Got a Problem with Your Toilet?

Is your toilet acting up? Leaking, overflows and constant running are all signs that you need to fix your toilet. The good news is that most toilet fixes are simple, but some will require you to call in a plumber to provide some professional guidance and fix your toilet problem.

The good news is that a little troubleshooting often does the trick and allows you to fix your faulty toilet fast and efficiently.

Troubleshooting Common Toilet Problems

A few of the most common toilet problems that you’ll run across and how to fix them include:

  • You need to press the handle down multiple times for it to flush. There’s a good chance that your flap valve needs to be replaced.
  • You notice water pouring from the overflow. The ball float will need to be replaced.
  • You notice the toilet is leaking. If your toilet is leaking from the cistern, you need to eventually replace the toilet. You can use special putty to fill in the cracks from the inside of the toilet, but this is just a temporary fix. Empty the toilet and fill in the cracks when possible.
  • You press the lever but the toilet won’t flush. The cistern lever likely needs to be replaced if the toilet won’t flush. Also check to make sure that the tank is filled with water and there are no other leaks present.
  • Your toilet pan is overflowing. If you notice the pan overflowing, you might need to plunge the toilet or unblock it using an auger. This will require a thorough inspection of the drain to ensure that there isn’t a clog.
  • Your overflow is dripping. If the overflow is dripping, you may need to replace the washer for your ball valve.

These are your most common issues, and the good news is that toilets aren’t all that complex. Fixing a toilet is rather easy, but if you need to replace the entire toilet, this is a little more complex.

Quick and easy fixes are:

Ball Valve Replacement

Ball valve floats can lead to overflow problems, and they should never have holes in them. Inspect the valve visually for holes. If you’ve determined you need to replace the ball valve, shut the water off and remove any water possible from the unit.

Now, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the hold nut to the water supply pipe
  2. Remove any additional nuts and washers attaching the valve to the cistern
  3. Refit the new valve
  4. Tighten all the bolts and place as the washers in the reverse
  5. Take the ball valve thread with special tape for sealing the threads

Before you tighten up everything, just make sure that everything fits good. This is a simple, fast fix that will take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Flap Valve Replacement

Flap valves are another easy fix, and these valves can cause the handle to depress or cause the water to run. Replacing these valves requires you to turn off the water supply and then replace the diaphragm.

  1. Locate the pivot arm and remove the nut just behind it
  2. Empty the toilet by holding the valve up
  3. Disconnect the flush pipe and siphon
  4. Remove the flap attachment to the handle
  5. Lift the plate up and remove the siphon
  6. Fit the new valve in place and make sure to reattach to the handle, siphon and arm


It sounds like a lot of work, but this is a fast and easy replacement that even someone with zero experience can do in mere minutes.

Blockages and any other problems you may have can be taken care of by a plumber or further investigated by you. Visual inspections and testing often lead directly to the problem. Simply remove the broken parts and replace in the reverse order – it’s usually that simple.

Just remember to shut off water to the toilet before beginning any repairs.

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