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Saturday, February 19, 2022

DIY Toilet Repairs | Toilet Clog | Running Toilet | Leaking Toilet

Your toilet comprises two main parts; the upper tank, which holds the water released when you flush the toilet, and the bowl unit, which rests on the floor. The bowl is made up of porcelain with no moving parts, and very rarely does it need repairs. The tank, however, is where most of the repairs happen. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to fix toilet problems.

Before you embark on any repairs, you need to comprehend how a toilet works.

 

How Your Toilet Works

The tank above the toilet bowl holds a certain quantity of water. When you flush your toilet, the water flows down fast through an opening at the bottom of the tank and into the bowl. The force pushes the waste from the bowl and into the drain, and finally into the sewer lines.

 

How Your Toilet Works

Two main parts in the tank make this possible: the fill valve or ballcock and the flush valve.

 

The Toilet Fill Valve (Ballcock)

Toilet Fill Valve


The toilet fill valve is the component that fills the tank with water. It is located on the left side of the tank and is automatic. When you flush and the water is released, the water level will fall. It will also automatically shut off when all the water drains into the bowl. The water then rises again to a specific level in the tank. The valve is operated by a floating cup or floating ball, which moves up and down with the water level- it all depends on your toilet's design. The non-floating fill valve operates by sensing the pressure of the water at the bottom of the tank.

The toilet in your RV is lighter than regular toilets and does not have a handle like a home toilet. Instead, it has a pedal that is underneath the bowl. It is flushed by pressing the pedal with a foot, causing freshwater to flow into the toilet, and a flap opens at the bowl's base. The waste is flushed into the black tank.

 

 

 

Some common toilet problems that a beginner can repair easily include:

·       A clogged toilet

·       A leak at the toilet base

·       A running toilet

·       A faulty flush valve

·       A ballcock that doesn't function properly

 

Below, find three types of repairs that you can do by yourself.

 

Clearing Toilet Clog With a Toilet Plunger

An overflowing toilet due to clogging can be annoying. Such a clog can cause the water to fill up the toilet and spill over onto your floor. This is usually no cause for panic. It's a fairly effortless job.

Before you learn how to unclog a toilet, it will be a good idea to understand what causes it to clog.

 

How does the toilet get clogged?

There's a P-trap under your toilet that holds standing water that acts as a trap and also prevents sewer gas odors from filling up the air. Sometimes, objects get trapped in the P-trap, which includes toilet waste or any other foreign object.

A toilet clog can quickly be cleared using a toilet plunger. If that doesn't work, then use a toilet auger.

 

Tools Needed

·       Toilet plunger

·       Closet plunger

 

Method

1. Use A Toilet Plunger (Also Called A Closet Plunger Or A Flanged Plunger)

This type of plunger looks like the cup plunger but is slightly different in shape and design. It has a cup with a soft rubber flap that fills out from inside the cup. The flap fits perfectly over the curved toilet drain, providing the appropriate suction required.

The suction force in a toilet plunger is strong enough to unclog an RV toilet if the clog is close to the top. If the clog is much deeper down in the black tank, a plunger will not solve your problem.

This issue can be solved by pouring boiling water down the toilet bowl and let it stay that way the whole night. You can break up a stubborn clog by using boiling water in a tank that is not full yet.

Toilet Plunger


Do not use the toilet plunger for your sink, and do not use the cup plunger for your toilet. Check out the difference below so that you do not confuse the two:

Toilet Plunger


 

2. Prepare the Plunger

Add more water into the toilet bowl so that it is half full or as needed. This is done to secure a seal around the drain opening.

 

3. Position the Plunger

Lower the plunger at an angle into the bowl so that the cup fills with water. This increases the plunging force. Fit the cup properly over the drain opening so that the flange is inside while the cup seals firmly outside the hole.

 

4. Pump the Plunger

Use powerful, swift thrusts to push the plunger up and down the drain to loosen the clog. During all movements, maintain a good seal. As the plunger comes up, it creates a suction effect to make the clog lose. As it moves down, it pushes the clog down the drain.

 

Thrust it five or six times. When most of the water has gone out of the bowl, most likely, the clog has cleared.

 

5. Test it

Flush your toilet to test if it has cleared. If the bowl appears like it will overflow, push down the flapper in the water tank. This stops the water flow immediately from the tank into the bowl.

Repeat the flushing and plunging process until the clog has cleared up.

 

Clearing the Clog With a Toilet Auger


 

Toilet Auger

1. Prepare the Auger

Pull back the auger cable so that the cable's tip is at the end of the guide tube. Push in the guide tube into the toilet, allowing the sweep elbow to rest at the bottom of the bowl and so that the cable end reaches farther into the drain opening.

