Thursday, March 25, 2010

DIY Toilet Fixes from Popular Mechanics

Troubleshoot Your Toilet Without a Plumber

Overflowing, constantly running and sweating toilets can test a home owner's sanity. Sometimes you'll have to go with a pro, but here are seven common problems you can fix yourself. Excerpted from the Popular Mechanics book When Duct Tape Just Isn't Enough, published by Hearst Books/Sterling Publishing. Check out previous excerpts here.
Published on: March 31, 2009

(Photograph by Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images)

You’re spending a lot more time in the bathroom than you’d like because your toilet never seems to completely flush on the first try.

A poorly flushing standard toilet can be caused by a number of different problems. Lift the tank cover, and first check the chain that runs from the flapper cap to the flush handle; if it is too long, the handle won’t lift the flapper cap sufficiently. Shorten the chain length by hooking into another link of the chain. Next, look at the water level in the tank—the amount of water affects how strong the flush will be. If the tank is not filling all the way (there should be a fill line on the inside of the tank), carefully bend the bulb of the float valve up a bit and see if the tank will fill. If it does not, check the toilet bowl rim holes (through which the water enters the bowl) with a small mirror, and if they are blocked, clean them with a small nail and acid-based porcelain cleaner. If none of the above does the trick, you may have a misadjusted or faulty fill valve that needs replacement


  1. There are times that we could just handle those leaks by ourselves but when it comes to more complicated plumbing jobs, a professional plumber should be contact.

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