At Rooters On Time, we believe that we have a responsibility, not only to our customers, but also all other fellow Los Angeles residents to ensure safe and efficient plumbing operation. One of the most common problems that we see is actually one that can be fixed by the average person with little more than a small assortment of common tools. Fixing a leaky toilet yourself can save you money both on your utilities as well as on plumber service fees. All you need to do is follow a basic set of instructions.
- Verify the Leak – Often, a leaky commode gives little indicator other than increased water usage. If you suspect your toilet of wasting water, you can insert a food coloring tablet into the main tank and watch to see if the colored liquid drains into the bowl.
- Identify the Problem – Once you know for sure you have detected a plumbing leak, you need to identify where the problem is actually occurring. Sometimes, it is possible to simply adjust the chain connected to the flap and be done with it.
- Collect Your Tools – If the trouble requires something bigger than a simple chain adjustment, you will need to get your tools together. Generally speaking, all you need for this job is a pair of channel locks, though any set of large pliers or crescent wrench should work.
- Turn off the Water – Before you begin working on the fixture, you should turn off the water. This is generally done by twisting the valve knobs behind the unit in a counter-clockwise direction until flow stops completely.
- Drain the Tank – Once the valve has been closed, it is time to evacuate the reservoir. This is done by simply flushing the toilet as you normally would, which just drains it all from the reservoir into the bowl.
- Replace Ball and Cock – Now that all the liquid is out of the tank, it is time to loosen all the bolts connecting the ball and cock mechanism to the plumbing fixture. This requires that you unscrew the water line and the plastic nut above it before you are able to actually swap in the new unit.
- Replace Other Parts – Once you have replaced the ballcock valve, you can install the new lever, chain, and flap. You should ensure that everything is installed the same as it was the previous unit.
- Turn Water Back on – Now that you have everything installed, you need to fill the tank in order to check for proper operation. You should twist the valve you turned off in step four back on and make sure the new mechanism stops running once the reservoir is full.
- Verify Proper Operation – At this point, you should give your commode a test-flush. Watch the tank and bowl through an entire cycle in order to make sure everything fills and empties to the sewer as it should and to verify that there are no leaks.
- Clean Up – Anytime you work with plumbing or sewer connections, it is a good idea to clean and sanitize your work area. Bleach, ammonia, or another antibacterial cleaner can help neutralize any harmful bacteria and keep it from spreading.
It should be clear by now that a ballcock and plumbing accessory replacement is something that nearly anyone with a bit of do-it-yourself spirit can accomplish. A leaky toilet is actually a problem that can compound, grow worse over time, and result in substantial utilities fees. It is important to get it fixed as soon as possible, and handling the repairs personally can help save you money. If you happen to live in the Los Angeles area and run into a complication or following these instructions does not fix your problem, do not hesitate to contact us and we will send a certified plumber to your home promptly.