As a leading Fort Lauderdale emergency plumbing service, Paradise Plumbing & Air Conditioning has a few tips for homeowners in need of toilet repair. Except for a clogged toilet, there are very few toilet problems that can’t be fixed as a DIY project providing you have a few simple tools and the knowhow.
We’re here to help you out with the knowhow.
First let’s talk about the age of your toilet. If it was installed before 1994 it probably uses 5.2 gallons per flush. That’s more than 3 times the amount of water of the “low flush” toilets (1.6 gallons) introduced in 1195. You are wasting water and spending more on your water bill than you have to.
Fort Lauderdale is a member of the Broward Water Partnership’s Water Conservation and Incentives Program which provides rebates and incentives for homeowners that convert to low flush toilets. Between the rebates and lower water bill it’s cheaper to replace an old toilet than to try and find replacement parts to repair it.
Now let’s talk about repairing common toilet problems.
- Phantom Flushes. When you hear the tank filling up by itself it is almost always caused by a slow leak of water from the tank into the bowl. The most common cause of a phantom flush is a worn out flapper. Turn off the water supply, flush the tank and then examine flapper. You may be able to correct the problem by cleaning the flapper and the seal it sits on. If that doesn’t work you can get a snap on replacement at any home improvement store.
- Constant hissing sound. If it sounds like the water is constantly running in the tank you have a leak or malfunction that is not shutting the water off completely from the supply line. One of three things is causing water to seep in from the supply line. First is the float is stuck or needs readjustment both of which are simple to correct. Secondly the refill tube which runs from the ballcock assembly into the overflow tube is sticking too far down the overflow tube. Lastly the ballcock assembly itself is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced.
- Leaky seals. Most toilets have 5 seals, any one of which could fail and cause a leak. There are two that could do serious damage to your floor and that’s the seal between the tank and the bowl and the wax seal mounted on a plastic flange underneath the toilet base. For the tank seal, turn off the water source, flush the tank and then unbolt the two bolts that connect it to the bowl. Remove the tank, turn it upside down peel off the old seal and pop on a new one. For the bowl remove any remaining water, unbolt the four bolts at the base, turn the bowl on its side an peel of the old wax seal from the flange and replace with a new one.
All of the parts in a toilet are inexpensive and available at a home improvement or plumbing supply store. Repairing your toilet will be mostly an investment in time rather than money and is far less expensive than having a plumber do it for you. That said, feel free to contact us if you have any question about your toilet repair.