What's Wrong With My Toilet?
We all have issues… and sometimes those issues have to do with our toilets!
Today, we’re going to talk about some common toilet issues, and how to diagnose them. These issues are some of the most common that we face – so read on and you might save some money down the road!
Opening the tank and diagnosing an issue with your toilet is something that makes many people nervous. There are so many parts back there, all squeezed into the tank. How do you know what does what? How are you supposed to know what’s wrong? The good news, is that most toilets are actually quite simple in construction and function, once you know what to look for.
The inner workings of a toilet tank can usually be broken down into 3 parts – the Fill Valve, Flapper, and Flush Valve.
As the name suggests, the fill valve is responsible for filling the tank with water after flushing. These commonly have issues and often need replacing (don’t bother trying to find parts – just replace the whole thing!). Common issues are water either constantly filling OR NOT filling the tank, noises like a whale call after flushing (if you’ve heard it you know what I mean!), or an extremely slow refill. If you are having any of these issues, you likely need to replace the fill valve. It is a relatively simple task, but make sure you are comfortable before taking on the work as you are dealing with a lot of water!
The second part in the toilet tank is the flapper. Attached to the handle by a chain, the flapper is the seal that holds the water in the tank until you need to flush. The rubber that these are made of will break down or warp over time and need to be replaced. There are a few different sizes and styles, but if you can find a replacement, it is an easy fix! One way to know if you have an issue with your flapper is to pour some food colouring in the tank of your toilet and let it sit. Come back in an hour and see if that food colouring has made its way to the bowl. If so, it’s time to replace the flapper!
Lastly is the flush valve. Less common to have any issues (and good thing, because it’s sometimes much more difficult to fix), the flush valve is also responsible for what the name suggests – flushing. Its also responsible for preventing a flood in the event of a faulty fill valve. At the top of the flush valve is what is called the “Overflow Tube”. In the event that the fill valve malfunctions and keeps filling, that water finds it’s way down the overflow tube and into the bowl of the toilet, preventing a flood!
That’s all for this week. I hope you’ve learned a little bit more about the inner workings of the plumbing system and a little bit more of the “scare factor” has been taken away. We’ll see you next time!