How to test for a leaky toilet

It’s a helpless feeling when it happens. You flush the toilet and instead of going down, the water starts rising. You watch as the water, toilet paper and anything else that happens to be in the toilet slowly inches its way to the rim of the bowl. Your heart races, you palms get sweaty, and a hopeless feeling of panic sets in as you brace for the flood. Clogged toilets are a nightmare to deal with but if you know what you’re doing you can help avert a disaster.

Determine if your toilet is really plugged:

There are occasions when you toilet seems like it’s plugged when in fact it really isn’t. In order for a toilet to flush properly it needs to have a certain amount of water rush into the bowl at a certain speed. If there isn’t enough water, or if it doesn’t enter the bowl fast enough, the toilet won’t have the suction it needs to create a proper flush.  Over time the ports that are at the top rim of the toilet bowl can become choked off by calcium and lime deposits from your water. When these ports get plugged the toilet does not get the rush of water that it needs.

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Santeen Toilet Bowl Cleaner

To take care of the problem you need to get yourself a good de-limer. The best one the we have fond is a product called Santeen Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Our plumbers dry off the rim of the toilet and then duct tape over the ports. This keeps thesanteen from jut pouring through the ports and lets it really work its magic. Pour the de-limer into the overflow tube located in the toilet tank (it has the flapper attached to it). Let the Santeen eat away at the lime build up for about 15 minutes. Take the tape off of the ports. Be careful not to get the Santeen on your hands (gloves are recommended , it’s nasty stuff). Pour more Santeen into the overflow to flush anything more out of the toilet. You should see all kinds of nastiness come out. Try flushing the toilet again, you should see marked improvement.

If you’re worried about an overflow you should shut-off the supply of water to the toilet. The shut-off  is found on the left down behind the toilet. Turn it until it stops the flow of water.

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The “Power Plunger” by Harvey

Next you need to get a plunger. Use a plunger that has a pull out that will make a good seal in the bottom of the bowl. A good one  that you can use is the Harvey power plunger. Plungers that do not have the pull out option will not make a great seal and therefore will not have the push that the power plunger has.  A plunger is used to force whatever is blocked in the toilet through.

If you cannot get the block taken care of by pushing it trough you may need to use something that pulls the blockage out. To do this you ill need a toilet auger (also called a toilet snake).  A toilet auger is used to grind through and/or grab a blockage. Be careful when inserting the toilet auger into the toilet bowl not to scratch t bowl with the spring on the auger. Marks left by the auger will be very difficult to remove. Slide the auger down into the bend at the bottom of the bowl. Extend the cable out into the toilet until you hit a blockage. Gently turn the handle and grind or grab the blockage and pull it back out. Be careful if you find resistance don’t force it. If the spring binds and then releases violently you could potentially crack he porcelain of the toilet from the inside. After removing the blockage turn the water back on and attempt to flush again.

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How to auger out a toilet

Along Came Polly toilet scene – YouTube.

If you have any questions, comments, or if you want to schedule a plumber contact us at 763-551-8990

LeVahn Brothers Plumbing and Hardware is located at 12700 Bass Lake Rd Maple Grove, MN 55369

Find us on the web at www.levahnbos.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/levahnbrothers

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