Toilet maintenance tips are crucial pieces of information that help you best care for this important plumbing fixture. For every homeowner across Louisville, Kentucky, toilet problems pop up when least expected – keep your toilet fixture maintained to manage the risk of preventable issues. With proper maintenance, residents deal with far fewer toilet problems in general.
Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling understands toilet maintenance isn’t at the top of anyone’s list of fun activities. However, these maintenance tips ensure the well-being of your toilet for years to come. Unforeseen toilet problems cause unexpected stress to homeowners – work to avoid it with proper toilet maintenance. Along with toilet maintenance tips, we go over some of the most common toilet issues.
Toilet Maintenance Tips: Common Problems
To understand our toilet maintenance tips, homeowners need to grasp why their toilets act up. These issues are often preventable problems. Regular maintenance takes care of the fixture before little problems turn into big ones. These are all issues homeowners see on a regular basis, which means most have DIY solutions. However, in a pinch or if you’re unsure, it’s always better to consult a professional.
- Bowl slow to drain. Slow-to-empty toilet bowls are a common problem for homeowners. Known as weak flushes, this occurs when the holes under the rim of the bowl clog. To fix this problem, use a wire hanger or other wire tool to hook the clog and remove it. Use mirrors to help see where you stick the wire to avoid scratches to the bowl.
- Trickling water in the tank. Water trickling from the tank sounds like a hissing noise. The hissing noise actually comes from the supply in many cases, but it does cause concern for some homeowners. In these circumstances, the problem usually stems from either the float, refill tube, ballcock, or inlet valve. These issues usually require the help of a trained plumber.
- Leaking seals. Next, leaky seals leave homes vulnerable to water damage. Over time, seals on the fixture deteriorate. This leads to water leaks of varying severity. Several places on the toilet require seals, so there are multiple spots to look for a leak. It’s best to identify where the leak came from, then you are able to pinpoint the seal that has gone bad.
- Clogs in the toilet. It’s no surprise clogs are the most common problem for homeowners – it’s a year-round issue in many homes. Homeowners never want to deal with clogged toilets, yet this problem continues to happen because of poor toilet maintenance. At-home methods take care of these issues. Plungers are the method homeowners are typically most familiar with, but snakes and augers help you tackle more difficult blockages.
- Trickling water in the bowl. Lastly, homeowners experience trouble with trickling water in the toilet bowl. Toilets sometimes refill without being flushed, which is called a phantom flush. Toilet bowls refill after they are flushed. Leaks from the tank go into the bowl when this occurs. The bowl refills on its own usually because of a bad flapper.
Importance of Our Toilet Maintenance Tips
The benefits of toilet maintenance are a surprise to some homeowners. Our toilet maintenance tips help homeowners understand the importance of regular service to the toilet. Understandably so, toilet maintenance falls low on the list of priorities for most homeowners. Toilet issues range in severity, but many problems are prevented through regular maintenance, which helps your toilet to function at its best like all other plumbing fixtures in your home.
Consistent maintenance for your toilet ensures preventable problems are kept under wraps. Toilet maintenance protects homes from the common issues listed above and the resulting water damage they may cause. With at-home maintenance, homeowners experience fewer issues than those who go without it.
Additionally, schedule regular professional maintenance to ensure the well-being of your whole plumbing system, including toilets. Without this maintenance, preventable problems become expensive repairs or replacements. No one wants to pay for something they had the chance to prevent!
The toilet maintenance tips we are about to mention are essential for homeowners. Well-maintained toilets break down less and have fewer malfunctions. Additionally, the lifespan of the toilet grows with regular maintenance. Make these toilet maintenance tips part of your monthly home maintenance checklist.
Toilet Maintenance Tips: The Best Advice
It’s recommended that Louisville homeowners practice these tasks at least once a month to ensure the well-being of the toilet—and plumbing system as a whole. Luckily, these toilet maintenance tips are easy to perform and don’t take up too much of your time. Through diligent maintenance, homeowners prevent many common toilet problems.
