5 Common Bathroom Problems You Can Fix Yourself
It’s not glamorous, and it’s not what you’d like to talk about at that dinner party this weekend. However, as a homeowner, bathroom issues are some of the most common things that crop up, making you wish you still had a landlord to call. Never fear! You can be your own plumbing superhero! (Everyone else in the house will thank you too, but we can’t promise they’ll get you a cape.)
Common Toilet Problems
From an overflowing bowl to an unstable handle; running water or a flush that halts halfway through, toilet troubles can become a real problem, really fast. Allow us (by us, we mean Bob Vila) to help you diagnose the issue and get it fixed with a quick trip to the hardware store.
Get Friendly with Your Plunger
Have you ever wondered what the right plunger technique really is? Here’s the skinny: While the bowl is still full of water, seal the mouth of the plunger against the opening at the bottom of the toilet. Give it a few strong but gentle pushes and pulls, then remove the tool from the water. If you’ve freed the clog, the water will drain on its own. If not? Give it another go.
No Resistance in the Handle
If you go to flush and feel no resistance in the handle, take a peek in the back. Lift the lid and identify the basic parts of every toilet: the flapper (the rubber seal at the base of the tank), the lift arm (what the handle is connected to on the inside of the tank), and the chain that connects those two parts, creating the flush mechanism. Generally, a loose-feeling handle is due to one of these parts coming loose or disconnected from another. If something’s broken, your local hardware store will have a replacement. (These same parts are to blame if you’ve got a commode that requires you hold the handle down for a complete flush.)
Water on The Floor
Did you know that there is a wax seal where your toilet meets the floor? It’s true, and if it starts to leak, you’ll see water pooling around the base of the toilet. To test the theory, according to Vila, add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet bowl, and flush. If colored water appears around the base, it’s time to go shopping for a new wax ring. While it’s a cheap part to replace, this DIY repair will require a strong helper since you’ll need to lift the entire toilet to get it done.