If your toilet goes wrong, it needn’t cost a small fortune to fix. Before you call in the plumber, there are some quick fixes you can do yourself, with certain types of toilet, that can save you paying those call-out fees.
There are many different types and shapes of toilets and flush mechanisms. We’ve limited ourselves to simple fixes that you can attempt in this article, and these fixes apply in different types of toilet.
Loose flush handle. A loose toilet handle is usually down to one of two things. Either the handle has worked its way loose from the flush lever inside or the lever itself is broken. Try tightening the lever first. Look inside the cistern for the nut corresponding to the flush lever and try tightening this. Bear in mind that this is a reverse thread nut so turn it anti-clockwise. Not working? OK, it could be that the lever arm has broken. Have a look inside the cistern to see. If you need to replace the lever arm you can buy new handles and arms from most DIY outlets. To replace, flush the toilet and remove the support nut attached to the lever. Unclip the chain connecting the float ball to the rubber stopper and slide the lever and arm out of the hole in the porcelain. Now feed the new arm and lever through the hole into the tank. Tighten the support nut and reattach the clip to the float ball.
A toilet overflow that keeps running. The most likely problem is that the ballcock float is damaged or not set at the right height. First inspect the float for any holes and unscrew it to see if it’s holding water. If it is it will need replacing, happily they cost pence not pounds. If the ball valve float seems in good order the valve itself or ball cock could need adjusting. Some ballcock valves have screws to adjust the water level so try adjusting this. Alternatively, bend the arm on the ballcock valve a little until the water stops rising over the level of the overflow.
A broken seat. Life’s too short to repair a broken toilet seat so nip down to your local DIY store and buy a replacement. Toilet seats come in round, elongated and D-shape so make sure you buy the right shape for your bowl. Replacing a toilet seat is not difficult but if the bolts have rusted you’ll need to lubricate with WD-40 or penetrating oil, before trying to loosen them.