Did you know that October is National Toilet Tank Repair Month? Toilets and their tanks are big part of our homes and workspaces, and a necessary part of our everyday lives. Get into the spirit of this quirky observance by giving a little attention to the importance of toilet tank repair this month.
Many homeowners and business owners ignore when their toilet tank is broken, assuming the issue is minor and doesn’t require the assistance of a professional plumber. But toilet repair is serious business. If you notice toilet tank troubles, it’s important to call a plumber immediately, as this seemingly small problem can have some pretty big consequences. To illustrate this, here are a few stories and scenarios of toilet tank issues and how they can go very wrong, if neglected.
The Weak Flush and Slow Fill
This scenario is an incredibly common one, especially with older toilets. You use the bathroom, then flush. But rather than going down the drain, only part of the waste is removed, while the rest remains in the bowl. You stay by the toilet, wait for the tank to fill up, and flush again.
Sometimes you may have to repeat this process a few times until everything completely flushes.
With time, this issue gets only worse. While at first, it may only be paper and heavier waste that won’t flush, as the problem advances, even the quickest bathroom visits won’t flush away. All the while you’re wasting water, time, and anyone else waiting to use the bathroom gets frustrated.
The usual problem here is that the toilet tank isn’t fully filling up with water. The case may be that it never fills fully or it could need a lot of time between flushes to fill up. In either situation, toilet tank repair is definitely needed to end your frustration and reduce your water bills.
The Dreaded Phantom Flush
No, this isn’t just a seasonal Halloween reference: there’s a plumbing problem called the phantom flush. In this scenario, you’ll be going about life in your home or business when suddenly you hear your toilet refilling—the same sound you hear after you flush it. Did someone just use the toilet? You may go take a look, but nobody has gone into or out of the bathroom in a while. So why is the toilet tank refilling on its own?
The good news is that it isn’t ghosts. The bad news is that your toilet tank is probably broken. The reason you’re hearing this noise is due to a leak between the tank and bowl, which allows the water to constantly trickle into the bowl, eventually leaving the tank empty. When the toilet tank’s water level is below a certain level, it will automatically refill. A toilet can do this multiple times a day.
This issue could really cost you in water. If your water bill has been increasing and you often hear your toilet refilling, chances are you’re experiencing a phantom flush. Quick and affordable toilet tank repair or toilet replacement will remedy the issue and save money on water bills.
The Tank Trickle
Once again, your ears will help you diagnose this problem. In this scenario, water isn’t trickling into the bowl from the tank, but into the tank from the supply line. This leak tends to produce a rather distinct sound that is akin to a hiss—and you’ll no doubt find it alarming. If you’ve ever had a fear of snakes in toilets (thanks internet memes), this sound might make your heart skip a beat—but we promise it’s a quick and easy fix for your local Tucson plumber.
Is the toilet broken if you’re hearing this hissing noise? It could be the toilet or the supply line. In either case, there’s something wrong with your plumbing and possibly the toilet, so it’s best to contact your local professional plumber. Again, the biggest clue here is likely to be your water bill, but there’s also the potential for leaks. If a water leak occurs, it could compromise the structural integrity of your home. Any hissing noise from your toilet means it’s definitely time to call a plumber.
The Lackluster Flush
In this scenario, it doesn’t matter how many times you flush your toilet—the waste inside won’t go anywhere. The water in the bowl may ripple a bit when you push the lever, but nothing flushes. Here, you end up with two choices: leave the mess in the toilet or get a bucket, fill it with water, and flush the toilet manually.
The best and most sanitary option is obviously number two, but after doing so make sure to immediately contact your plumber. There are several possible culprits behind a lackluster or non-existent flush, so going DIY has a high probability of making things worse.
There are two major issues with letting this problem go untreated. First, it just isn’t sanitary. Pouring water manually into the toilet means germs and waste will be splashing out, even if only small amounts. Keep it clean and call a plumber for help. Secondly, this is a waste of water and any extra poured into the toilet will go down the drain.
The Destructive Leak
When toilet tanks become damaged, they can leak water. In this scenario, your toilet may or may not be flushing correctly, depending on how significant the leak is. But you’ll notice other signs. There may be moisture on the wall behind the toilet or on the floor around it. You might notice a damp smell, which could mean a leak and possibly mold growth.
There isn’t a lot of good news here. If the tank is leaking, it needs to be replaced to prevent damage to your home. Mold growth and structural damage are the biggest concerns here. Mold can cause significant health issues and make homes uninhabitable. Structural damage can mean major repairs to flooring and walls and if a leak is significant enough, it could force you out of your home or business for repairs. Instead, go to a plumber for help.
Here at Ram Plumbing, we’re available 24/7 and more than happy to help you with any issues during Toilet Tank Repair Month and the rest of the year. We’ve been providing lasting plumbing repairs and services at affordable prices throughout Tucson and the surrounding areas since 1983.