A broken toilet can be a messy affair in more ways than one, especially if you have no plumbing experience and a need to go RIGHT NOW. So, what do you do when there’s no time or money for a plumber?Well, sometimes professional help is a must, but there are a few things you can try before you break down and call in the experts or resort to buying a new toilet
.Problem: Toilet Won’t Flush
You push the lever and there’s nothing; no sound, no swirl, nada. That could be several things:1. Bent Flapper – The flapper is the doodad that covers the water intake and lets water into the bowl when you flush. Replace as needed.2. Broken Chain – The chain that connects your handle to the flapper could be busted or disconnected. Replace the chain or, for an immediate fix, operate the flapper manually.3. Low Water Level – There may not be enough water in the tank, which is a symptom of another problem, but one you can fix by making sure the water valve is open and/or pouring water in the tank for a quick flush.4. Clogged Toilet – This is a problem that should be evident way before you realize it won’t flush, and can be fixed by nearly anyone with a plunger and some elbow grease.Problem: Toilet Runs
You can literally hear your water bill going up because your toilet won’t stop running. Here are the usual suspects:1. Bent Flapper – This time, it’s causing trouble by allowing water to leak into the bowl all the time. Again, replace as needed.2. Broken Float – The float is the bulb that rises and falls with the water level and lets your toilet know when the tank is full. Adjust or replace it if it’s rising above the overflow tube and letting water out.3. Faulty Fill Valve – The fill valve allows water back into the tank and is controlled by the float. A leaky valve is easily replaced.Problem: Toilet Overflows
You flush the toilet and water goes everywhere but where you want it. What happened?1. Clogged Toilet – Odds are that your toilet is clogged deep in the siphon. First, try a plunger
, but if that doesn’t work you may have to employ a toilet snake (like the one at right).2. Overflowing Tank – This is often caused by a poorly adjusted float. First, turn off the water valve to stop the flow. Replace the float or adjust it by bending it downward and/or fixing the float chain.For more serious problems with toilet clogs, toilet overflows or a running toilet, consider trying to contact a local plumber via Porch.com
for reliable expert help.