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Troubleshooting Toilet Problems
When your toilet stops functioning properly it can quickly become more than a huge inconvenience. The first thing to do in such a situation is to diagnose the problem. For example, in some cases, it could be a flaw with the flush which causes it to not flush properly or not flush at all or maybe even start flushing on its own. Another common problem you may face is a clogged toilet. Whatever the reason, once you diagnose the problem you may find that it is easy to troubleshoot with a few simple tools. If it seems more complicated, it’s better to get the help of a professional plumber.
Listed below are a few questions about toilet problem troubleshooting, answered by the Experts.
I used an auger to unclog my toilet as it wasn’t flushing. Now the toilet bowl has no water flowing into it and nothing happens when I flush either—the water level in the bowl remains constant and there is an absence of a flushing noise. Also, the water is only trickling into the tank. How do I fix this problem?
If your tank is full but nothing happens when you flush, it probably means that the flapper is not connected to the chain any longer. Since you say that the water is trickling in, you might either need a new fill valve or there could be a blockage in the water supply line. Since you also have clogging problems, it might be better to rebuild the entire tank or install a new toilet.
When I flush my toilet, it fills up with excess water followed by a gurgling sound in the shower and the sink. Thereafter, the toilet starts draining slowly till there is almost no water left. I used a hose to flush the vent and the water then filled both the tub and the toilet. What should I do to solve this problem?
It seems like the large drain piping (3” or 4”) that goes downstream from the toilet and the tub is plugged. This will need to be rodded out with large equipment. It may include removing the toilet as well if there is no other way to access the piping. It’s advisable to hire a plumber to help you out with this.
Every time I flush my toilet, the water swirls around but doesn't "flush" away for quite some time. How can I fix this?
It’s possible that you have a partial blockage and it can be cleaned using a toilet auger that is available at Lowes or Home Depot. This should fix the problem.
I notice hairline cracks developing on my toilet tank at the bottom right corner. Will the tank break? I am also thinking of replacing it with a taller one that comes with a power flusher since I have a septic tank. What do you think?
The cracks might develop
after a while. It may not break at one go. You can get a product called ‘plumbers goop’ at a home/hardware store. All you have to do is drain the tank and follow the instructions given on the product. This should keep your toilet going for a few years more.
In the case of a pressure assisted toilet, you shouldn’t have a problem using one with a septic tank. It usually shoots the water and the waste farther down the line which is better.
If you find that your toilet is beginning to back up and you are unable to clear the blockage with the usual snake methods or by using a plunger, it could indicate that you have a serious problem with the plumbing. In some cases, it may even be that this problem is affecting other toilets or drains which are also backing up. This is when you may need the services of a professional plumber to sort out the problem. Also, if you find that the toilet is rocking or has sprung a leak around the seal and you can’t fix it yourself, it’s advisable to get a plumber to help or ask an Expert.
Recent Toilet Questions
, I have three old (25 yrs) Kohler low-boy 1 piece toilets
, I have three old (25 yrs) Kohler low-boy 1 piece toilets which have all developed internal leaks making them run fairly often. Have tried in past to replace flap or innards with home depot parts but fix never lasts. Had home warranty plumber here who said the only thing that works is the proper Kohler innards & home warranty wouldn't approve expense ($125 each?). HW offered me $$ instead: $368 per toilet--that's what their deal is with this plumber to replace with one piece low boys but they won't be responsible , dimensions or color. I'd rather select toilets myself as I'm not particularly fond of one-piece or low-boy. I want just plain ordinary toilets, good reliable easy-to-repair brand, normal flush, normal to quiet sound (not air assist), but I need to have a bigger path to the sewer because we have trouble with our solid waste having to be cut up before it will flush and even then plunging or even snaking is often necessary (this is true even with the two "normal" toilets we have now). (I'll also probably want the raised seats (16" instead of 14" or whatever it is), and maybe 1 round front & two oval, but I'm pretty sure these can be specified toilets I'll be interested in buying.) The rough-in's are all 14", don't know if that will pose a problem but might actually be an advantage--I want to turn one of the toilets at an angle to the wall (45 degrees from its present position) to improve access husband. I do understand that typically I'll have to buy seats separately, but I actually prefer to do that myself. Would you please tell me what the correct terminology is larger "flush path" and what brand or brands you recommend (and why) so I can start to narrow this down? Thank you!
Reinstalled a toilet that was online 2 years ago in a downstairs
Reinstalled a toilet that was online 2 years ago in a downstairs outdoor bathroom. I recently purchased a new toilet to put back online. It doesn't flubs and the water stays in the bow. I took the toilet out and set it up on saw horses and filled it up and flushed it several times and it's not the toilet. The 3" drain in the slab is clear as I poured 5 gallon bucket of water in it and there were no problems. Put it back online and went to flush it and it does the same thing which is doesn't flush...
Our house has a faint-to-strong sewer gas smell in one bathroom
Our house has a faint-to-strong sewer gas smell in one bathroom with a shower/tub, toilet and two sinks. When the furnace or a/c kicks on in the hallway near the bathroom, the smell worsens (I think it causes a negative pressure that pulls more gas into the house) The smell also worsens in the hours after using the shower/bathtub.
I've tried pouring water in the drains ( p-trap) mineral oil to slow evaporation, bleach to kill whatever is making the smell (I've bleached probably 30 times or more). The smell always comes back, and it's only in the one bathroom. I listened to the other drains to see if they're gurgling when the tub drains, as I was told that this would indicate a vent stoppage. No gurgling that I could hear.
What is going on? The smell is driving us insane and I'm concerned health of my family breathing this stuff.
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