There are two primary components to the toilet in your home: the bowl on the bottom and the tank on top. The bowl consists mainly of a stationary piece of porcelain and has no flushing mechanisms. Repairs that involve the bowl are uncommon, with a few notable exceptions. Instead, the tank houses the flush handle and two crucial valves. Most plumbing work for public restrooms is done here. To your surprise, most issues with your toilet can be fixed by you, the homeowner. You can easily get your toilet repairs & replacements by yourself.
A Brief Explanation of How a Toilet Tank Operates
When the toilet is flushed, the water in the tank rushes down through an opening in the tank’s base into the bowl, where it mixes with the waste and is carried away by the water flow into the drain and sewage systems of the house. The flush valve and the fill valve are two essential toilet tank components that allow this to happen.
Filling the tank of a toilet is accomplished using the fill valve. The term “ballcock” and “refill valve” also apply to this device. In most cases, the fill valve can be found on the left side of the tank when looking down from above with the lid removed. There are four common types of fill valves:
This ballcock uses a plunger to open and close, making it the oldest style available.
Ballcocks of the diaphragm variety can be found in both plastic and brass iterations.
More modern fill valve design, typically constructed of plastic, for use with float cups.
Another modern innovation that is prohibited by some building rules is the floatless fill valve.
Whatever its form, a toilet’s fill valve serves to open the water supply valve during a flush, then close again after the tank’s water level has returned to a predetermined high point. A floating ball or float cup, depending on the design, floats up and down with the water level in the tank to control the valve. The water pressure at the tank’s base is used to open and close floatless fill valves.
You can rapidly grasp the mechanics of a toilet flush if you remove the tank lid and observe what goes on within the tank during the flush cycle.
Fixing a Leaky Ballcock
There are a few different types of refill valves, but the older types are often referred to as “ballcocks,” after the hollow floating ball that controls the water supply.
There are two distinct types of fill valves that share the characteristic float ball that operates the valve via a long arm; these are the plunger-type and the diaphragm-type, both of which are commonly referred to as “ballcocks.”
Both the plunger and diaphragm types of ballcocks can be found in older commodes, although neither is employed in modern models. Changing the water level is as easy as bending the float arm up or down, which moves the float ball and hence the point at which the water supply is cut off. By way of illustration, if a toilet keeps running after the flush cycle is finished, it’s probably due to an overflowing tank.
To turn off the water supply at a lower tank level, simply bend the float arm down and the float ball will drop into the well. Fine-tuning the level at which the float ball closes the valve allows control of the water level in the tank.
Fixing a Leaky Flush Valve
The flush valve is the second main part. The flush valve is a plastic or brass fitting that is secured to the bottom entrance of the tank and is located in the tank’s central region. A float ball, flapper, or both are used in its operation.
Water stays in the tank until the flush handle is activated, thereafter the flapper or float ball presses against the valve opening. A chain or lift wire attached to the handle rod pulls the flapper away from the valve seat, allowing water to flow down from the tank into the bowl when the handle is depressed. When the tank is depleted, the flapper returns to its home in the valve and the opening is sealed, preventing water from escaping.
How to Stop a Leaking Toilet
It’s not hard to stop a running toilet. The flapper may not be properly seating itself in the flush valve opening, or the tank’s water level may be too high, allowing water to overflow the top of the overflow tube and into the tank. Both of these issues have simple solutions. Flapper valves, which are used in most refill valves, may be easily adjusted or replaced.
Fixing a shaky toilet flush lever
The flush handle coming loose or unattached from the rest of the tank is another problem that can be fixed quickly and easily. There are typically two possible responses to this problem:
Repair the lift mechanism by reconnecting the lift arm to the flapper using the lift wire or lift chain.
Tighten the nut inside the tank that holds the handle in place by turning it counterclockwise; this nut has reverse threads.
Repairing a Leaking Bathroom Floor Pan
Water leaking from the toilet bowl’s base onto the floor is unusual compared to the common issues that begin in the tank.
Condensation is normal in summer, but a pool of water at the toilet’s base indicates a more significant problem. The bowl’s water may be tainted, so don’t flush until the situation is fixed.
Water from the tank enters the bowl through a base hole and mixes with waste before being rinsed out. The two most crucial parts of any toilet tank are the flush valve and the fill valve.
Using the toilet’s fill valve, the tank may be refilled. This tool is also known as a ballcock or refill valve. The tank’s fill valve is on the left side if you remove the cover and look below. Common fill valves come in four varieties:
- The plunger mechanism used to open and close this ballcock makes it the most traditional design currently in use.
- There are diaphragm ballcocks made of both plastic and brass.
- Newer, more refined fill valve style, often made out of plastic and used with float cups