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Troubleshooting Toilet Problems

Friday, October 9, 2015 - 10:12am

Toilets account for the majority of water use in the bathroom on a daily basis, and are responsible for as much as 31% of your home’s overall water consumption. Toilet problems certainly cause inconvenience, and can waste water that may cause damage or raise your water bills excessively. Pinpointing the cause of your toilet problems is the first step in solving them. If you aren’t sure about the reason behind a toilet issue or don’t feel comfortable handling it on your own, it’s time to call in your Vancouver plumber for assistance.

Slow-Flushing Toilet

A toilet that flushes slowly or sluggishly is most likely telling you there is either a clog in the toilet’s drainpipe or a problem with the mechanism that provides water to the tank during flushing. First, try using a plunger to clear the toilet’s drain—this may take a few tries, so plunge your toilet two to three separate times, then try flushing again. If plunging the drain doesn’t work, check the toilet’s tank next by lifting the cover to view the mechanisms inside. Rust or other mineral buildup on the chain or valve attached to the handle may impede the ability of the valve flap to lift and provide water for the tank. Cleaning these mechanisms with a mild detergent or even baking soda and vinegar can remove buildup to restore their full range of motion. If neither of these solutions solves your problem, you may have a more serious clog or valve issue—call your professional plumber for the help you need to restore your toilet’s normal function.

Self-Flushing Toilet

Another common toilet problem is a toilet that appears to flush itself. Some toilets have fill sensors inside the bowl, which flush the toilet automatically when the water level reaches a given height. This design prevents overflows, which can cause extensive water damage to your home. Alternatively, severe toilet leaks can completely empty the tank, causing the tank’s float sensors to signal that a refill is needed. If your toilet flushes itself regularly, the issue is likely a damaged seal in the flapper valve that opens each time you pull the handle. When this valve does not close completely, water continually leaks into the bowl, raising the level until the toilet flushes itself. In most cases, the solution for a self-flushing toilet is to replace the seal or the valve, which is a task your plumber in Vancouver, WAcan complete easily during a short visit.

Hot Water in Your Toilet

Hot water in the toilet tank can cause several problems, from excess strain on your water heater, to cracks in the toilet bowl. If your toilet is filling with hot water, there could be several causes. In most cases, the issue is due to a problem with the mixing valve inside the tank, which mixes hot and cold water as the toilet tank fills. When this valve is not working properly, more hot water than cold may enter the tank. Problems with the toilet’s fill mechanism or flapper valve can also result in excess hot water inside the tank when it refills. When you experience hot water in your toilet tank, it’s always best to call in a plumber to assess the situation. Because this issue can have many causes and typically requires replacement of at least one of the toilet’s mechanisms, a professional will make sure this process is completed properly to avoid toilet problems in the future.

Are you familiar with these toilet troubles?

  • We deal with toilet clogs quite often.
  • I have definitely heard the occasional “ghost flush” in the middle of the night!
  • I didn’t know hot water in my toilet tank was a problem—I plan to call in my plumber for help.

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