DIY Tips From the Warner Service Blog

Which Surprising Toilet Plumbing Problem Do You Have?

Posted by Warner Service on Sep 28, 2018 9:00:00 AM


It’s time to dive deeper into the plumbing pipes. We're giving you the solutions to common bathroom plumbing problems in your home.

  1. Blocked or clogged toilet. It's the most common plumbing issue, whether it’s because a kid flushed six rolls of toilet paper or your engagement ring took a swim. To undo the blockage, grab a plunger or drain snake. If you aren't sure how to use the latter, check out How To Clear A Drain Using A Drain Snake. If the problem persists, call a local plumbing professional.

  2. Gathered water. If water is on the floor around the toilet, fix it right away to avoid moisture damage to the subfloor. Check the tightness of the tank bolts, fill valve/ballcock, mounting nut, and supply tube coupling nut. If anything is loose, replace the washers. If it’s humid and water is dripping from the side of the tank, it’s likely condensation. Use proper ventilation or buy a toilet liner kit, a foam panel placed inside the tank.

    This problem is also caused by an unsealed wax ring or cracked toilet base. If the toilet leaks
    constantly, it’s a cracked base, which needs replacement. If leaking occurs during or after a flush, replace the wax ring.

  3. Running water. In homes with older plumbing fixtures, running water is caused by a dirty or old flapper or flush valve, a tangled float chain, or a misaligned float. Because a running toilet wastes gallons of water each day, call a local plumber to fix the issue.

  4. Phantom flushes. If you periodically hear a noisy toilet spontaneously refill like someone flushed it, a very slow leak is happening from the tank to the bowl. It’s caused by a bad flapper or flapper seat. Drain the tank and bowl, and then check and clean the flapper seat. Replace the flapper if it’s worn or damaged.

  5. Weak flush. A bowl that empties slowly is the result of clogged holes underneath the bowl’s rim. Master plumbing pro Ed Del Grande suggests using a curved piece of wire, like coat-hanger wire, to poke into each flush hole. This will clear out and loosen any debris. Don't scratch the bowl. If this doesn’t work, call a plumbing professional.

  6. Rising water. The sudden panic of rising toilet water after flushing is common. Don’t flush again. To fix this plumbing problem, cut the toilet’s water supply by turning off its shut-off valve. (If you’re not sure where that component is, check out Warner’s Toilet Anatomy 101: Your Toilet Parts And How They Work.)

    Next, grab a
    plunger or drain snake. If that doesn’t solve the plumbing problem, call a local plumbing technician.

  7. Unpleasant odor. The only thing worse than a noisy toilet is a smelly one. If the toilet smells like sewage, it’s likely someone forgot to flush. If that’s not the case upon further inspection, you have a serious plumbing problem.

    This plumbing problem is the result of a damaged fitting in the drain pipes, a defective wax ring, or a lack of water in the bowl. Solutions for this plumbing issue range from simple maintenance to full-scale toilet replacement. Call the plumbing pros to discuss which is best.

Bathroom plumbing problems range from basic clogs and phantom flushes to rising water and unpleasant odors. To ensure that the toilet is running efficiently, contact Warner Service for a maintenance check-up this spring.

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Topics: Plumbing, Appliances, Do-It-Yourself