Basic Toilet Repair

A toilet being worked on.

Basic toilet repairs are bound to be necessary from time to time. With some care and attention, you can perform basic toilet repairs rather than paying an expensive plumber.

For the purposes of toilet repairs, the toilet can be divided into two parts — the toilet tank and the toilet bowl.

Toilet Bowl

If the wax or other material that was used to seal the base of the toilet bowl is defective, a leak may develop and result in a damp bathroom floor. You need to turn off the water supply to the toilet before you attempt this toilet repair.

Once the system is dry, remove the bowl and clean the pipe. Then replace the bowl and reseal it thoroughly.

If the seal is fine and the bowl is still leaking, it may be that there is a crack in the porcelain. This is extremely unlikely. However, if this is the case toilet repair is impossible and the whole bowl will need to be replaced.

Toilet Tank

The most common toilet repair issue is a tank that is constantly running, which is caused by a leak somewhere in the tank. The best way to test whether your toilet is suffering from this toilet repair problem is to place a few drops of food coloring into the tank and see if the water in the bowl becomes the same color. If the bowl's water has the food dye in it, you have a leak.

Replacement parts for the components for this toilet repair are not expensive. Examine the components carefully to see what has failed.

Before you order any replacement parts, see whether the problem can be remedied by making adjustments to the length of the lever wire or the positioning of the tank ball.

However, if you cannot solve the problem with adjustments, you may have to replace some parts.

A common toilet repair issue in toilet tanks is the deterioration of the valve at the bottom of the tank called the flapper. This can deteriorate as a result of the use of bleach and other common “in tank" cleaning products.

If the flapper is in good condition, check the ballcock. It has to rise adequately to shut off the refill valve. They sometimes get waterlogged and need to be emptied or replaced.