Simple Ways to Repair Your Toilet

Is your toilet being temperamental? Do you have a loose toilet handle?

If you answered ‘yes’ then there are a few DIY fixes that can get your toilet up and flushing again. There are some common issues that arise with toilets that are easily and quickly repaired. Take a look at the handy diagram to help you make sense of the terms we’ll be using. Then, grab your toolbox (for some of us that means a plastic grocery bag with some screws and a hammer), and let’s go.

The different parts of the toilet infographic.

Photo via

How to Fix a Running Toilet

Is your toilet running and keeping you up at night? Are you seeing dollar signs floating away with the wasted water? No worries, you can take a go at fixing it as soon as you read these instructions.

  1. Locate the problem. Is the flapper loosely fitting over the flush valve? If it’s not sealing properly then that’s probably why your toilet is running. If the flapper appears to be in good working order then your water tank is most likely too full and flowing above the fill line.

  2. Repairs are simple and cheap with either of these diagnostics. Flappers can be repaired for less than $10 and the new one will provide a better seal and stop the running water issue. If your tank is above the fill line, simply adjust the valve below the toilet bowl.

How to Replace a Float

If a toilet continues to run after the flush cycle is completed try bending the float arm downward. The float ball will shut off the water at a lower tank level. Adjusting the water level in the tank is a matter of perfecting the point at which the float ball shuts off the valve. It may be necessary to replace the float if it appears to be old or is not properly fitted anymore.

How to Unclog a Toilet

Clogged toilets and overflows can be an annoying problem, to say the least. Thankfully, clogs are easily fixed and things won’t get any worse if you use a little patience.

First, reach for a plunger and make sure that you get the best seal that you can. If your plunger doesn’t seal or is basically a warped piece of useless rubber then it’s going to be worth your time and money to run out to buy a new one. Plunge using some elbow power and the clog should release and flush.

If plunging the toilet doesn’t work then purchasing a toilet auger is the next best DIY choice.

How to Fix a Loose Toilet Handle

A loose flush handle is a pain, but the fix is super simple. If your toilet flush handle is giving you problems simply look to see if the lift wire is still attached to the lift arm. Reattaching it is easy if it has been disconnected. Secondly, see if the mounting nut inside of the tank needs to be tightened. A loose nut is the most common cause of loose toilet handles. The adjustment is an easy fix, simply tighten this nut.

How to Fix Toilet-Base Leaks

If you notice small leaks at the base of the toilet bowl, don’t panic. These leaks may be the result of condensation. If you take a closer look and find that the leaks are more significant then put your DIY hat on. The leaks are most likely due to a worn-out wax ring at the base of the toilet. The wax ring is responsible for keeping water flowing in a straight line down the “great abyss”. This repair project will require more time since you will have to remove the toilet to replace the wax ring. The good news is that it’s an inexpensive and straightforward repair.

Wrapping Up

Toilet issues can be frustrating, especially when they happen first thing on a Monday morning. Follow these simple ways to repair your toilet and you should be good to go. These fixes require minimal time and money. We’re going to keep the helpful tips coming because as much as we love your business, we also realize that our customers are real people with real budgets to stick to.

If you find that your toilet is still running, leaking, etc. after following the above tips then give us a call. Plumbing First is always a call away for our Delaware neighbors!