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8 Common Toilet Problems That Signal It’s Time for A Replacement

Here’s what your local plumber has to say about these common household toilet problems… watch out for #5!

If you’ve got a toilet, there’s an almost 100% chance you’re going to experience toilet problems sometime within its lifespan. As a homeowner, you should be prepared to diagnose, troubleshoot, and fix common toilet issues. But it’s also crucial to know when it’s time to throw in the (bath) towel and buy a replacement toilet. Here’s some straight talk from the local plumbers in Fayetteville and Raleigh, NC, about the most common and damaging problems you’ll have with your toilet. We’ll help you understand what’s fixable and what needs an upgrade ASAP.

new toilet


  1. The Toilet Is Clogged

    Well, this is awkward. Have you tried a plunger? It’s a good idea to keep a simple rubber plunger in your bathroom or a cleaning closet in case of the most common toilet problem — aka a clogged toilet. If the issue is waste or too much toilet paper, a few gentle plunges should do the trick. Insert the rubber plunger portion into the toilet bowl and ensure it’s submerged under the water. Plunge lightly, then try to flush. Still no luck? Call in a local plumbing professional.

  2. The Toilet Has Phantom Flushes

    Ooh… spooky. Have you ever heard the sound of your toilet flushing when no one is using the bathroom? (We’re not counting those savvy pet owners who have trained their cats to use the toilet, which is definitely a topic for another time.) This is almost undoubtedly caused by a leak. What causes toilet bowl leaks? Most likely, a loose or faulty flapper or flapper seat — that’s the rubber stopper.

  3. Water Is Trickling Into The Toilet Bowl

    This one is related to the phantom flush. Both are caused by a slow leak, although the results are slower and less dramatic in this toilet problem. You may notice that the water level in the bowl increases throughout the day, even when it’s not in use. For both phantom flushes and slow fills, drain the bowl and tank and inspect the flapper. After that, it’s easy and cheap enough to replace. But don’t worry: You can easily hire a plumber to do the job, too.

  4. The Toilet Won’t Stop Running

    Another way of diagnosing problems two and three. A constantly running or filling toilet is a toilet with a loose flapper. Time to drain the joint!

  5. Leaking Seals Are On The Toilet

    Have you noticed water leaking from your toilet? This results from a faulty or compromised seal, most commonly in between the tank and the bowl. Another big culprit of toilet leaks is the seal underneath the toilet; this protects the floor beneath the base. Is the floor around your toilet discolored, warped, or bubbled? This is a big problem, and although it doesn’t signify immediate damage, it can mold and rot the floor over time. You’ll definitely want to hire a plumber to fix this issue; they should update the seal at the very least. But if your toilet is old, it’s probably not a bad idea to invest in a replacement.

  6. The Toilet Won’t Flush

    Is the toilet clogged? See problem one. But if the issue is with the toilet handle (you’re jangling it, but it won’t trigger a flush), there are a few reasons this could be happening. The actual handle might be too loose or tight. Turn the nut to adjust the seal, and try again. Another common fix is the lift chain. Make sure the chain is attached to the lift arm. It may have gotten tangled. Luckily, that’s an easy enough fix.

  7. The Toilet Fills Too Slowly

          Is the water valve open completely? You may also want to check for debris or foreign objects that may be obstructing the flow of water.

  1. The Toilet Bowl or Base Is Cracked

    Cracked porcelain? Older toilets are susceptible to a certain amount of wear and tear. While there’s charm in an old toilet, if it’s cracking in any place, you should replace it before a crisis arises.

Any of these common toilet problems could happen to you. In fact, here at Blanton’s Air, Plumbing & Electric in North Carolina, we’re plumbers, and even we experience toilet issues from time to time. But with a positive attitude, sense of adventure, a wrench, and your local plumber on speed dial, a minor problem doesn’t have to turn into a dramatic Game of Thrones (sorry, we had to.)

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