Categories
Toilet Repair

Common Toilet Issues and the Reasons Why They Occur

From toilets flushing on their own to toilets not flushing at all.

Check out these common toilet issues and see some of the options for one of our plumbers to repair or if a replacement toilet would be a better option.

Can Do Plumbing is here to help you with any of these common toilet repair issues in Lago Vista, Point Venture, Leander, Cedar Park and Marble Falls.

Toilet Problem 1: Water Trickling Into the Toilet Bowl

One common toilet issue is when the water trickles into the bowl at random times. Sometimes your toilet may even flush spontaneously. No, you probably don’t have a ghost playing tricks on you. What most likely is happening is a slow leak from the tank to the bowl. This is caused by a bad flapper and replacing the flapper is the solution. A toilet flapper can become worn and is a part that most commonly needs to be replaced.

Toilet Problem 2: Weak Flushing Toilet

Does your toilet flush very slowly? A weak flushing toilet can be caused by clogged rim jets. The rim jets or bowl jets on a toilet are under the rim of the toilet bowl. When these become clogged with scale build up the toilet begins to have a weak flush. To fix a weak flushing toilet you can try to clean the little holes out with a small wire. 

If the problem continues there could be another issue or it may be time for a new toilet. Upgrading to a newer style toilet helps improve water efficiency in your home. Toilets built before 1982 use 5 to 7 gallons of water to flush. Now, toilets use 1.6 gallons of water to flush. There are many technology upgrades with toilets today that allow them to use less water and have a better flush. 

Did you know that the federal government made a policy that states any toilet installed after 1994 must have a flush volume of 1.6 gallons?

The Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Toilet Problem 3: Toilet Clogs Frequently

It is never fun dealing with a toilet that frequently clogs. You may be way too familiar with how to use a plunger. Sometimes even a plunger doesn’t fix the clog and you will have to use a toilet auger.

The reason for frequent clogs can be several different things including objects causing an obstruction, issue with venting, main sewer line problems and age of toilet.

Over time the glazing on the china wears down in the toilet trapway causing items to get clogged. 

When a vent gets blocked or the vent is installed improperly or missing the toilet may gurgle, flush poorly or you may notice bad sewer smells.

If you notice other drains backing up the issue could be farther down the drain line or even the main sewer line to your home. Main sewer lines get damaged from roots, settlement and age.

Toilet Problem 4: Leak Coming from Various Spots of the Toilet

There are normally about five different seals on your toilet that can cause a leak. These seals wear over time and cause small leaks. Sometimes it is difficult to find where the leak is coming from. The first seal is where the tank connects to the bowl. There are also smaller seals for the mounting bolts and at the base of the ballcock.

The last seal is at the base of the toilet at the toilet flange. This seal is called a wax ring. A leak at the base of the toilet can cause a lot of damage to your floor and even root out your floor completely. Caulking around the base of the toilet is not an adequate solution because it only traps the water under the toilet. To fix this issue the toilet needs to be removed, wax ring replaced and the toilet installed again.

While the toilet is removed you will need to make sure there isn’t a more major issue once you can see the toilet flange. Rocking toilets can cause the toilet flange to break.

Toilet Problem 5: Toilet Not Flushing at All

Improper replacement of any of the toilet parts can result in the toilet not flushing at all. 

Watch the video below of the master plumber explaining what has happened with this diy plumbing flush valve replacement on a toilet. This homeowner scheduled a plumbing pro to help figure out why the toilet had a constant water trickle into the bowl.

The master plumber on Video Chat a Pro talks about capillary action and automatic siphon.

Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow in narrow spaces without the assistance of, or even in opposition to, external forces like gravity.

He also mentions that what the homeowner has created on accident is an automatic siphon.

The two things done with this diy toilet repair was inserting the fill tube into the the flush valve tube too far which created capillary action. The water level in the tank was also too high which caused the automatic siphon. There is a small clip that the fill tube attaches to at the top of the flush valve tube. If this is not installed properly it will cause this issue. The fill tube can be shortened so it is adjusted to the right length.

There are many small adjustments that can be made inside the toilet tank to adjust the function of the toilet. Plumbers have the knowledge of all of these adjustments and how toilets work. Can Do Plumbing is here to help you with your toilet repair.

Toilet Problem 6: Wobbly Toilet

The issue of a wobbling toilet can be irritating and may cause more damage to your toilet and toilet flange so it is important to repair this issue. The most likely cause of a wobbly or rocking toilet is loose toilet bolts. 

