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Toilet Plumbing: When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Toilet
When it comes to home maintenance and DIY tasks, is there anything worse than shoving your hand into a toilet bowl? Probably not.
In fact, the thought is probably repulsive for most homeowners, which means that the local plumber is on speed-dial for such occasions. But, the reality is that some lavatory mishaps don’t actually require the expertise of a plumber.
However, it’s important to be able to distinguish when professional toilet plumbing is needed or a simple plunger will do the job. Here’s when to call in the experts.
Toilet Plumbing 101: When to Call the Professionals
So, what actually causes disastrous plumbing issues in the home?
If you have small, inquisitive children for roommates, this means small toys could clog up your plumbing or sneaky fingers could be fiddling with toilet taps and piping.
Other causes include debris and waste buildup and improper plumbing. And let’s not forget external factors, such as tree root systems, causing havoc on your piping and drainage.
When you’re staring down at a toilet bowl that isn’t draining, your first instinct may be to call your local plumber right away. But before you do this, here are some stand-out plumbing issues that really require their expertise.
1. Pooling Water at the Toilet Base
If you find water accumulating around the base of your toilet, your first thought would be to assume that your toilet bowl may have overflowed.
But pooling water at the base of your toilet can be caused by worn-out wax seal around the base of the toilet. To test if this is the case, clean up the pool of water, then leave some paper towel at the base for a couple of hours.
If you return and the paper towel is wet or soaked through, this means you could have a slow leak. You will need to call in a professional to replace the wax ring at the base of your toilet.
2. Delayed Toilet Tank Refill
Is your toilet painfully slow to refill once you’ve flushed it? This is a sure-fire sign that something is amiss inside your toilet tank.
A slow toilet tank refill could be caused by two things. The first is a broken flush valve. To check if this is the case, remove the tank lid and flush the toilet. If the flush valve sticks to the tank or you only hear trickling water, you need to replace the valve.
The second is a leaking flapper. This means that your toilet tank refill will take far longer as water keeps escaping through a leak in the seal. You’ll need to call in the expertise of a plumber to replace both these toilet parts.
3. Sporadic Running Water
Most homes are installed with gravity-flow toilets. And if you have a leaking flush valve, this can cause water to flow sporadically, rather than at an even pace.
To check for a leaking flush valve, remove your tank lid and check that your tank ball falls onto the valve seal when you flush the toilet. If the tank ball lands a little off-center or fails to connect at all, you’ll need to replace the flush valve.
It’s important to call in the help of a plumber for this task as they will remove the defective tank ball and install a new flush valve correctly.
4. A Toilet That Constantly Runs
If you hear a constant sound of running water coming from your toilet, this could point to a professional plumbing issue.
Essentially, running water in your toilet tank can be caused by two issues. The first is caused by a defective chain in the tank.
The chain is used to seal the hole at the bottom of the toilet tank. If the chain is too short, the flapper cannot drop low enough to seal this hole, which leads to a constant flow of running water.
The second is a defective ball cock and tank valve. To check for this professional plumbing issue, remove your tank lid and listen for a trickle of water.
This running water should be coming from the ball cock. This ball connects to a float mount, which shuts off the valve when water levels are high enough in the toilet tank.
However, if the seal between the ball cock and float mount is worn enough, this means the seal is broken and will cause your tank to run incessantly. You’ll need a plumber to replace the seal.
When DIY Fixes Just Aren’t Enough
Even if your toilet has none of the above issues, it’s important to listen to your gut on when it’s time call in the professionals. To be sure, it’s time to call in a plumber when:
- You’ve tried simple DIY methods such as plunging and manual unclogging, but your toilet is still backed-up
- You want to avoid permanent damage to your plumbing, and sometimes a little too much DIY could be making the issue worse
- The issue is much deeper than the toilet itself—some toilet clogs point to far larger issues down your sewer line that only professionals can handle
If you’ve tried your best to manually unclog a toilet or fix a leak, there comes a time when at-home experience is simply not enough.
Ultimately, it’s not worth the expense of permanent damage to your plumbing because you want to avoid the cost of calling out a professional. Make the call, it could save you a small fortune!
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Whether you’re looking for toilet plumbing, valve repair, or a complete shower remodel, Royal Plumbing are you local Denver experts.
Get in touch with our team for all your plumbing woes. We’re the pros!
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