Serving Greater Lynchburg

Solving Common Toilet Problems

Solving Common Toilet Problems

Toilet Problems

One of the most common reasons people call a plumber is for toilets that are not working properly. Here are some of the typical issues you’re likely to experience and how you can avoid them.

1. Running Toilet
Running toilets are one of the most common plumbing problems in the home. Running toilets may seem like just a minor annoyance, but they can end up wasting a lot of water. Even a slow running toilet can waste gallons of water every week. Running toilets are typically caused by one of three problems:

  • Worn flapper – rubber parts can wear out allowing water to leak under the seal
  • Chain caught under the flapper causing it to remain stuck open
  • Improper float level in the tank causing water to overflow

Replacing the flapper is a simple, low cost fix for most running toilet problems.

2. Clogged Toilet
After a running toilet, the most common toilet problem is a clog. Clogged toilets are often caused by flushing too much toilet paper or putting items down the toilet that should go in the trash can instead. This includes sanitary pads, cotton swabs, as well as products that are labeled as “flushable”. Clogs tend to occur with older plumbing systems, although newer low-flow toilets can clog more easily because they use less water per flush than older toilets.

If a second flush doesn’t clear a clog,  you’ll need to use a plunger to free the clog from the trap.  Be sure to use the right kind of plunger. There are plungers specifically designed to work with toilets.

2. Overflowing Toilet
When a clog is severe enough that water pressure cannot push it through, an overflow is likely to occur. This results in a very unpleasant mess. If a toilet plunger doesn’t clear the clog, call Hickey Plumbing, Air & Electrical. We use specialized tools that can clear the toughest clogs.

4. Weak Flush
A weak flush is caused by a lack of pressure or water flow in the pipe leading into the toilet.  One common cause of low pressure is a toilet water valve that is not completely open. Also, check that the water level in the tank is at the right level. If it’s too low it will reduce the power of the flush. If these suggestions do not fix the problem, call us for service.

5. Leaking toilet
Like a running toilet, a leaking toilet can waste a lot of water. Because it can be hard to detect, check for a leaking toilet tank by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait about 10 minutes and check to see if the color has reached the bowl. If it has, then you have a leak that should be fixed.