Basic Toilet Problems

Simple Solutions for Basic Toilet Problems

By Mark J. Donovan

The Clogged Toilet

Toilets are a fairly simple and innocuous bathroom appliance, except for the occasional time when you flush and the water actually rises in the bowl, versus descends. In such an instant find the shut off valve to the toilet and turn it off quickly. The valve should be located just under the toilet tank. Then grab your plunger and relieve the clog that has obviously occurred.

Sweating Toilet

Toilet tanks also have a tendency to sweat during the summer months due to hot, humid air coming in contact with a toilet tank filled with cold water. To eliminate a sweating toilet you can install insulating rubber or foam material inside the tank to prevent this problem.

Failed Toilet Wax Ring

Occasionally the toilet wax ring underneath the toilet can fail, causing water to pool around the toilet, or even cause a drain leak that potentially shows up on a lower level ceiling. If this occurs, the toilet needs to be removed and a new toilet wax ring installed. See my “Changing a Toilet Wax Ring Ebook” to learn how to make this repair.

Continuously Running Toilet

This situation occurs when the float arm does not raise high enough to turn off the inlet valve inside the toilet. Sometimes this happens due to the float ball filling with water, or the inlet valve stopper no longer shutting off properly.

When this situation occurs, check the float ball and the inlet valve assembly. Both can easily be replaced and parts can be found at any home improvement store.

How to install a toilet like a professional plumber.

The Noisy Sounding Toilet

When the toilet tank is filling with water and you hear a high pitch noise, it is probably due to a blockage in the supply line. Shut the toilet supply valve off and disconnect the supply line hose.

Check it, and the valve area for blockages that could be constricting the flow of water. You may also want to replace the supply line hose if it is crimped in any way.

Toilet Doesn’t Flush Well

This could be caused by the toilet flapper not rising up far enough, or staying up long enough, when you push on the toilet handle. Remove the toilet tank cover and check the toilet lever arm to see that it operates correctly. Make sure it pulls up the toilet flapper high enough and long enough to allow a sufficient amount of the toilet tank water to enter into the toilet bowl.

Toilet Wax Ring Replacement Ebook

For information on installing a shower pan membrane liner for a ceramic tile shower, see the Shower Pan Membrane Liner Installation eBook from  The Shower Pan Membrane Liner EBook will quickly teach you the step-by-step process for installing the shower pan membrane liner correctly. It includes instructions on framing the shower stall, pouring the pre-slope and shower base mortar, and installing the shower pan membrane liner.

For information on how to tile a custom ceramic tile shower, see the “How to Tile a Custom Ceramic Tile Shower eBook” from This eBook will quickly provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to measure and install ceramic tile in a shower, including the installation of tile on shower walls, floors and curbs. It provides detailed instructions for every step in the process of tiling a custom ceramic tile shower and is loaded with instructional pictures!

Related Information

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