Toilet Troubles

Quite frequently we are called to fix a toilet problem. Often the toilet runs periodically or there is a constant trickle. Other times the toilet won’t flush or the tank won’t fill after flushing.

Most of these problems are relatively simple to resolve. Often a homeowner can take care of these problems him or herself and save the cost of a service call.

Here are a few of the most common toilet troubles and their typical fixes:

Ghost Flushing
Symptoms: Toilet flushes periodically when no one is in the bathroom.
Cause: Ghosts, poltergeists or an ill-fitting or deteriorated flapper.
Fix: Replace the flapper with a larger, higher-quality, new flapper (see photo below for location of flapper)
Tips: Make sure the chain connecting the flapper to the handle arm is neither too loose or too tight. Make sure the tank opening beneath the flapper is free of debris before installing the new flapper. Shut off the water supply to the toilet and empty the tank before installing the new flapper.

Toilet Won’t Flush
Symptoms: When the toilet handle is pressed, nothing happens; often the way the handle moves will be different than normal
Cause: Broken or damaged handle, handle arm or flapper chain
Fix: Replace handle/arm assembly or flapper
Tips: If replacing the flapper, make sure the chain is neither too loose nor too tight. If replacing the handle/arm assembly, be sure to purchase a quality replacement (We recommend one with a brass arm) that is compatible with your toilet, e.g. front flush, side flush.

Constant Trickle
Symptoms: Constant sound of water trickling into the toilet bowl, periodic Ghost Flushes
Cause: Ill-fitting or deteriorated flapper.
Fix: Replace the flapper with a larger, higher-quality, new flapper (see photo below for location of flapper)
Tips: Make sure the chain connecting the flapper to the handle arm is neither too loose or too tight. Make sure the tank opening beneath the flapper is free of debris before installing the new flapper. Shut off the water supply to the toilet and empty the tank before installing the new flapper.

Toilet Tank Won’t Re-fill After Flushing
Symptoms: Toilet flushes but tank does not re-fill
Cause: Broken or damaged float or fill valve
Fix: We’re starting to get into more advanced repairs here. One possible fix is to replace the float. Some toilets (usually older toilets) have a float as pictured below. This type of float is relatively easy to replace. Simply unscrew the float from the float arm, purchase a new float and screw it back onto the float arm. If this doesn’t solve the problem, or if you have a newer style toilet with the float on the fill valve stem, it’s probably time to call Handyman Joes.



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