When it comes to household plumbing issues, there’s little more annoying than a broken or poorly functioning toilet. Not only can toilet problems cause your utilities bills to skyrocket, they can make using your bathroom a nightmare. To prevent your toilet from causing issues or breaking down, it’s important to be aware of some of the leading causes of toilet plumbing problems.
Almost everyone has encountered a clogged toilet! They’re annoying, but they can also be damaging. Unchecked clogs can cause issues to your plumbing and home, such as mold or warped flooring.
Some clogging issues are caused by flushing foreign objects down the drain. These can pose serious problems for your sewer system, creating severe backups. Besides human waste, the only items you should flush are soft paper products like toilet paper and thin napkins. While other paper products may seem like they go down just fine, they can become stuck or build up in the pipes. If you have children in your home, be careful that they don’t flush toys, fabric, or food down the drain. Your toilet’s well-being depends on it!
A plunger can fix most minor clogs, but sometimes the problem is a bit worse, and it’s time to call in a professional.
2. Worn Flapper Valve
Worn-out and malfunctioning toilet parts are another common cause of toilet problems. A flapper is the piece of your toilet that allows water to move from the cistern into the toilet bowl and fill up the bowl after the toilet is flushed. A deteriorated flapper valve can cause your toilet to flush on its own or to run constantly, which could make your water bill skyrocket.
There are two basic reasons a flapper valve malfunction:
- It was defective to begin with.
- It wore down over time.
Either way, if your toilet bowl keeps refilling by itself or the toilet won’t stop running, take a look at the valve inside the tank. If adjusting the valve doesn’t work, you’ll want to have a licensed plumber check it out before it has time to add to your bills.
3. Worn Washer Bolts
If you keep finding random puddles of water under the toilet tank, there are a couple of likely explanations. One is worn washer bolts.
Step one: Take a look at the bolts in the toilet, and feel the outside and bottom of the tank for a leak. There may be a leaking bolt washer that just needs to be tightened.
4. Loose Connections
Loose connections are another cause of a leaking toilet. It’s normal for pieces to fall out of place over time, even on toilets. Rubber linings, for example, can wear away, allowing water to seep through.
Mounting nuts and supply tubes may also loosen up. You’ll want your plumber to go over these areas to ensure everything is sealed properly.
Condensation is another toilet problem that could lead to you finding water on your bathroom floor. A poorly insulated tank might be the cause of the condensation, thanks to cold air. If this is the case, call a professional to come over and cover the impacted areas of your toilet with insulating liners.
6. Broken Tank
Finding water around your toilet is a clear sign of a toilet problem. One of the major issues is a broken or cracked toilet tank. Cracks may not always be visible, but the resulting water will be.
Left unchecked, a broken tank can easily cause problems for you, your toilet, your bathroom floor, and your utility bills. Your toilet’s valve will continue to allow water to fill up the tank to full. But with a crack, it’s likely your tank will never be completely full, causing your toilet to run on its own. If this is the cause of your toilet problems, it’s probably time to install a new appliance.
7. Sewer Line Clog
While most toilet clogs point to a problem with the toilet, some can point to a bigger plumbing problem: a sewer line clog. Sewer line clogs can result from flushed foreign objects, broken pipes, tree roots, or shifting soil. Usually, if more than one appliance is backing up with water, such as both your shower and toilet, it could point to a problem with your sewer line.
If this is the case, it’s important to call a plumber as soon as possible. Leaving a sewer line clog or crack to go without repair can be detrimental to your health and home.
Other signs of a sewer clog include:
- The smell of sewage
- Sudden bright green patches of grass in your yard
- Water overflowing when you use other water appliances within your home
As with any plumbing fixture, your toilet can experience a problem every once in a while. Taking care of it right away can help you avoid more serious situations down the line—and save you money. Understanding what can go wrong with your toilet can help you be better prepared if something happens!
If you’re experiencing an issue with your toilet or another part of your plumbing system, give us a call. When you get a professional involved, you can be sure the job is done right. For toilet problems—whether a minor fix or an emergency—give C&W Plumbing a call at 972-395-2597.
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