Prevent Common Toilet Issues with these Maintenance Tips
Toilet maintenance tips help Indianapolis homeowners avoid plumbing issues and keep bathrooms worry-free. Toilet problems pop up when you least expect them, so it’s important to keep the fixture maintained to eliminate preventable issues. With proper maintenance, residents of Indianapolis, Indiana deal with far fewer toilet problems than those who go without.
Williams Comfort Air has the answers for homeowners across the city. These toilet maintenance tips come from our licensed plumbers, who have the knowledge and experience it takes to keep toilets in proper working order. Malfunctioning toilets cause unnecessary stress to homeowners – eliminate it to the best of your ability with these toilet maintenance tips. We also discuss some of the most common toilet problems and when to call a professional in for help.
The Most Common Toilet Problems
To understand our toilet maintenance tips, you must know about common problems that some homeowners experience. These issues are typically preventable problems when you regularly follow our toilet maintenance tips.
If they occur, common toilet problems range in severity. At-home methods are available to help solve these issues, but it’s always good to get an opinion from a trained plumber.
- Clogged toilet. Firstly, clogs are the most common toilet problem for homeowners. Clogs not only stop up the toilet, but a toilet out of use causes major inconveniences to the homeowner and anyone in the home. No matter what caused the clog, there are several courses of action to take. Plungers are the most popular and easiest to use, but snakes and augers are also available for more difficult blockages.
- Seals leaking. Next, leaky seals make homes vulnerable to water damage. Over time, seals on the toilet fixture deteriorate, which leads to water leaks. Several locations on the toilet utilize seals, so there are multiple places for a leak to occur. It’s best to identify the leak’s location from before taking further action – more on that when we discuss our toilet maintenance tips.
- Dripping the water in the bowl. Occasionally, homeowners hear a toilet refill without being flushed. Normally, a toilet bowl refills after it is flushed – when it refills without anyone flushing, this is called a phantom flush.
Leaks from the tank go into the bowl. This causes the bowl to refill on its own. In most cases, this problem stems from a bad flapper.
- Dripping water in the tank. Along with phantom flushes, toilets experience trickling water in the tank. This issue normally produces a hissing noise from the tank. The hissing noise actually comes from the supply line in many cases. In these circumstances, the problem usually stems from either the float, refill tube, ballcock, or inlet valve.
- Slow to empty bowl. Weak flushes are another common problem for toilets. Toilet bowls empty slowly when the holes under the rim of the bowl are clogged. To fix this problem, use a wire hanger or other slender wire tool to hook the clog and remove it. Use mirrors to help see where you stick the wire to avoid scratches to the bowl.
The Importance of Toilet Maintenance
For most homeowners, dealing with toilet issues falls low on their priority lists – even when they work properly, toilets just aren’t at the top of one’s mind. Simply cleaning a toilet brings about negative feelings. However, your toilet needs maintenance like all other water fixtures in your home. Our toilet maintenance tips help homeowners perform maintenance and understand its many benefits.
Toilet maintenance aids in the prevention of the common problems listed above. Regularly maintaining your toilet ensures preventable problems are not an issue in your household. Along with at-home maintenance, it’s incredibly important to schedule professional service checks at least once a year to ensure the health of your entire plumbing system. Without this maintenance, preventable problems have the potential to grow and become expensive repairs or replacements. No one wants to pay for something they had the chance to prevent!
Make these toilet maintenance tips a part of your regular home maintenance routine. Well-maintained toilets break down less and have fewer malfunctions. Plus, the lifespan of the fixture increases with frequent service checks. Nothing is worse than not being able to use your own toilet because of unexpected issues, so make sure to practice these tips at least once a month.
The Best Toilet Maintenance Tips
Toilet maintenance requires diligence on behalf of the homeowner. Luckily, these toilet maintenance tips are easy to perform and take little of your time. Get in the habit of performing these checks once a month to ensure the health of the toilet and prevent numerous problems.
- Clean the toilet. Though it seems obvious to clean your toilet, many homeowners simply despise this chore. This leads to a quick and incomplete clean, or too much time between cleanings. With regular and thorough cleaning, a toilet experiences fewer clogs in the bowl and under the rim of the seat. Plus, over time the effort required to clean the toilet significantly decreases.