 

2. Crank the Auger

By cranking the auger's handle clockwise, push the cable slowly into the toilet trap until it cannot go any further.

If need be, you might have to reverse the direction of the crank to coax the cable through the curves of your toilet drain. Extend the auger cable until you break through the clog.

 

Crank the Auger

 

 

3. Extract the Cable

As you rotate the handle, drag the cable back slowly out of the toilet. Be gentle as you do this to avoid scratching the fixture. Make sure the clog has cleared by flushing the toilet. 

 

How To Fix a Running Toilet

A running toilet is one of the common problems in homes, not to mention how annoying it can be and all the water wasted. Fortunately, it is very easy to fix this problem.

Before you start fixing your toilet, learn some basics on how it works.

 

How the Toilet Works

How the Toilet Works


 

Understanding the basics of how a toilet works will give you an idea of what repairs are required. Here are the basic steps:

1. After you press the handle, a chain will lift a flap (flapper), which allows the water in the tank to flow into the bowl. As the tank is emptying, the flapper will drop and close the opening to start the refill cycle again.

 

2. The float drops as the tank empties the water. The float connects to the float valve, which opens when the float is down and closes when the tank fills up.

 

3. At the centre of the tank is an overflow tube, which helps in draining any excess water down into the bowl when the tank level gets high. Besides this tube is a channel that the float valve sends water down into the bowl when it refills again.

 

A toilet that doesn't stop running can result from various reasons, including waterlogged float, a high water level, and a faulty flapper. If none of these is the problem, then most likely, your toilet has a broken valve. The ultimate solution is to replace it. Below are two ways to handle this problem:

 

1. Check if Your Flapper or Chain Is Faulty

A flapper refers to a cap made of plastic or rubber, which helps in keeping water in your tank. With time, the flapper becomes brittle and creates a faulty seal. When your tank cannot hold or refill water, it is probably because of a sub-par flapper. The following are ways to troubleshoot your flapper:

 

1. Check the consistency of the flapper. In most instances, the flapper has hardened and stopped creating an adequate seal. Feel the flapper to establish if it is still soft and can hold back the water.

2. Check the chain. If the chain in your water tank is too long, trim off the excess part to avoid tangling. If the chain is rusty, replace it with a new one.

3. Check if there is a jam. Sometimes flappers get pinched at the hinges. Adjust this so that it works as required.

4. Check for alignment. Flappers can get dislodged, causing leaks. Ensure your flapper seats nicely and directly over the drain.

 

2. Adjust The Water Level

The overflow tube guarantees that your tank does not overfill and flood the floor. However, if the fill valve is set too high, there will be a small leakage into the overflow tube and the bowl. The result is a fill valve that automatically turns on, frequently topping up the tank. You can correct this problem in the following way:

1. Re-set the float's fill valve. Some valves have metal rods and small clips you squeeze to slide the clip, thus floating up and down on the rod. If this is the case, move the clip down to lower the water level. If it is an old fill valve with a tank ball and long rod, cautiously bend the rod in the middle to allow the ball to go slightly deeper into the tank.

2. Now, flush your toilet and let it refill and stop on its own.

3. The water level should now be about ½ to 1 inch beneath the top of the overflow tube.

4. If necessary, adjust the float, and flush again. Do this until the refill stops at the correct level.

 

How to Fix a Flush Handle

This will most likely be one of the easiest installations on your toilet. When the flush handle is disconnected from the tank or becomes loose, the solutions will be one of the following:

Align the nut in the tank which holds the flush handle. Tighten it by turning it counterclockwise. Please note that the nut holding your flush handle from inside the tank is threaded in reverse. To loosen the nut means you have to rotate it in the clockwise direction. Connect back the lift wire. The last solution will be to install a new flush handle.

When fixing a new handle, you do not have to install the exact type. There are many designs available in the hardware shops. To know if a particular handle will fit your toilet, call customer service and give them the toilet model and name and ask them to find out compatibility.

There are universal handles that fit almost any toilet. It doesn't matter the type of lever your toilet has, though you may require some minor adjustments.

Another way to get the correct handle is by purchasing the same model as the one you currently have. You can also call the manufacturer, and they can give you options.

 

Below are the steps to install a new handle:

1. Open the Tank

Take the lid out gently and place it aside on a towel, especially if it is made of brittle porcelain. The handle is linked to a long arm that is attached to a chain that lifts the flush valve. Identify the hole that the chain is hooked to and unhook the clasp holding the chain to the arm.

 

2. Remove the Old Handle

Using a crescent wrench, loosen the nut that holds the handle in place. Do this with caution because most toilets have nuts with left-handed threads. That means you have to turn it in the reverse direction instead of turning clockwise like normal nuts.

