So your toilet keeps running and running. How do you fix it? You really don’t like the handle that is on the toilet and would like to change it. Read on to know how to make some very easy repairs and adjustments on your toilet.
Cracked seat. The very first repair I learned to do on a toilet was to change the seat. I had just moved into my first apartment and I wanted to start off “fresh.” The first step in replacing the toilet seat is obviously to get the right size. Toilet seats come in two different sizes, standard and elongated. These two sizes are easily distinguishable. And replacing the seat is just as easy. It is held on by two bolts at the back of the seat. Unscrew the washer on the underside to release the old seat and replace with the new one. There is usually a decorative cap to hide the bolt head that slides into place.
Loose seat. I had a friend that used another friend’s bathroom once and literally slid off the toilet because the seat was so loose! Make sure the nut on the underside of the bolt is tight or this might happen to you.
Replacing the handle. This, too, is easy. Inside the tank, there is a mounting nut that holds the handle on. There is also a lever with a chain on it. Disconnect the chain from the lever, loosen the nut, and the handle is off. Keep in mind that the threads on the mounting nut are reversed so you have to turn it clock wise to loosen it.
Loose handle. The mounting nut is the thing that holds the handle in place. Over time, it could become loose. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nut. As stated above, the threads on the mounting nut are reversed. Also, do not over-tighten the nut or the tank could crack. The repair on that would be too major and not covered in this article!
Adjust the chain for better flushing. Another very simple repair. If you have to hold the handle down while flushing, the chain may be too long. Simply take the chain and hook it to the handle in a shorter loop of the chain.
Sticky handle. If you have lift wires in your toilet, one may be bent. Straightening it will help the handle work better.
Adjusting the float arm. There is a screw on the top of the fill valve to adjust. This allows more or less water to fill the tank.
Replacing the flapper. If water seeps into your bowl even when the toilet hasn’t been flushed, it could be because the flapper isn’t closing properly. Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush the toilet to get the water out of the tank. The flapper is made of rubber and is very easy to remove and install another one. Make sure to disconnect the chain from it first. Usually there are simple installation instructions that come with the new flapper.
“Sweating” tank. If it is warm and humid, you may find your toilet tank is “sweating” because of the cold water inside the tank. Much like a glass of ice water does on a hot, summer day. Unfortunately, this water can drip on the floor and ruin the floor, or you may develop a mold problem. You can buy and install a tank liner that acts as an insulator. They are made of foam and attach to the inside walls of the tank. You can buy one at your local home improvement store.
Drain maintenance. There is nothing worse than a clogged toilet. Taking preventative measures to “keep things moving” is a must. There are an abundance of products to use in this regard, ranging from quick acting clog busters to stuff you pour down your drains to work over time. The type of pipes that you have and the type of system that you have determine which products you can use. Always read the labels before you buy. If you are unsure, go to a plumbing supply store and ask them to recommend something.
So these are some of the quick and easy repairs that you can make on a toilet. If you have water leaking some place that you can’t find the source, it may be best to call in a professional.