There are three basic types of plumbing emergencies you can face: you have no water, the water will not stop running or the water will not drain. When water will not stop running, you are facing a potentially serious problem. Toilets, as reliable as they usually are, are a frequent source of leaks. Follow these tips when dealing with leaky toilets while you wait for your plumber to arrive to make a permanent fix.
First Thing's First: Find the Leak
If you think your toilet is leaking, try to determine where the problem is before you call for repairs. Simply place a small amount of food coloring in the tank and flush the toilet. Look around the base of your toilet and between the tank and bowl for signs of the food coloring. You may also notice it where the water line enters the tank.
Consider Where the Leak Is Located
If your toilet has a leak where the line enters the toilet or between the tank and the seat, the line or a gasket may need to be replaced. Locate the shut-off valve on the line and turn it clockwise until the flow of water stops. You can still use the toilet with a temporary fix.
In order for the toilet to flush there must be enough water in the tank. When you flush, water enters the bowl and creates pressure to move the existing water over the siphon and out through the drainpipe. Use a large bucket, about one gallon, and fill it from your sink. Pour this into the tank.
You may have to repeat this process once as newer toilet uses about 1.6 gallons per flush. Once you have filled the tank you should be able to flush the toilet. If the leak is occurring between the tank and the bowl, you will need to dry up any seepage.
If the Toilet Is Running Continuously
A continuously running toilet is an annoyance and a waste of water. While there is a variety of models, toilet tanks will have some form of a float and stopper valve that opens and closes during the flush process. Toilets will continue to run if the float does not rise to shut off the flow or if the valve does not close completely.
If you have a float on a metal arm, emergency plumbing fixes include bending the arm downward to shut the water off before it reaches the overflow. Use caution when bending a float arm, as they do break. Make sure the float lever is not hitting anything that prevents it from rising fully.
If the stopper does not close completely, water to continue to run into the tank. Check to make sure nothing is stuck under the stopper that prevents a full seal. You can gently clean the surfaces with a soft rag. If these tricks do not work, shut the water off to the toilet and use the bucket filling process until the problem is fixed.
Know where your shut-off valves are before an emergency occurs. Check them routinely to ensure that you can turn the water off when you need to. Of course, the tips listed above are just temporary fixes during plumbing emergencies. For permanent fixes for your plumbing problems, be sure to contact the professionals at Pink Plumber today.
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