Toilet Problems You’ll Regret Ignoring

If you spot these troubles with your toilet, don't wait around for them to go away.

Running Toilet

The mysteries of a running toilet can be frustrating. Hardware stores and home centers carry the parts for almost all toilet repairs. One cause of a toilet running is a flapper that doesn’t seal. If water from the tank seeps around the flapper and into the bowl, the flapper is probably shot.

Flush the toilet and look for a fill valve leak. Lift up on the toilet float arm when the tank is filling to see if the water stops. Bend or adjust the toilet float arm so the tank stops filling when the water level is 1/2- to 1-in. below the top of the overflow pipe. If the fill valve still leaks, replace it.

Rocking Toilet

If your toilet isn’t solidly fastened to the floor, there may be trouble in your future. Any movement of the toilet damages the wax seal. That leads to leaks and ultimately major repairs. To steady a rocking toilet, cut plastic shims to fit and slip them underneath. Tighrten down the nuts on the bolts. Don’t crank them down super-tight; that can crack the toilet.


Toilets are responsible for a whole lotta annoying noises. Slow close toilet seats work great at stopping the ‘clank’ when lowering the toilet seat, but if you still hear the noise of the lid hitting the tank upon opening, here’s what you can do. Put a vinyl bumper on the lid of the toilet tank.

Sweaty Toilet

Condensation forms on the outside of the tank, which can drip down and make a mess or even rot out your floor. Humid conditions can cause a toilet to sweat. Some toilets are available with insulated tanks to prevent condensation problems.

Clogged Toilet

For about 90 percent of clogged toilets, you only need one special tool: a toilet plunger. Buy a toilet plunger with an extension flange on the rubber bell-shaped end. A toilet plunger with an extension flange is designed to fit toilets better, so you can deliver more power to the plunge. The toilet plunger will unplug sinks and tub drains, too, if you simply fold the flange back into the bell.

Loose Toilet Seat

Tighten a loose or wiggly toilet seat with inexpensive rubber bushings and seat stabilizers. It’s a 15-minute fix that’ll last for years. Remove the toilet seat nuts and insert the rubber bushings.

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