porcelain toilet

When to Call Your Plumber for a Toilet Repair

Here at Plumbing One we get a lot of calls for toilet repairs. It’s certainly what plumbing companies exist for, and we’re always happy to help out with any sort of plumbing repair. In some cases, however, there are simple DIY solutions that we suggest trying first before you call. A small amount of know-how can end up saving you time and money on toilet repairs. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few common issues you can try repairing yourself and the ones that will require calling a local plumber in your area.

The 3 Most Common Toilet Repair Questions

What should I do if my toilet won’t stop running?

Everyone encounters this at some point. Generally the issue will lie with a poor flush valve seal. If you’ve opened up the tank and can’t seem to get that seal to sit right, replacing the flapper will almost certainly solve the problem.

Replacing a toilet flapper is inexpensive, quick, and straightforward.

DIY Difficulty: Very Easy

Compare prices, sizes, and options at any hardware store or online. I’ve included a few such links below, but you can find plenty of other sellers to buy from too. Wherever you go, the part should run you in the neighborhood of $5-10.

What should I do if my toilet is leaking?

Depending on where you have a leak, there may be a fairly uncomplicated DIY fix. However, when a toilet starts to leak, there’s also a good chance that what you find will require professional plumbing services.

From the base

If you find a leak at the base of your toilet, it’s probably a faulty wax ring. As this video by The Plumbing Gurus shows, you can make the repair yourself if you’re comfortable spending a little time removing your unit from the wall. If you’re not sure about doing this one yourself, getting a plumbing contractor out to do an inspection, verify that your wax ring is the true problem, and replace it shouldn’t cost too terribly much.

Replacing a wax ring yourself is doable, but it’s definitely more involved than, for instance, swapping out a toilet flapper.

DIY Difficulty: Medium

From the tank

There are a couple possible causes of toilet tank leaks. The first thing to try if you don’t notice a massive crack is simply tightening your tank down. Hopefully that will be enough, but if you notice instead that your tank is cracked, that can be a more insidious culprit.

While cracks are often very obvious, they aren’t immediately visible in every case. As this helpful breakdown from The Spruce explains, a giant crack in your toilet tank is not a plumbing repair that you (or even a professional plumber) can make. Your tank will probably need to be replaced. The good news is that in the instance of a hairline crack, you may be able to remedy it with some porcelain epoxy.

If tightening down the toilet tank doesn’t stop the leak, you might need to give your local plumber a call or replace the tank.

DIY Difficulty: Variable

What should I do if my toilet won’t flush?

A flushing toilet is pretty important, right? We agree, but maybe don’t start calling up plumbing contractors just yet! Chances are you can fix this one with just a little tweaking.

Getting your unit to flush again may be as simple as adjusting the handle mechanism. If that doesn’t do it, tweaking or possibly replacing the internal mechanism within the tank could be your answer. None of this should be expensive or overly difficult.

Getting an uncooperative toilet to flush right usually just takes a little trial and error.

DIY Difficulty: Easy

So there you have it! Knowing when to call your plumber and when to give toilet issues a shot yourself can keep money in your pocket and even save you time in some cases. If you have any question or are worried about attempting a DIY fix on your own, always give your local plumbers a call.

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