How to Identify and Fix Common Toilet Problems

A malfunctioning toilet can disrupt your day and lead to increased water bills if not addressed promptly. Knowing how to diagnose and fix common toilet issues can save you both time and money. Here’s a practical guide to help you identify and resolve some of the most frequent toilet problems.

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Constant Running Water

Symptoms: Your toilet continuously runs long after flushing, causing a constant noise and unnecessary water usage.

Fix: The most common cause is a faulty flapper or an improperly adjusted float.

  • Step 1: Check the flapper; it should form a complete seal. If it’s worn or warped, replace it.
  • Step 2: If the flapper is intact, adjust the float. Sometimes, it’s set too high, causing water to overflow into the tube. Lower the float until the water stops just below the overflow tube.

Weak Flush

Symptoms: The toilet doesn’t flush all the waste, potentially requiring multiple flushes.

Fix: Clogged rim holes under the toilet bowl rim can reduce flushing power.

  • Step 1: Use a small mirror to inspect the rim holes for any blockages.
  • Step 2: Clear these holes using a piece of wire or a small brush. Regular cleaning can prevent buildup and maintain flushing efficiency.

Clogs and Blockages

Symptoms: Water backs up in the bowl and doesn’t drain.

Fix: A plunger or a plumber’s snake can often solve this problem.

  • Step 1: Use a flange plunger specifically designed for toilets. Ensure a good seal and pump vigorously to dislodge the clog.
  • Step 2: If plunging doesn’t work, use a plumber’s snake. Insert the snake into the drain and turn it until you feel resistance, then push to break through the blockage.

Leaks Between the Toilet and Floor

Symptoms: Water appears on the floor around the base of the toilet.

Fix: A broken wax seal is likely the culprit.

  • Step 1: Turn off the water supply and drain the toilet. Remove the toilet by unscrewing the mounting bolts.
  • Step 2: Replace the old wax seal with a new one. Carefully set the toilet back in place, ensuring it’s positioned correctly before tightening the bolts.

Faulty Fill Valve

Symptoms: Water in the tank is either too high or too low, affecting the toilet’s flushing and refilling efficiency.

Fix: Replacing the fill valve can correct the water level.

  • Step 1: Turn off the water supply and empty the tank.
  • Step 2: Remove the old fill valve and install a new one, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Adjust the new valve to get the correct water level.


Regular maintenance and timely repairs of your toilet can prevent more serious issues and save water. Familiarizing yourself with these common toilet problems and their solutions can help keep your bathroom in good working order. However, some issues might be too complex for a DIY fix.

Call to Action

If you encounter persistent problems or need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team at Pinnacle Plumbing Sydney. We provide quick, reliable, and professional solutions to ensure your plumbing needs are met with the highest standards.

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