Prevent Common Toilet Issues with these Maintenance Tips

White toilet bowl against a green wall - Thomas & Galbraith Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing

In Cincinnati, Ohio, homeowners want to know the best toilet maintenance tips. These tips are crucial to the overall well-being of your toilet. To keep preventable problems at bay, homeowners must perform regular maintenance at home. With proper maintenance, residents deal with far fewer toilet problems than those who go without maintenance.

Thomas & Galbraith wants homeowners to feel confident about their toilet maintenance. Even if toilet maintenance isn’t at the top of anyone’s list of fun activities, it’s essential to the overall health of your plumbing. These toilet maintenance tips ensure the well-being of your toilet for years to come. Along with toilet maintenance tips, we go over some of the most common toilet issues and when you need to call a professional.

Some Common Toilet Problems

Toilet maintenance tips are useful to homeowners who want to prevent certain issues. These problems are some of the most common issues for toilets. To understand our toilet maintenance tips, homeowners need to grasp why their toilets act up. These are all issues homeowners see on a regular basis, which means most have DIY solutions. However, when these issues need a professional, don’t be afraid to call one.

  • Trickling water in the bowl. One problem homeowners experience is trouble with trickling water in the toilet bowl. Toilets sometimes refill without being flushed, which is called a phantom flush. Leaks from the tank go into the bowl when this occurs. This common problem is often the result of a bad flapper.
  • Bowl slow to drain. Slow to empty toilet bowls are a common problem for homeowners. Known as a weak flush, this occurs when the holes under the rim of the bowl clog. To fix this problem, use a wire hanger or other wire tool to hook the clog and remove it. Use mirrors to help see where you stick the wire and avoid scratches to the bowl. 
  • Leaking seals. Next, leaky seals leave homes vulnerable to water damage. Over time, seals on the fixture deteriorate. This leads to water leaks of varying severity. Several places on the toilet require seals, so there are multiple places to look for a leak. It’s best to identify where the leak came from before taking further action. When we go into our toilet maintenance tips, we discuss this at length.
  • Trickling water in the tank. Water trickling from the tank makes a hissing noise. The hissing noise is typically produced by the supply line, but it does cause concern for some homeowners. In these circumstances, the problem usually stems from either the float, refill tube, ballcock, or inlet valve. These issues usually require the help of a trained plumber.  
  • Clogs in the toilet. It’s no surprise clogs are the most common problem for homeowners. Clogs cause problems for homeowners all year round. Homeowners never want to deal with clogged toilets, yet this problem continues to happen because of poor toilet maintenance and when improper items are flushed. At-home methods often take care of these issues. Plungers are the most popular and easiest to use, but snakes and augers are used for more difficult blockages. 

What Is the Importance of Our Toilet Maintenance Tips?

Toilet maintenance tips benefit your home more than you think. Some homeowners understand why toilet maintenance helps their fixture, but others are unsure of the benefits. Understandably so, toilet maintenance falls low on the list of priorities for most homeowners. However, these essential fixtures still need maintenance like all the other plumbing fixtures in your home. 

Consistent checks to your toilet ensure preventable problems are kept under wraps. Proper toilet maintenance protects homes from the common issues listed above. With at-home maintenance, homeowners experience fewer issues than those who neglect the tips we mention below. Schedule regular professional maintenance as well to ensure the well-being of your whole plumbing system. Without this maintenance, preventable problems become expensive repairs or replacements. 

The toilet maintenance tips we are about to mention are essential for homeowners across Cincinnati. Well-maintained toilets have fewer breakdowns and perform better than toilets without maintenance checks. Additionally, the lifespan of the fixture and your plumbing system increase with regular maintenance. Practice the tips we list below to ensure the health of your toilet—which improves the quality of your plumbing as the whole!

The Best Toilet Maintenance Tips Around

Toilet maintenance tips require the homeowner to consistently perform several tasks. Homeowners must practice our toilet maintenance tips at least once a month to ensure the well-being of the toilet—and the plumbing system as the whole. These tips are easy to perform and don’t take up too much of your time. 

