Common Toilet Issues - Part 1

Monday, August 19, 2019

Common Toilet Issues – Part 1

Here at Marines Plumbing, we know how important toilets are. Toilets are a common commodity that we use every day. If you are a homeowner or a renter, you probably have between one and three of them in your home. Since toilets are so heavily used, they tend to have a lot of issues. We are doing a three-part series covering the common toilet issues we see at Marines Plumbing, along with some troubleshooting guidance.

Here is the first set of common issues.


A clog is by far the most frequent problem. The good news is that most clogs can be fixed without the assistance of a professional.

If you have a minor clog, it can easily be cleared using a force-cup plunger. Insert the bulb into the drain and pump forcefully. You may have to repeat multiple times to fully dislodge the clog.

If you have a more serious clog, you can use a closet auger. Insert the end of the auger into the drain hole and twist the handle as you push down. Make sure not to stretch the toilet bowl.

Sluggish Flush

Closely related to clogs, sluggish flushes can be indicative of a clog – partial or full. The best way to determine whether it is a clog or not is to fill a bucket with water and pour it into the toilet swiftly. When the water either backs up or slowly starts to drain, you have a clog.

Toilet Bowl Low Water Level

You flushed the toilet a few hours ago. The next time you go to use the bathroom, the water level is significantly lower. What’s going on? It could be water slowly siphoned from the bowl by a partial clog of toilet paper high up in the colon of the bowl. Or, it could be a crack in the interior colon or piping of the bowl. This will require a new bowl.

Constantly running toilet

We all know that sound – that light trickling that occurs long after you’ve flushed your toilet. While it may not seem like a big issue, this could indicate an internal leak. And while you won’t see any external damage, you could see a spike in your water bill and lots of wasted water. Some of the most common reasons for a running toilet are:

  • Decayed or cracked toilet flapper
  • Insufficient chain connection to the flapper
  • Broken toilet tank float ball and/or float arm

Slow Tank Fill

Does your tank take a long time to fill? Or does it suddenly take longer than it used to? This could be caused by a partially closed shut-off valve (under the tank). While you may not have meddled with the valve, a previous owner or a plumber could have, thus restricting the flow of water into the tank.

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and are having any of these issues and cannot troubleshoot them yourself, don’t fear! Contact Marines Plumbing today to diagnose and repair your plumbing problem.

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