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toilet troubles of Val's

Posted by James A. Michael on September 14th, 1999 11:40 PM
In reply to Toilet troubles by VALORIE on September 12th, 1999 07:15 PM [Go to top of thread]

I have some simple suggestions on how you can repair
your two toilets without calling a plumber. For
the first one, which doesn't flush everything away
consider trying these few steps:
First, check the level of water in the tank. If the
tank isn't filling full enough, it can't flush with
enough pressure. If there is no obvious water level
line, the correct level should be within one inch
of the top of the overflow tube.
Second, scratch away the mineral deposits that
have been building up in there for the last ten
years. To do this, take a small nail and poke it
around in those little holes under the bowl rim.
If the toilet has a little hole near the bottom
of the bowl, scratch around in that, also. You
may get quite a bit of gritty residue out, and this
will allow the toilet to flush with much better
Third, snake through the toilet with a hand tool
known as a closet auger. This is not a drain snake
similar to what you'd use to clear a clogged sink,
but is made for toilets. It's available in
hardware stores, and looks like a cane with a hand
crank and a coiled cable for snaking. It takes a little
getting used to, but works great, and it won't wreck
the seal between your floor and toilet, as vigorous
plunging sometimes will. It's a tool well worth
the small investment. If it doesn't come with an
instruction card, ask the hardware person to
demonstrate it.
Sometimes somebody drops something in by accident
and it never goes down, but takes up residence in
there, floating in the line beyond the bowl where
you can't see it or grab it. Pencils and toothbrushes
are famous for this. If you bail all the water
out of the bowl, anything floating out of view
will fall back into the empty bowl. You may want
to try this, too.
On your second toilet which demands that you hold
the handle down all through the flush, I have two
guesses. I think either the handle is worn, or the
flapper is worn, or both. They're both very
inexpensive and easy to replace. Look in the tank
and watch as it flushes - Does the handle pull up
a rubber flapper on a chain? Not all toilets use
this device, but it's the most common. Take that
flapper to the hardware store and get another one
just like it. I'll bet that ends your problem.
Good luck!

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