Home Home Improvement How to Fix a Broken Toilet: A Guide

How to Fix a Broken Toilet: A Guide

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Is your toilet leaking, acting up, or not working as it should? A broken toilet isn’t just annoying, but it can also cost you. Leaks can waste almost 1 trillion gallons of water across the United States each year.

From leaking toilets to broken flappers and more, we cover common problems and how to fix a broken toilet. Read on to learn how and break out those tools.

Constantly Running

A toilet that keeps running is usually a sign there’s something wrong with the fill tank.

Check the tank. Is the flapper not sealing properly? There are many reasons why a flapper might not close.

There are many styles of flappers as well, so make sure you understand the style you have.

Sometimes, all you need to do is replace or adjust the flapper chain. In other cases, you may need to replace the flapper. Thankfully, this is a pretty easy DIY job.

You may also need to replace the flush valve if the problem isn’t the flapper.

Leaking Toilets

If the toilet is leaking around the fill valve, you may need to adjust the locknut. However, leaks can also come from cracks. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do with cracks except to replace the toilet.

If the leak seems to be originating from the bolts, you’ll have to replace the bolts as well as the washers and the flush valve gaskets.

The Flush Valve and the Fill Valve

Check the overflow tube. Is water overflowing into it? If so, the problem is usually your fill valve.

If the water in the tank is lower than the top of the tube, your flush valve might be leaking. As a result, your fill valve won’t close.

A hissing sound is usually caused by water trickling into the tank.

Check the float, the ballcock, and the refill tube. Sometimes, the fill tube is too far into the overflow tube.

You may also need to replace the ballcock assembly.

Weak Flush

Does your toilet bowl seem to take forever to empty? You could have a “weak flush.” This is often caused by clogs in the holes under the rim of the toilet bowl.

Cleaning any debris there should help. You can use a mirror to check for any clogs or remaining dirt and debris.

Should You Repair or Replace a Broken Toilet?

Most of us aren’t plumbers, and some work might be beyond your DIY skill set. If you’re not feeling confident about fixing a broken toilet, consider hiring a plumber to fix the issue.

In some cases, the toilet is beyond repair.

How long should a toilet last, and how do you know when it’s time to buy a new one? If none of the above tips worked, it’s time to replace your toilet.

Troubleshoot Your Toilet Problems

As you can see, there are many reasons a toilet might stop working properly. Fixing a broken toilet can be as easy as replacing the flapper, but it may be something more serious. If you’re worried about doing more damage, consider hiring a plumber to diagnose and fix the issue.

For more handy advice all homeowners should know, check out some of our other tips on our website!

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