Don't use force when loosening a nut because if you do, it may crack. Add lubricant like WD-40 to the nut if it is rusted. After loosening the nut, remove it by hand and smoothly move the arm through the hole.

 

3. Attach the New Handle

With a soapy sponge, scrub off any rust stains or mildew that you may find around the handle hole. Take off the nut from the new handle, and pop in the arm into the hole. Glide the nut back over the arm and turn it by hand into the base of the handle. Remember, it's probably a left-handed thread.

Firm it up using a crescent wrench, but don't tighten it too much, or the porcelain may crack.

 

4. Attach the Chain

Clip the chain to the same hole that was attached to the old arm—test by flushing several times. The flush mechanism should open and close completely. If the chain is too loose, it will not drain wholly. If the chain is too tight, it will stop the flush valve from seating perfectly, causing a continuous leak.

You can correct this by adjusting the chain down or up a link or two. You

may also test by trying another hole the chain can be clipped to. When you are satisfied the flush is working well, replace the lid onto the tank.

 

How To Fix a Leaking Toilet

This may look like a complex repair to do. However, it is very simple. If you notice water around your toilet base, the following are some of the possible causes:

·       The bolts that hold the toilet base to the floor might be loose, causing the toilet to rock, breaking the wax ring seal. If this is the problem, every time the toilet flushes, drain water seeps out at the toilet base.

·       The wax ring may be faulty. This could be due to the wax ring growing old and not holding the toilet firmly at its base.

If possible, do not use your leaking toilet. The leaking water is usually dirty causing nasty odors and potential health dangers. Standing water could also damage the floor.

 

Tools and Materials Needed

Depending on the cause of the water leak, you may require one or more of the following:

·       Bucket

·       Sponge

·       Tub and tile caulk

·       Hacksaw (if needed)

·       Putty knife

·       Work gloves

·       Adjustable or open-end wrench

·       Replacement tee bolts

·       Replacement wax ring

·       Toilet tank insulation

·       Toilet tank drip tray

Method

A leaking toilet can be fixed by tightening the tee bolts. You can do this by removing the plastic covers off the tee bolts on each side of the toilet base. With an adjustable wrench, tighten the bolts. This will make the toilet press down against the floor, subsequently compressing the wax ring, restoring its function.

If this proves unproductive, the wax ring is probably worn out or damaged. Go to the next step to replace the wax ring.

 

1. Disconnect the Toilet

Start by buying the wax ring. Any generic wax ring will fix your toilet well. Shut off the water to your bathroom. Do this by closing the shut-off valve under the left side of the toilet tank. Next, flush the toilet. This will drain all the water out from the tank into the bowl. With a sponge, remove the remaining water in both the bowl and tank.

Go ahead and unscrew the nut that holds the fill valve tailpiece to the supply tube. Using an adjustable wrench, remove the tee bolts found at the base of the toilet. If the bolts are corroded and will not turn or continuously spin in place, use a hacksaw to sever the bolts.

 

2. Remove the Toilet

After unbolting, lift the toilet carefully and set it on its side. You might need to rock the toilet gently to break the seal. If you are not gentle enough, the toilet could crack. Ask for help to do this, as toilets have a bizarre centre of gravity, making it easy to drop them.

When you have removed the toilet, buy a new set of tee bolts if they have corroded.

 

3. Remove the Old Wax

Scrap away the old wax using a putty knife. Ensure you have your gloves on, as grim builds over the wax rings as time passes by.

 

4. Install the New Wax Ring

Place the new ring on the drain opening. Ensure the plastic cone faces downwards into the drain. Afterwards, fix the tee bolts firmly in the key openings on both sides of the drain flange.

 

5. Reinstall the Toilet

Cautiously lift the toilet and place it down over the drain, ensuring that the tee bolts thread up well through the holes at the base of the toilet. Use your body weight to press down the toilet into the wax ring. Also, rock it gently from one side to the other to compress the wax, creating a watertight seal.

Put back the nuts and washers to the tee bolts and tighten using a wrench. Ensure they are firmly fixed but not too tight. Remember, if you tighten too much, the porcelain might crack.

 

6. Reconnect The Water Line

When you reattach the fill valve's tailpiece and the water supply together, turn on the shut-off valve. If there are any leaks, tighten the connections. When the toilet tank fills up, flush and check at the base to ensure there are no leaks. If the toilet is no longer leaking, then your wax ring has adequately sealed.

When you are sure that the wax ring is installed correctly, run a bead of caulk and tub around the toilet base at the point the porcelain is in contact with the floor.



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