Your Personal Toilet Tank Repair Kit: For Sweating, Leaking, and Not Filling Toilets

A toilet, simple as it may seem, can suffer from a variety of problems. Thankfully, compared to other fixtures, a toilet bowl is relatively easy to repair. You only have to deal with two parts: the toilet bowl and the toilet tank. The toilet bowl is the round-shaped portion of the tank which receives waste; the toilet tank is the box that stores water before flushing. Afterwards, you can search for the source of the damage and opt for a toilet bowl repair or a toilet tank repair.

There are four major complaints that require toilet tank repair:

Tank Vibrations

Different methods of toilet tank repair are common when the unfortunate instance of a tank vibrating when it fills up. It means that the tank does not have enough water inside. There are two reasons for this: one is that the float ball is too low or is badly positioned; and the other is the damage of the ball cock. You can fix both of these problems without a need for a plumber.

If the vibration is caused by a badly positioned float ball, a method of toilet tank repair calls for the adjustment of the float ball to a point where the water level should be about an inch from the top of the overflow pipe. If possible, you have to bend the float ball slightly upwards to facilitate the entry of more water into the tank. Also check if the float ball rubs against the tank or is damaged. If the ball is rubbing against the toilet tank, gently push the float ball towards the center so that it won’t touch the sides. If the float ball is damaged, however, remove the damaged ball and replace it with a new one – use petroleum jelly or plumber’s tape to secure the newly installed float ball.

Damage of the ball cock is different. The ball cock controls the water level of the tank by way of the float ball. Check first if the ball cock is a plunger ball cock or a diaphragm ball cock. A plunger ball cock works through the float ball that pushes a plunger and some washers to control the inflow of water; in a diaphragm ball cock, the float ball pushes against the rubber diaphragm to stop water from flowing into the toilet tank. Open the ball cock – you can remove the float are when necessary – so that the plunger or diaphragm is seen. Use some vinegar or soap to remove the sediments stuck in the ball cock. Put back the ball cock and check for water flow. If it does, replace the ball cock with a new one.

The toilet can’t flush

A common complaint in toilet tank repair is the inability of the toilet to flush the waste. This is particularly frustrating as we don’t want our excreta to just float around. It is common in public restrooms and in other places where usage of the restroom is high. There are three reasons for this: a loose, damaged, or stuck handle; a misplaced or short chain wire; and a damage ball cock.

Fixing a loose handle only requires one to tighten the lock nut of the handle. If the nut is too tight to turn, apply some lubricant – a few drops of lubricating oil can do – and let it sit for some time. Then turn the nut again. If lubrication doesn’t work, you have to replace the handle with a new one. A stuck handle only needs to be lubricated in order to work.

The lift chain connects the handle to the flapper valve. If you think that the toilet’s inability to flush is caused by a short lift chain, simply replace the chain with a longer one. Never extend the short chain with a wire or some paper clips as this damage the chain further through corrosion. IF the chain is too long, adjust its placement in the toilet tank.

Nonstop flow of water

Sometimes, water gets uncontrolled and flows nonstop. Common ways in toilet tank repair are: fixing of the handle, lift chain, ball cock, or float ball; adjustment of the valve; or in worst-case scenarios, the replacement of the valve.

Adjustment of the valve is done with a screwdriver. Turn the knob counterclockwise so that the water level recedes; turning it clockwise only raises the level higher.

The damage of the flapper valve is another thing; but first you have to check for mineral deposits. It requires you to remove the whole toilet tank. Shut the flow of the water by temporary closing of your house’s water supply and empty remaining water inside the tank by flushing. Then scrub any mineral deposits in the corners and sides off the tank. Check if the problem still persists.

If the valve is deformed beyond ordinary toilet tank repair, then the first thing to do is to unscrew the nut to unlock the tank from the toilet. Remove the whole old flush-valve system. Cut a new overflow pipe using a hacksaw, and then put some plumber’s putty at the base of the hole of the valve. Install the new valve assembly into the tank, discarding some excess putty in the process. Tighten the nut to secure the new assembly. Place the tank back to its original place.

Leaky toilet

Toilet tank repair usually involves the fixing of leaks found in the tank. These leaks waste more water as more inflow is needed to fill up the tank. The leak can be found at the handle or at the cracks on the tank. It can also be caused by some loose screws and nuts.

If the leak is found at the handle, you can perform adjustments to the ball cock and float ball; or shorten the overflow pipe by a hacksaw. Tank cracks often require replacement of the tank. If there are loose screws, tighten them using a wrench and/or a screwdriver.