Clean the toilet’s exterior, seat, and bowl. Apply toilet cleaner to the bowl, as close to its rim as you are able to get to prevent dilution. Scrub the bowl from the top and work your way down, starting under the seat rim and ending at the drain hole. Apply baking soda to porcelain toilet bowls to help remove stains. Put the seat down and flush to clean up.
- Use water softeners. The hardness of our water contributes to the way toilets and other plumbing fixtures work. Hard water contains minerals that build up in a toilet, which makes it easier for it to clog. Hard water also breaks down key components of the toilet, such as seals, at a much faster rate than soft water. To combat this issue, invest in a water softener to remove harsh minerals from your water supply.
- Follow waste rules. The best way to beat clogs is to only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Out of all the toilet maintenance tips, this one is the easiest to follow. Avoid flushing feminine products, cotton balls and swabs, diapers, paper towels, and other heavy paper-based materials, as well as any other items that don’t belong in a toilet. These items are the causes of many frequent clogs homeowners face. Make sure you only dispose of waste and toilet paper in the toilet.
- Leak checks. Frequently check toilets for leaks to avoid fixture performance issues and water damage in your home. Leaks can spring up in multiple parts of a toilet, so there are several places to check.
Look for wet areas on and around the toilet. For tank leaks, add some food coloring to the tank and let it sit for 30 minutes. If the water in the bowl changes colors, you have a leak. These need the help of a professional.
- Fill valve observation. Next, check the fill valve located inside of the tank. First, remove the tank lid and flush the toilet. When properly functioning, the fill valve stops releasing water when the tank has completely refilled. However, if the fill valve continues to dispense water, it’s time to explore repairs or replacements. To properly diagnose this issue, check with a plumber.
- Shut-off valve testing. The shut-off valve, or stop valve, cuts off the water supply to the toilet. Located either under or behind the toilet, the shut-off valve needs to turn easily. If it doesn’t turn or provides resistance, you will not be able to cut the water supply easily or quickly if a leak occurs. In this case, the shut-off valve needs to be repaired or replaced. Check this valve at least once a month to ensure proper functioning.
- No harsh chemical cleaners. Our toilet maintenance tips list must contain a piece of advice about harsh chemical cleaners. When cleaning the toilet or clearing clogs, avoid harsh cleaners. Though they do remove clogs easily, they also damage the pipe system.
Chemical cleaners are corrosive, which means they break down your pipes over time. With frequent use, these cleaners lead to leaks or cause sudden pipe bursts, both of which have the potential to cause significant water damage to your home. These issues are far more expensive to fix than a stubborn clog, so avoid the harsh chemicals that cause them in the first place.
- Professional maintenance checks. Finally, schedule regular maintenance visits from a licensed plumber to ensure the health of your toilets and plumbing system. Even with these toilet maintenance tips, homeowners still need a professional to care for their toilets on an annual basis Professional plumbers are trained to find tiny problems in toilets and in plumbing systems in general, then repair or replace components to prevent damage and performance issues. Regular maintenance is essential for that reason.
When to Call a Professional
There are some issues best left to trained professionals. Even with our toilet maintenance tips, significant issues require an experienced plumber’s skill. Call in one of Williams Comfort Air’s trained plumbers when you suspect one of these problems with your toilet.
- Leaks. As we said in our toilet maintenance tips above, homeowners must check for leaks in their toilet. When you find a leak, call a professional to help. Some leaks have DIY fixes, but not all homeowners have the skill or knowledge to perform them. A licensed plumber needs to take a look at the fixture to properly diagnose the problem and correct it.
- Stubborn clogs. A clogged toilet is usually resolved with a plunger. For more difficult clogs, snakes and augers do the trick. But, there are some stubborn clogs that need a professional for removal. At-home methods often work, but not always. When this happens, it’s time to call in reinforcements. Plumbers are well-equipped to handle clogs that extend beyond your toilet, deep within the pipe system.
- Multiple fixture problems. Large underlying problems cause multiple water fixtures in your home to malfunction – not just your toilet. When more than one fixture acts up, the problem likely stems from the plumbing system on the whole. Multiple fixture problems point to a larger issue in the plumbing system.
Contact Us for More Toilet Maintenance Tips
William Comfort Air’s toilet maintenance tips make caring for your toilet stress-free. In Indianapolis, Indiana, our plumbers are ready to help with any plumbing problem you have.
For more information about William Comfort Air’s plumbing services, give us a call today. Schedule your next maintenance check and ensure your toilet is in good working order. We look forward to hearing from you!