When a toilet runs constantly or, occasionally when it has not been flushed, it is likely due to a leak. Silent leaks are a prevalent and often unknown problem. To check for tank leaks, add several drops of food coloring into the tank water. Wait about twenty minutes and then check the water in the toilet bowl. If the water in the bowl is colored, your toilet is leaking from the tank.
Most leaks are caused by an improperly functioning flapper in the tank. This can be due to mineral deposits, erosion of the seal, improper positioning or obstruction. Lift the lid off of the tank, if there is something obstructing the flapper, move the item to an appropriate location. Push the flapper down to see if it seals properly. If it does not, make sure it is properly positioned and unobstructed. You can also gently wipe away slight mineral buildup. If the flapper still won’t seal or is visibly damaged, it needs to be replaced.
When a toilet becomes clogged, the first thing you should do is make sure that the toilet will not overflow onto your floor. This can be accomplished by turning off the water valve, typically located near the base of your toilet. If you have time you can also lift the lid off of the tank and manually push down the flapper to stop the water flow into the bowl. Small clogs can usually be plunged. Funnel cup plungers with a flange are very effective. Press the plunger to form a pressure seal over the exit hole. Move the plunger back and forth without breaking the seal. If the clog remains, attempt to snake the exit hole with an auger.
Do make sure to flush toilets and run water through faucets, at least once a week, in bathrooms that are rarely used. This will keep water traps full, keeping odors and mineral deposits at bay.
Do use a plastic brush and appropriate cleaner to keep toilets clean and fresh without risking scratches or damage to your porcelain.
Do address issues with your toilet immediately. Leaking toilets can damage to your home and toilets that run constantly can significantly increase your water bill
Don’t use your toilet to flush away items that should be thrown in the trash. Everyone has experienced a regrettable accident in which a phone, wallet, keys or a beloved stuffed animal has fallen into the toilet but, it’s the things people purposely flush that cause the most problems.
Examples of items that should never be flushed down the toilet include:
*facial tissue *cotton swabs
*paper towels *cotton balls
*”flushable” wipes *dental floss
*diaper wipes *feminine hygiene products/applicators
*deceased fish *deceased animals