The toilet flange could also be causing the issue. The flange could be broken, corroded or even set too high. The wax ring could also be too high. The toilet could have been originally installed incorrectly or the problem has occured over time.

I know there seems to be a lot that can go wrong with something people normally think should last a lifetime. However, toilets are one of the most used things in our home and they have a lot of working parts that degrade over time. If installed improperly more serious issues can occur.

When should you replace a toilet vs repairing your old toilet?

There are several factors to consider when deciding if it’s time for a new toilet.

  • Age of the toilet. Any toilet older than 1982 should certainly be replaced.
  • Scale build up. If your toilet has a major amount of scale build up it may be time to send her to the toilet graveyard.
  • Wear of tank parts. If everything looks to be in bad shape and all the parts are needing to be replaced it may be less expensive and easier to get a new toilet.
  • Clogs happen often.

Can Do Plumbing has the ability to video chat with you to see your toilet issue and give you a repair estimate. We can also give you estimates on replacing your toilet.

We are located in Lago Vista and provide plumbing in Lago Vista, Leander, Point Venture, Jonestown, Cedar Park and Marble Falls.

Categories
Water Heater Repair

Tips for Maintaining Your Water Heater

How long should you expect your water heater to last?

We see water heaters continue to operate properly on average 10-12 years. If maintained regularly they can last more than 12 years. There are different factors that determine the life of your water heater. We will go over installation and regular maintenance.

Regular Maintenance for Water Heaters

Anode Rod Water Heater maintenance
Anode Rod Water Heater

Anode Rod

Water heater tanks are made of steel and have a thin layer of glass to line the metal to protect it from corrosion. The lining cracks overtime and the second line of defense is the anode rod.

The anode rod is a sacrificial piece of metal that attracts corrosive material, corroding the anode rod instead of the steel tank. But what happens when the anode rod is completely corroded? This is when you start to see corrosion on your water heater tank and causing leaks.

When do I replace the water heater anode rod?

We recommend replacing the anode rod about every 5 years depending on the quality of your water. This can extend the life of your water heater and minimize the risk of leaks.

If you are interested in having the anode rod in your water heater replaced, schedule with us to provide water heater maintenance.

Flush Your Water Heater 

We recommend flushing your water heater a few times a year. The older your water heater is the more often this will be needed. The reason we recommend flushing the water heater is to remove sediment build up in the water heater. Can Do Plumbing provides water heater flushes to help extend the life of your water heater.

How does flushing your water heater help?

Removes Sediment

Flushing your water heater removes sediment which increases the efficiency due to less sediment being heated along with the water. The most common culprit of water heater failure is sediment buildup. If you have an electric water heater sediment can cause additional issues to the operation.

Improves Heating Speeds

If your water heater has sediment build up it will take longer for the water and sediment to heat up rather than the water alone. The water will also become cold faster with the sediment.

Reduce Water Heater Noise

A noisy water heater in most causes means there is buildup inside. When there is sediment in the water heater it causes the water to circulate differently causing strange noises.

Reduce Energy Costs

The longer it takes for your water heater to heat the more energy it is using. Customers notice a reduction in energy consumption when a new water heater is installed.

Avoid Foul Smells

Sediment causes trapped water which creates stagnant water. This can be unpleasant and unsanitary.

Proper Installation to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater

One major factor in the life of your water heater is how it was originally installed. There are many things that can go wrong during a water heater installation. We have seen many improper installs that cause leaks, fumes and pressure build up.

thermal expansion water heater
Thermal Expansion Water Heater

Expansion Tanks

One required part of a water heater installation is an expansion tank. The expansion tank absorbs thermal expansion from the heating of the water. If your water heater does not have an expansion tank it can cause damage to the water heater, pipes, fittings, and valves.

If you would like to save on energy costs and extend the life of your water heater then scheduling for regular water heater maintenance may be a good option for you. If you would like to make sure your water heater was originally installed correctly we can inspect your water heater by video chat.

Can Do Plumbing provides plumbing repair and service in Lago Vista, Point Venture, Jonestown, Marble Falls, Cedar Park and Leander. If you need a plumber to make sure your water heater will last as long as possible give Can Do Plumbing a call.

Helpful Links

State Water Heaters

https://www.statewaterheaters.com/

AO Smith Water Heaters

https://www.aosmith.com/

Rinnai water heaters

https://www.rinnai.us/

Rheem Water Heater

https://www.rheem.com/

Bradford White Water Heater

GE water heater

https://www.geappliances.com/ge/service-and-support/faq-waterheater.htm

water heater definition

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/water%20heater

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/water-heater

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_heating