What are the Most Common Problems With Toilets?

plumber repairing a toilet

What should you do if you need toilet repair?

Ahhh …. The toilet. The throne. The ‘John’. It is known by so many names, but it serves only one purpose. To collect and remove human waste. Sometimes, there are homeowners (or small children) who like to flush things that aren’t meant to be flushed, but the main purpose is to collect and remove human waste through the sewer system. When things are flushed that shouldn’t be, it can lead to needing toilet repair, or even replacement. Fortunately, if you need toilet repair in Indianapolis, IN or the surrounding area, the team at Grateful Plumber can be there to help. We’re always available with the information you require, so give us a call at 317-677-4918 if you need to know what to do when you’re looking for assistance with toilet repairs.

What makes a toilet clog and not flush?

Chances are the culprit is an excessive amount of human waste and toilet paper. Other things that can clog a toilet include non-flushable items like diapers and wipes, feminine products, cotton balls, cotton swabs, animal waste, and more like FOG (fats, oils, and grease) from the kitchen.

These are things that can become stuck in the toilet trap and once there is a significant amount stuck there, the toilet can’t flush as needed. Then you’re in a panic with the plunger, but sometimes that isn’t enough, and a professional plumber is needed for toilet repair service.

What is the average cost to repair a toilet?

There isn’t a way to average the cost of toilet repair service because it is dependent on the problem. In addition to the problem being a factor in determining the cost, every plumber has their own rates. Most will charge by the hour plus parts, and others, after inspecting the problem, may charge a flat rate. 

Can you do your own toilet repairs? 

Yes, some toilet problems can be fixed by the homeowner with some DIY skills and tools, like a toilet that keeps running after you have flushed it. How do you fix a toilet that keeps running after flushing? We are going to share a four-step strategy that can solve up to 95% of possible toilet flushing problems while answering the common question, “What is the most common cause of a running toilet?”, because there is more than one common cause:  

  • The Fill Tube

This is a small flexible tube that runs between the fill valve and the overflow tube. As the tank refills, this tube allows enough water to refill the bowl after each flush. If the tube falls off or the water it releases misses the overflow tube, the water will keep running into the bowl.  Simply reattach the fill tup firmly and you have completed a toilet repair job! 

  • The Float

An adjustable float inside the tank controls the water level, and if it is set too low, you’ll have a weak flush, meaning the waste doesn’t disappear. If this float is adjusted too high, the water will spill into the overflow tube and the fill valve won’t shut off, letting the toilet keep running. For a toilet repair to fix this,  find the fill level mark inside the tank, mark the overflow tube at the same level, and adjust the float height accordingly. 

  • The Flush Handle and Chain

If the chain that runs from the handle to the flapper is too short or entangled, the flapper can’t close and water will keep leaking into the toilet bowl. If the chain is too long, the flush rod will hit the tank lid and the flapper can’t open enough for the flush. A simple toilet repair is to adjust the chain length as needed! 

  • The Flapper

If these three steps didn’t stop the toilet from running, then you need to replace the rubber flapper inside the tank, another easy toilet repair. How do you fix a toilet flapper that won’t seal? Adjusting the chain longer or shorter is often the needed toilet repair. Another possibility is the flapper is worn out and needs to be replaced.

Why is the toilet struggling to flush?

Again, five possible problems can keep a toilet from flushing. Among them include some of the items we just listed like the flapper needs to be replaced, the chain is too long or too short, or the float needs to be adjusted. And of course, one of the most common problems is a clogged toilet. 

For toilet repair for the first four things, review the issues listed above. For the clogged toilet possibility, use a toilet plunger, these are black and have an extension coming from the ball of the plunger that fits into the toilet. Plunging for 10 to 20 seconds repeatedly. 

If that doesn’t clear the clog, you’ll need to use an auger, similar to a plumber’s snake.  And if that doesn’t successfully clear the clog, call a plumber for toilet repair. The clog may be further into the sewer line, even a possible broken sewer line. 

In Closing

Flushing the toilet is an activity that takes place several times a day. And the more people in the house, the more flushing! It is an expected and needed activity, but the flushing problems are usually unexpected. Fortunately, not all toilet repairs require the services of a professional plumber! But having one that you trust is important because when you do need a professional toilet repair, you can’t always say you’ll find one later.  And if you do find yourself seeking toilet repair in Indianapolis, IN or any nearby cities, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Grateful Plumber. You can give us a call at 317-677-4918 if you need to speak to one of our plumbing professionals.