 

  • Leak checks. Toilets have the potential to leak in multiple places. Check around and on the toilet for wet areas. With leaks, puddles form quickly. To check for leaks in the tank, use food coloring. Add food coloring to the tank and wait approximately 30 minutes. If the water in the bowl changes colors, you have a leak. These leaks need the help of a professional. 
  • Dispose properly. Out of all the toilet maintenance tips, this one is the easiest to follow. Make sure to only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. Feminine products, cotton balls and swabs, diapers, paper towels, and other heavy paper-based materials clog toilets much faster than toilet paper and waste. With consistent disposal of these items in the toilet, you experience more clogs. Keep clogs away with proper disposal!
  • Clean the toilet. Next, remember to clean the toilet regularly to prevent clogs and other issues. No homeowner particularly wants to clean their toilet, but it ensures the overall health of the fixture. With regular cleaning, a toilet experiences fewer clogs in the bowl and under the rim. Plus, over time the effort required to clean the toilet decreases.  
  • Fill valve. Next on the list of toilet maintenance tips comes fill valves. Located inside of the tank, the fill valve stops dispensing water when the tank fills. Remove the tank lid and flush the toilet to check the fill valve. If the valve continues to dispense water, then it’s time to think about repairs or replacements. 
  • Use water softeners. Compared to soft water, hard water has a higher concentration of minerals like calcium which clog your toilet, faucets, and plumbing pipes faster than in a home where a water softener is used. Minerals block pipes over time as they stick within, and sediment also settles within your home’s plumbing system components. 

 

Hard water breaks down key components of the toilet. For example, seals deteriorate faster when in constant contact with hard water. To combat this, invest in a water softener to remove harsh minerals from your home’s water.

 

  • Shut-off valve. The toilet’s shut-off valve, also known as the stop valve, cuts off the water supply to the toilet. It is located either under or behind the toilet. If it provides resistance, or doesn’t turn at all, it needs repaired or replaced. It must turn easily to be considered functional. Check this valve at least once a month to ensure it always works properly.
  • No harsh chemical cleaners. Chemical cleaners are harsh on your toilet fixture. While they do remove clogs, they also break down the toilet, as well as pipes in your plumbing system. With frequent use, these cleaners cause leaks or even pipe bursts in the plumbing system because they contain corrosive chemicals. These issues are far more expensive to fix than a stubborn clog, so avoid chemical cleaners that cause them at all costs. 
  • Maintenance checks. Last but not least, regular maintenance must be scheduled for the well-being of the toilet. These regular toilet maintenance tips definitely help the health of your toilet, but a professional needs to take a look and maintain this important fixture once every year. Professional plumbers are trained to find minor problems with the toilet and resolve them before they become more significant and lead to leaks as well as other issues. Because of its importance, never forget to schedule your maintenance visit. 

 

When to Call a Professional

Trained professionals are around to help homeowners with issues that stem from a home’s toilet. The toilet maintenance tips listed above help prevent problems, but if a problem does arise, you need the experienced eye and skills of a qualified plumber from Thomas & Galbraith. 

 

  • Multiple fixture problems. Underlying issues with the plumbing system cause multiple fixtures to act up all at once. With these types of problems, homeowners must contact a professional plumber for help. If the incident is isolated, then it’s likely that only the toilet fixture needs assistance. 
  • Stubborn clogs. For most clogs, a good plunging takes care of the issue. If that doesn’t work, homeowners turn to snakes and augers. However, those are the only at-home fixes homeowners that are safe for clearing a toilet clog. Plumbers have more tools to help you remove stubborn clogs without damaging the fixture or pipes. 
  • Leaks. In the toilet maintenance tips above, we discussed how important it is to check for toilet leaks. If you do find a leak from your toilet, call a professional plumber to help you fix it. DIY fixes for some leaks are out there, but only tackle such a project if you have the home improvement skills to do so – otherwise, you need the assistance of a plumber. 
  • Old fixture. Think about how long you’ve had your toilet. Toilet lifespan varies greatly based on factors such as the type of toilet, model, usage, and water quality. If you have older toilets that have frequent issues, it’s time to consider an update – especially if you have full flush toilets, which use as much as seven gallons of water per flush! Call a professional plumber to properly install a new toilet and explore water efficient and low maintenance fixture options.

 

Contact Us for More Toilet Maintenance Tips

Thomas & Galbraith helps Cincinnati homeowners learn proper plumbing care with our toilet maintenance tips. Take control of toilet maintenance in your home! In addition to toilet maintenance tips for homeowners, never worry about toilet maintenance again with the help of Thomas & Galbraith’s professional plumbing system maintenance services!

For more information on our toilet maintenance services, call us today!

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