How to Maintain Your Toilet and Prevent Problems


white modern toilet

The toilet will usually tell you when something is wrong. It will run continually or flush inefficiently. You can use our DIY plumbing section to determine what is the problem, and go to fix it.

It is important to keep the toilet free of clogs.

Do not put any objects other than what the toilet is intended for into it. This includes "the business" and toilet paper. Any other items should be placed in the trash.

To prevent people putting objects into the toilet that do not belong there, keep a small trash can near the toilet to encourage the throwing away of non-toilet friendly items.

Your Toilet Keeps Running

How to stop your toilet from running constantly:

First, check the float ball. If it is submerged more than halfway in the water, it is waterlogged and can't rise high enough to shut off the fill valve. Replace the ball.

Check the guide arm to make sure it's not binding on the inside of the tank or the overflow tube. If it is, straighten the guide arm.

If the float ball and guide arm are operating properly, adjust the water level by bending the guide arm or turning the adjustment screws on the fill valve. Flush the toilet and recheck the water level. When it is adjusted correctly, the water level will be even with the fill line on the tank or overflow tube.

Service or replace the fill valve. Turn off the water supply and flush. Open the fill valve, rinse the parts and replace any worn seals. On plunger types, loosen the thumbscrews to slide out the float arm and lift out the plunger. On diaphragm types, remove the top screws. On float-cup types, remove the cap and push down on the top assembly as you unscrew it. To replace a fill valve, sponge out the tank, remove the refill tube and then disconnect the water-supply tube's coupling nut and the mounting nut with channel-type pliers. Reverse the procedure to install. Check the manufacturer's instructions to locate the fill valve's critical level, which must be a minimum of 1 inch (2.5 cm) higher than the top of the overflow tube. Most replacement fill valves are adjustable in height.

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