Toilet Basics - Flush
Nothing says fun weekend project than fixing a faulty
toilet, just a tool belt, a plunger and a dream for some.
However, simple knowledge of the workings of a flush tank
can make this nasty situation a heck of a lot easier.
Obviously, the flush tank is the mechanism that contains
the water used to flush away waste. Included within
the tank is a ball cock which is made up of a spigot that
opens and closes dependent on the flush arm, in other
words, allows water to come in or out. Although the flush
tank has a healthy life span and will typically work for
years, occasionally it will wear out. How do you know
it's not operating properly? Here are a few symptoms that
could mean your flush tanks defective:
Though the tank is full, that oh so
obnoxious sound of continual water running
Lack of water in the tank and a running
The glass is half empty scenario when
water will only rise half way up
Defunct handle resulting in no flush
A splash sound a la Flipper
Lineage breakage is the result of a the flush tank beaing
full, but no flush action occuring and is the result
of handle corrosion. That or the flush tank chain has
broken. First instinct should be locate said chain and
check for breakage. This little mechanism is located between
the arm and lift wire. If it is damaged simply head out
to your hardware store and replace it. If not, it
could be the lift wire has become unattached and needs
realignment. This can be done by hand and should take
no more than a minute. No dice on both accounts, well
then unfortunately that means something is blocking between
the toilet bowl and tank. Either stretch out a metal coat
hanger and try to push it through or you can do one of
Turn the shutoff valve off. You may
need to turn off the main water valve if your toilet
lacks a stopper at the base of it.
Now the fun part. Grab your wellies
and your bucket and proceed to bail out the water like
a passenger on the Titanic. A sponge will help you sop
up the remaining fluid.
Next, at the bottom of the tank you
should spot a nut. Unscrew this with a wrench. Note:
you want to make sure the ball cock doesn't spin, so
use a pair of pliers to hold the nut in place.
Take out the bolt that holds the flush
tank together. Most importantly, handle with care as
too much pressure could cause the bowl to crack.
Gingerly remove the flush tank and
check to see are any clogs in the tube. Remove the clog
if there is one then put the flush tank back on the
Toilet repairs and maintenance isn't the most glamorous
home-improvement activity, but it is important. Using
the guidelines above, you can make it as painless as possible.