The plumbing inside your home is a delicate system. It only works as well as you take care of it, and since it’s just some plumbing - it’s often easy to forget what proper care looks like. Take the toilet for example. You use it every day, right? That toilet is connected to piping, drainage, sewer or septic tanks depending on the waste management system. It’s a long process, and it’s important to know what you’re sending down the line.
Contrary to common understanding, there are numerous items that are thought to be appropriate to flush that are actually bad for your toilet. We see it in movies, on TV, and read about it in books. We flushed our first guppy after a moment of silence for their passing, and tossed a used tissue in the bowl, neither of which belonged there! This list is brief, but covers the most common items we’ve unfortunately found inside the pipes.
If you’re flushing any of these items down your toilet, please think twice. The only things that should be flushed down the toilet are human waste, and toilet paper. Not only are you polluting your local water systems, but you’re actually damaging your own plumbing! Consider the environment, and your wallet the next time you flush. We know that people make mistakes, so if you’ve accidentally flushed something down the toilet and created a clog we are here to help.
Using the restroom is supposed to be a discretionary function. It’s private, and not meant to be overheard - so what does it mean when your formerly silent toilet starts making a racket every time you flush it? A noisy toilet signifies an underlying issues. Here are a few things to look at and help you weed out the root of the cause before you have to call in an expert!
Bathrooms are wet places. The faucet that occasionally drips from time to time, or the low ledge tub that doesn’t hold water in the way you’d like, there’s often water droplets on the floor even when you don’t know where they came from. If you’re regularly cleaning up water from the base of your toilet, though, this could be more than shower run off. Toilets leak, that’s a fact of life. Some toilets will leak from the tank, some leak from the bowl, but what do you do when your toilet is leaking out of the base?
We all know that water leaks are dangerous, water getting into the structure of your home is a means to an end, it can cause structural damage, mold, and a whole slew of awful things. This means you need to be aware of two of the following things; loose tee bolts, or a damaged wax seal. While there are many reasons a toilet can leak, these are two of the most common reasons the base could.
A loose tee bolt can cause a leak because the tee bolt seats your toilet, and secures it to the floor. If you’re standing in front of your toilet, at the base you will see two plastic nubs. The bolts reside underneath those nubs. If they are loose, bent, or damaged in any way, the toilet can unseat and cause a leak. The good thing about a leak from a loose tee bolt is that it’s an easy fix.
If you’re seeing water pool underneath the toilet, or if you experience a rush of liquid every time you flush, that’s a big indicator that your toilet is in need of some repair. Underneath the toilet, there is a wax ring that can dry out, crack, or become warped. This is sometimes due to age, or various other things. Most toilets should last you quite some time, upwards of 25 years!
Leaky toilets may sound like no big deal, but they are dangerous and could cause mold to grow underneath your toilet. If you have a caulked toilet, it’s especially important to ensure that no liquid gets trapped between the base of your toilet and your floor. Caulking can prevent you from noticing leaks, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t present. This is also a red flag if there’s bacteria trapped underneath your toilet, because it will lead to mildew.
Before attempting any repairs to your toilet, you need to ensure that you know exactly what you are doing. Over tightening, or leaving a bolt too loose will allow water to get trapped under your toilet. If you attempt to replace a wax ring alone, you could face similar issues. It’s best not to do anything you aren’t 100% confident in, so if you have any concerns about either tightening bolts or replacing the ring, give us a call. We are here to help and want to make sure your toilet is getting the care it needs.
We are blessed to live in a society with running water, and one of the greatest inventions of mankind; the toilet. When there’s a problem with your toilet, especially when you only have one, it’s an issue the whole family feels. Not every clogged toilet is a plumbing emergency, and sometimes it’s hard to identify why your toilet is acting up. We’ve compiled a list common issues to be aware of, so you can identify the preliminary issues on your own before having to call in a professional.
The most common issue with a toilet that won’t flush is that it’s clogged. This is the first thing you should be checking off your list if there’s an issue with your toilet. Some homes have delicate pipes, so it’s important to take into account the number of people in your home, if you have children with missing toys, and the quality of your toilet paper. Your pipes can occasionally develop partial clogs that mean there’s waste or debris sitting in your pipes hindering your water flow. The easiest fix here is to attempt plunging the toilet on your own. We don’t suggest any other DIY attempts for a clogged toilet. If you have a stubborn partial clog deep within the plumbing, it’s best to give us a call so we can diagnose and repair for you.
We often see toilets that aren’t holding enough water in their tank. This is yet another extremely common issue with toilets. If there’s not enough water in the tank, when you flush you’re not releasing enough water into the bowl, which leads to a lower pressure and a weaker flush. This is sometimes caused by low water pressure, the toilet water being partially shut off, or a faulty flapper. There should be a mark inside the toilet indicating the level of water necessary for a full flush. Each toilet has a different system though, so the best way to tell if your toilet tank is holding enough water is to make sure that it’s about an inch beneath the overflow tube. If you’re not getting enough water, let us know.
Our last most common issue we find with toilets is when the flapper or lift chain are damaged. The flapper is, as you might have guessed, the flap that covers the piping into the bowl of your toilet. If that piece is warped or damaged in any way, the toilet will not hold the correct amount of water, and will experience issues when flushing. The lift chain is the piece that connects the flapper to the arm extending to the flush lever. If this chain is too short or gives too much slack, the flapper will not properly lift and won’t flush your toilet either. These parts of the toilet are utilized every time your toilet flushes, so as you can imagine, that’s a lot of opportunity for wear and tear. The pieces can be replaced at home, but if you’re ever unsure, please give us a call. We really don’t mind.
Toilets are an important member of the household in any and every home. If it’s not in working order, everyone will be painfully aware. These are just some of the common issues we see toilets face, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only problems your toilet could have. If you’re experiencing issues with your toilet, and you can’t diagnose the problem on your own, we’re always here to help. If you diagnosed the problem but can’t fix it, we’re here for that too. Give us a call today and see what we can do for your home.
At Tony's Plumbing & Heating, we offer outstanding residential and commercial plumbing and heating services in the East Twin Cities metro. With our blog, we hope to bring you useful tips and tricks for ever day life!