connect to the supply tube. Use a pair of pliers to remove the nut bolt from the assembly piece. Install the replacement, and reconnect the new assembly into the supply tube. Turn the water back on by twisting the inlet valve and test out the toilet. Make sure no water rises above the overflow tube.

If the toilet is still leaking, the problem is most likely the flapper piece. Defects can lie either with the part itself, or the chain that connects it to the trip lever. Make sure the string is not pulling too tightly on the flapper piece as this prevents it from holding back water. Make sure the article itself did not break. It should not contain holes or anything else.

If you need to replace the flapper piece, you will need to drain all the water in the toilet tank. Turn off the valve again and flush the toilet. Hold the flusher until most of the water flows from the container. Then replace the flapper piece. Make sure the area around the flapper is not damaged, or else the entire tank may potentially need replacing.

How To Unclog A Toilet

unclog a toilet

The way to unclog a toilet is relatively straightforward. However, there is a proper method. Many people accidentally misuse the plunger during the process. So, what is the wrong way? Whenever you unclog a toilet with a plunger, make sure to keep the plunger wholly submerged. If you bring the plunger out of the water, it can spill toilet water all over the floor. Also, make sure you have a functional plunger. Many of the simple-cupped models do not work.

Plunge in controlled bursts, and make sure the end of the plunger is completely covering the toilet’s hole. Plunging may take a while to unclog the toilet, primarily if the blockage occurs further down the pipes. If this method does not work, use a drain snake to reach the clog. If you are not willing to buy a drain snake, you will have to hire a plumber.

How To Fix The Toilet’s Water Supply

fixing the water supply

If you find the water in your toilet is lower than usual or is bubbling, then the problem likely lies with the unit’s ventilation system. The pipes in your network overload with water if there is not enough room to move. If a toilet is near sinks, washing machines or dishwashers. Not enough water is getting to the bathroom. A proper venting system adds extra pipes around the various appliances. This system gives the water more room to breathe.

Adding a ventilation system, or even examining the pipes around your toilet can be very hard because it requires taking out the wall to access the water system. Unless you have the know-how to replace your pipes, it is best to leave this to a professional — a plumber or a house contractor.

How To Replace A Broken Toilet

replacing a toilet

If the base of a toilet is cracked, you will need to replace the whole thing. Replacing a toilet is quite easy, you need to know the right size of the waste pipe (most of the time it is around 12 inches). Remove the original toilet using pliers to undo the nuts and bolts that hold it to the ground. Shut off the inlet valve, and remove the old, damaged toilet.

Take the new model and secure it over the main sewage line. Make sure it is firmly in front and then replace all the nuts and bolts. Reattach the supply tube and secure the assembly to the tank. You may also want to consider a wax ring or similar caulking sealant. However, make sure to sit on the toilet over the wax ring before securing it to the ground. Otherwise, it may crack the base of the toilet.

Toilet Repair Kits

toilet repair kit

If you know that your toilet only requires a specific part for replacement, you should find that individual part and order it. However, toilet parts typically age together, unless other replacement parts get added later. As a result, toilet systems usually start to fail together, with multiple systems requiring replacement. As such, it is prudent to prepare for this inevitability.

For extensive repairs or general enhancement features, you should consider purchasing a toilet repair kit. Most of these contain everything you will need regarding replaceable parts. If you need a valve, gasket, flapper, toilet handle or specific hardware related to toilets, look for one at your local hardware store.

How To Protect Your Toilet

There are steps you can take to protect your toilets and pipes actively. First off, never flush any of these items down a toilet. Doing so can cause severe blockage and will require an unclogging.

clean bathroom
  • Tampons
  • Diapers
  • Tissues
  • Paper Towels
  • Condoms
  • Q-Tips
  • Cotton Balls
  • Gum
  • Band-Aids
  • Floss
  • Food
  • Cat Litter

It is also a smart idea to caulk the base of your toilet. Caulking involves laying out a water-resistant seal around the toilet. Caulking your toilet prevents residue and filth from building up underneath the toilet, which cuts back on the bad smells. It also keeps the toilet seat firmly attached to the ground which can prevent injury or potential damages.

Toilet repair is intimidating. But, the design of most models has remained consistent since the 1960s. As such, it doesn’t take long to become familiar with the basics of toilet repair and installation. However, the severity of the renovation is a personalized problem. It may be as extensive as reorganizing pipes, or as minor as find a replacement flushing handle. Hopefully, you have learned a lot about toilets and saved yourself a call to the plumber.