There is nothing more annoying than wasting money on something you could have done yourself – for dirt cheap!
Did you know there are many toilet issues that can be solved without calling a plumber?
Not every running toilet is something to need to hit the phone book, Yelp, or Angie’s List to search for a plumber. In fact, you might just be able to fix it all by yourself.
Now, you’re not going to become a toilet expert overnight, but you can at least try to determine what could be wrong with your toilet.
If you’re looking to avoid wasting money on a plumber, check out these 9 tips!
1. Toilet won’t stop running?
Your running toilet might simply need a new flapper! Run to the store or order one off of Amazon to get started on this tip.
First, turn the water off, then flush the toilet to remove the water from the tank. You’ll grab your new flapper and follow the packing instructions for replacing the old flapper.
2. Fix a noisy toilet and find the source of the sound
To fix a noisy toilet, you are going to want the manual handy just in case!
According to Loews, you can fix this. “If possible, replace the fill valve diaphragm seal. Replacement seals are available for several fill valves/ballcocks. Replace the fill valve/ballcock. It’s easier than it may sound. Replacement fill valves/ballcocks are reasonably priced and can be installed simply by following the manufacturer’s instructions.”
3. Avoid getting paint on your toilet when redecorating
This is a tip that will make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”
Seriously, this seems so easy but you’ve probably struggled with painting your bathroom for years! Instead of getting paint all over your toilet whenever you want to change things up, you can use this simple tip.
Just tape a garbage bag around the porcelain and voila!
4. No plunger? You can unclog a toilet without one!
Plungers are really handy when it comes to a clog, but you can survive without one at times as well.
An important reminder, if you think your toilet is clogged, don’t start flushing multiple times in a row. That will make things much worse!
You can try to get rid of a clog without a plunger by using extremely hot water and dish soap. Almost everyone who lives in a house, apartment, condo, etc. will have this at the ready. The hot water helps break down the clog and the dish soap acts as a lubricant to get the clog to flush away smoothly.
5. Fix a weak flush
A weak or strong can make and break a situation. But we’d all prefer a strong flush over a weak one, right?
You can change this by adjusting where the float is located in your tank. The higher you set the float will produce a stronger flush, as it sets the water level higher in the tank. The float should be set around 1 inch below the top of the overflow valve.
6. Get rid of harsh, discolored lines
Are you grossed out by the hard lines that seem to form in your toilet?
Don’t toss your toilet out and try to replace it. You can get rid of that build up by cleaning the siphon jets!
Are you unsure of where a siphon jet is or what it even does? Don’t worry! You can find the siphon jets right under the lip of the toilet, they are little holes along the rim. You can clean this easily with a thin wire brush!
These should be cleaned at least once a year. If you’re having trouble with stubborn stains, you can duct tape the holes closed and soak the tank in vinegar overnight.
7. Find a leak in your toilet using Kool-Aid
Now a leak is something you’ll want to have checked out by a professional, but you want to make sure you have a leak before you call one.
You don’t want to seem crazy if there isn’t a leak and it is just your imagination!
To check for a leak, you actually can grab a packet of Kool-Aid. The dye in the Kool-Aid is strong enough for this test. Simply pour the mix into the tank, then wait 15 minutes. If your toilet doesn’t change colors, there is no leak. But if you see Kool-Aid in the bowl, you’ve got a leak.
8. Enlist your kids in helping clean the toilet
A happy toilet is a clean toilet. You cannot avoid every issue there is by cleaning, but it sure does help.
9. A Stuck and/or loose handle
Am I the only person who hates when the handle is slightly askew? Maybe I am, but it seriously irks me!
The fix for this is actually pretty quick! According to Loews, “Remove the tank cover and clean the mounting nut (located on the inside behind the handle) so the handle operates smoothly.”
If that area around the mounting nut has a limescale build up, you can clean it with a brush dipped in vinegar!