Do Toilets Need Maintenance?
Why You Should Pay More Attention to Your Toilet
Our toilets are some of the most used plumbing appliances in our homes, if not the most used. However, we rarely pay much attention to them until something goes wrong. However, armed with a little knowledge and taking a little time to maintain your toilet can ensure that your toilet stays in good working condition and reduces the likelihood of problems like clogs and broken parts.
Below we provide give toilet maintenance tips for homeowners. Some of these tips are small enough to be incorporated into your daily or weekly routines. Others should be performed monthly. Keep reading to learn more.
Toilet Tip #1: Know What You Can Flush
Generally speaking, we recommend that you only ever flush toilet paper and human waste. Though some products are labeled as flushable, such as wipes and some feminine hygiene products, we recommend avoiding doing so. This is especially important if your plumbing system is older or is prone to clogs and backups.
You should never flush:
- Feminine products
- Diapers or baby wipes
- Paper towels and kleenex
- Cotton swabs or cotton pads
- Other trash or waste
Toilet Tip #2: Keep Your Toilet Clean
Cleaning your toilet is more than just a hygiene issue. Regularly cleaning your toilet can help keep hard water buildup from damaging your toilet. Additionally, with weekly cleaning, your toilet will experience fewer clogs, and water will flow more smoothly. And, your toilet will last longer before you need to replace it. As a regular habit, toilet cleaning shouldn’t take more than 5 or 10 minutes. Just be sure you use a household cleaner specially designed for toilets that don’t have harsh chemicals. You should also never put drain cleaner down toilets as it can damage your pipes and lead to breaks and leaks.
Toilet Tip #3: Take a Peak Inside Your Toilet Tank
We rarely open our toilet tanks, and consequently, most homeowners are unfamiliar with what they will find in there. We recommend that you open your tank every so often (every couple of months), and familiarize yourself with the different parts, how they work, and how things look when your toilet is working well. Regularly looking in your toilet tank can help clue you into potential problems. For example, if you’re having issues with hard water, you will likely start to see buildup inside your tank first. Meanwhile, if your toilet is running, there may be a problem with the lift chain or flush valve. Sometimes all you need to do is realign the flush valve or reattach the lift chain. However, because you are familiar with the parts of your toilet tank, when one is broken, you are more likely to recognize it, speeding up the repair process.
Basic toilet parts located on and inside the tank include:
- Trip lever, ballcock
- Lift chain
- Flush valve
- Refill tube
- Float ball
- Overflow tube
Toilet Tip #4: Watch Out for Leaks
Toilet leaks can be difficult to spot. The most common toilet leak is a leak from the tank into the bowl. And, unlike an overflowing, clogged toilet, toilet leaks tend to be less dramatic. This all means that toilet leaks can go unnoticed for a long time. They also feel less urgent than other plumbing leaks, and you may be tempted to put off having them fixed. We do not recommend this. If you see the signs of a toilet leak, we recommend you call our licensed plumbers immediately to resolve the problem. Over time, toilet leaks can worsen, leading to increased water bills and greater repair costs.
Signs of a toilet leak include:
- Your toilet is running
- The water in your toilet bowl is higher than usual
- The water in your toilet tank is lower than usual
- You hear gurgling or bubbling sounds coming from your toilet when not in use
- Your water bill is higher than usual
If you are having trouble with your toilet or want more tips on maintaining it, call AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric. Our plumbers are highly experienced and can help you today.