What is Wrong with My Toilet? High Mark Plumbing offers Diagnostic Tips

Having problems with your toilet? Arrrrrrgh!!! For Expert Plumbers in the Vancouver area, call High Mark Plumbing. Before calling, there are some tips and tricks to diagnose your problem.

Many people do not appreciate the delicacy of a toilet system’s balance. The fact is, to operate properly, the water levels in both the tank and the bowl must be maintained. Additionally, the air pressure in the system is important. Finally, the speed of the water feeding into the system is also crucial. See “How Does a Toilet Work?” for more information.

Troubleshoot Your Toilet

Start by pouring three gallons of water into the toilet bowl. If the water fails to drain almost immediately (within a few seconds), chances are the flow is blocked by a clog. One remedy is to use an auger to break up the clog. Note: use a rubber lined auger to avoid damaging the toilet’s porcelain.

Should the water level returns to normal, flush the toilet three times. If the toilet does not flush properly on any of the three flushes, chances are there is a clog or other problem below the toilet. If the toilet drains properly with every flush, but the flush is inadequate, the problem is likely between the tank and the bowl.

Occasionally, the jets that pressurize the flush get plugged. Another potential problem is if something is flushed incorrectly, and caught in the rim, the water flow will be blocked. For either of these problems, High Mark Plumbing can repair/replace the jets, or replace the toilet in the latter case.

Another potential problem with toilets is if the fill valve is not allowing the tank to fill completely. Check the inside of the tank to determine if the fill valve is working. You can check the rate of flow through the 1/8″ tube inside the tank to determine if the fill pressure is sufficient. This is probably best left to the expert plumbers at High Mark Plumbing!

Finally, if the bowl is not holding the requisite 2-gallons, it will not flush properly. To test, slowly pour about 1/2 gallon water into the bowl. Pour very gently to avoid the toilet flushing. The likely problem of insufficient water in the toilet bowl is the flapper. If the flapper does not remain open long enough to allow the full 2-gallons to flow into the bowl, the best solution is to replace the flapper.