- Dispose properly. Out of all the toilet maintenance tips, this one is the easiest to follow. Avoid flushing anything but human waste and toilet paper down the toilet drain. Feminine products, diapers, cotton balls and swabs, paper towels, and other paper-based materials clog toilets much faster than toilet paper and waste. Keep these items out of the toilet and only flush human waste and toilet paper.
- Clean the toilet. Though it seems like obvious to clean your toilet, homeowners often neglect this task, resulting in insufficient or infrequent cleaning. With regular cleaning, a toilet experiences fewer clogs in the bowl and under the rim of the seat. Plus, over time the effort required to clean the toilet decreases.
- Leak checks. Leaks occur in many places on a toilet. Frequently check toilets for leaks to stop them before they lead to major fixture failures. There are several places to check, so be sure to look over every inch of your toilet – inside and out. Look for wet areas on and around the fixture, and use food coloring in the tank to detect tank leaks. Add some food coloring to the tank and leave the toilet alone for 30 minutes. If the water in the bowl changes colors, you have a leak. These need the help of a plumber.
- Use water softeners. Compared to soft water, hard water contains more hard minerals like calcium. These minerals block pipes over time, which leads to more clogs. Hard water also breaks down key components of the toilet. For example, seals deteriorate faster when regularly exposed to hard water. To combat this, invest in a water softener to remove the harsh minerals from the water.
- Fill valve. Next on the list of toilet maintenance tips comes the fill valve. Located inside of the tank, the fill valve stops dispensing water when the tank fills. To check it, remove the tank lid and flush the toilet. If the fill valve continues to dispense water once the proper water level is reached, repair or toilet replacement is necessary. To properly diagnose this issue, check with a plumber.
- No harsh chemical cleaners. When cleaning or unclogging the toilet, avoid harsh cleaners. Though they do remove clogs, they also damage the pipe system. With frequent use, these cleaners lead to leaks or even pipe bursts because they contain corrosive chemicals. These issues are far more expensive to fix than a stubborn clog.
- Shut-off valve. The shut-off valve, or stop valve, cuts off the water supply to the toilet. It is located either under or behind the fixture. It needs to turn easily to be considered functional. If it provides resistance or doesn’t turn at all, it needs repaired or replaced. Check this valve at least once a month to ensure it always works properly.
- Maintenance checks. Last but not least, regular maintenance must be scheduled for the well-being of the toilet. Even with these toilet maintenance tips, homeowners still need a professional to examine their toilet once a year. Professional plumbers are trained to find tiny problems with the plumbing or the toilet and make needed repairs to improve function of these fixtures.
When to Call a Professional
There are some issues that require the attention of trained professionals. The toilet maintenance tips listed above help prevent problems, but if issues do arise, they need to be resolved to limit the damage they cause. When that happens, call in a professional plumber from Jarboe’s.
- Multiple fixture problems. Underlying issues with the plumbing cause multiple fixtures to experience problems at the same time. When only one toilet malfunctions, the situation is usually isolated to the fixture. Multiple fixture problems point to a larger issue in the plumbing system.
- Leaks. As we said in our toilet maintenance tips above, homeowners must regularly check for leaks in their toilet. When if you find a leak, call a professional plumber. DIY fixes for some leaks are out there, but if you aren’t comfortable performing these solutions, call for the assistance of a plumber.
- Stubborn clogs. For most clogs, a good session with the plunger takes care of the issue. When the plunger doesn’t work, many homeowners turn to snakes and auger. However, those still may fail to clear the problem. Some clogs require the help of a professional, who uses advanced tools and methods to clear clogs deep in your plumbing system.
Contact Us for More Toilet Maintenance Tips
Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling wants to help homeowners understand how and why to perform these toilet maintenance tips. We work to educate homeowners on toilet maintenance and perform the annual professional maintenance your fixtures need. Never worry about toilet maintenance again with Jarboe’s on the scene!
For more information on Jarboe’s services, give us a call today. Schedule your next maintenance visit – remember to have a service check at least once a year!