There are some toilet problems a homeowner comes to expect: frequently running water and slow flushing are two of the more common issues. But plumbing is a complicated system that can throw you some unexpected problems from time to time. You should ultimately call a plumber when these occur, but here are the likely causes.
Scalding Water: Mixing Valve Issue
Is your toilet suddenly filling with scalding hot water? Does your tank look like its sweating? You most likely have a problem with your mixing valve, which is also called an anti-sweat valve.
A mixing valve is placed on water pipes to ensure that a proper mix of hot and cold water is made before it comes out of your faucet – or into your toilet. The valve is there to help prevent scalding from the faucets and a sweating tank on your toilet.
Unless you have a lot of plumbing experience, you will want to leave the valve fix to a professional plumber. A mistake can leave you with more scalding water or a flood on your hands.
Sink Backups: Main Line Clog
You flush your toilet and the water goes down – but then comes up in the sink basin. It's not a particularly pleasant occurrence and indicates you likely have a clog in the toilet waste line, which is also tied to the sink. And the clog is likely fairly deep down that pipe.
You can attempt to fix the problem yourself using a plumber's snake to work carefully down the toilet until you run into the clog. You can also try the snake down the sink to see if the clog is closer to that end. Keep turning the snake until you can feel the obstruction then try to force your way through it.
Worried about damaging your pipes – or tried the snake to no avail? Call a plumber for assistance.
Moaning Pipes: Fill Valve Issue
When you flush your toilet, do the pipes moan loudly as the water exits? This is likely due to an issue with the fill valve.
If you lift off your toilet tank lid, the fill valve is the vertical column inside the tank. Its job is to allow water to come into tank from the water supply line and then to stop that water when the float indicates there's enough water. A valve that's beginning to come loose or break can make a moaning or screaming sound when you flush.
Fill valves aren't overly complicated to replace. Head to the hardware store with your old fill valve to find a comparable model, then follow the manufacturer's directions. Make sure you turn off the water shut-off valve below the toilet before trying to work on the fill valve.