Troubleshooting Toilet Flush Problems 101

Getting to the Bottom of the Malfunction

We have all flushed our toilet and without a second thought, left the bathroom to the sound of the toilet bowl refilling with water and went about our daily business fully expecting the bowl to fill then miraculously shut itself off, only to find ten, fifteen or even twenty minutes later that there is still a sound coming from our bathroom when all should be silent.

So you trod back to your lavatory with a quizzical look on your face only to find the tank is filled, but the water is still running.

This is not only annoying but could also turn out to be costly with all the water you are wasting. If this happens first check the handle and trip lever to make sure the assembly that is connected to the flush ball is not malfunctioning.

Make certain the flush ball is properly seated on the ball seat. The two things that could cause this leak are: the ball seat being corroded or the float ball may be punctured and may have excessive water inside, hindering it to rise up to the correct level.

If you ever opened a conventional toilet after it has been flushed you will have witnessed that as the water rises in the tank, so does the float ball and when it reaches a point just below the overflow tube, the float shuts off the inlet valve because the tank is full and ready for the next flush.

So what if this doesn’t happen, what are some simple solutions for troubleshooting your toilet?

Homeowners tend to get a little nervous when it comes to their bathrooms plumbing design. Well if your toilet won’t flush properly the first thing you should do is check your tank. The water level may be too low in the tank.

If that is the case, you can simply bend the float ball arm up to permit enough water to flow into your toilet bowl. If on the other hand, you have a cylindrical float, you can pinch the clamp on the side of the float to raise it up.

Dealing With Water Flow Issues

Another problem you may encounter is when the water runs constantly even after the tank is filled. Since water level is a result of the float ball, the first thing you should do is adjust the float downward.

Examine the float ball to make sure it has no holes causing it to retain water and as a result not float properly. Another thing you can check is the inlet valve washer which could possibly be leaking and needs to be replaced. And lastly, check the flush ball and ball seat for deterioration which could cause the seal to fail.

If your toilet won’t flush at all check the lever assembly, this includes in functional order, the handle, next to the trip lever, the guide arm and float arm.

Just make sure the connections between the parts are not corroded, and nothing is hindering the free movement of the assembly. With the toilet handle, make certain it is neither too loose nor too tight. Check the trip lever to ensure it is not bent, if so straighten it out.

Next, the connection between the trip lever and the guide arm may also be out-of-whack or even broken from corrosion. If out of alignment, this must be corrected or else the flush ball may not be raised up high enough to let the tank water out.

Toilet drain problems however can become more involved. If using a plunger or snake does not resolve the toilet being backed up, you may be required to remove your toilet from its foundation to get at your drains to unclog any blockage material, which unfortunately may require you to involve a plumber.

As you can see with conventional toilets, the everyday laymen/woman can troubleshoot and repair their toilet flush problems without the aid of a plumbing professional. Most of the flush problems in your toilet arise from the water level being either too high or too low.

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