A weekend of back country camping is all you need to be thankful for modern plumbing. However, evil-spirited toilets have a tendency to overflow, clog, and reek. Well, no more! Here are some quick fixes for your loo.
Running Toilet? If your toilet handle is just stuck in the flush position, you have an easy fix on your hands. If not, try this: lightly but quickly press the flush handle down half a dozen times (if the toilet is running continuously the flush handle should move very easily). If that fails, lift off the toilet tank lid and make sure the flapper isn’t stuck open. Next, lift the floating ball, chain and wire to allow the tank to drain some water. If this works, your tank water level may have been too high, causing high pressure and constant running.
Toilet Not Flushing? Check the small metal valve located where the pipes meet the wall to be sure the water supply is not shut off. Lift off the toilet tank lid and inspect the floating ball, chain and wire looking for loose or broken parts. If you are feeling brave, run to your local hardware store for replacement parts and instructions from an experienced staff member.
Water Level too High? The standard toilet uses an astonishing 13 liters of water per flush. As an environmentally-friendly lady, I challenge you to fix your water level ASAP! High efficiency and dual-flushing toilets are everywhere, but if your toilet is old-school, you can still conserve water with a quick eco-modification. First, lift the toilet tank lid. When there is too much water in the toilet bowl, the float ball is resting too high. To adjust this, gently bend the metal float ball arm downwards. The exact opposite applies when the toilet bowl water level is too low – adjust the float ball arm upwards.
Clogged or Overflowing Toilet? Your toilet is clogged and just overflowed. Ick. Well, ladies, its time: meet, the plunger. You know the tool…it typically lingers around in the deep parts of your garage. Before using the plunger, make sure the toilet bowl water level is high enough that the plunger suction cup is immersed in water. If not, fill the toilet bowl with the amount of water you need. Next, firmly seal the rubber plunger over the toilet bowl base and create a quick up and down rhythm a dozen times or so, maybe more, until the toilet clog clears, allowing the flush. This makes a hilarious sucking noise if you’re doing it properly. Caution: small children love to play games like Let’s-Flush-the-Apple-Down-the-Toilet, which may require a real plumber to fix.
Worst Case Scenario? Though we like to pretend we can fix everything, I would rather not when up against an angry toilet. For example, if you’ve tried the plunging and the toilet is still filling at a rapid rate, quickly shut off the water supply. Do this by turning the small metal handle located where the toilet pipes meet the wall. There are many tips and tricks to ease your toilet troubles, but if a major problem exists, call a plumber.