6 Tips for Toilet Maintenance
Your bathroom is one of the most frequented rooms in your home, so when your toilet is on the fritz, it can cause major problems. You can avoid toilet issues like clogging and flooding, or even the dreaded running toilet, when you learn some simple toilet maintenance tips. Read on for more information about do’s and don’ts for your toilet.
DO Watch What You Flush
Toilets are designed to handle #1, #2, and toilet paper – nothing more. Avoid flushing thick paper products like paper towels and napkins, as well as things like floss, bandaids, or cotton balls.
Some brands of tampons claim that the tampons themselves (not the applicators) can be discarded in the toilet, but the reality is that flushing tampons can stress a septic system. Flushable wipes are also commonly found in bathrooms, but those take a while to degrade, and in the meantime they can clog plumbing. Also use caution with super absorbent types of toilet paper.
DO Keep a Plunger Handy
Even if you’re doing your due diligence by not flushing tampons, wipes, and thick toilet paper, it’s still possible that your toilet may clog. In these cases it’s best to keep a plunger nearby. The best type is a ball-shaped or fold out cup-style plunger. When plunging a toilet to remove a clog, be sure to press down gently and then pull up vigorously; if you press down too hard, you may move the clog further down rather than up and out.
DO Clean Your Toilet Regularly
To ensure your toilet remains in good working order for a long time, make sure you clean it regularly. You can use natural cleaners and disinfectants like baking soda, vinegar, and mild soap for porcelain. And you can remove stubborn rust stains from a toilet bowl by using Acid Magic – just be sure to wear protective glasses and gloves when working with harsh chemicals.
DON’T Ignore a Running Toilet
If your toilet is running, you may be wasting dozens of gallons of water per day, so it’s best to address the issue immediately. There may be a few causes for a running toilet: a broken toilet flapper (or flush valve); the chain may be caught; the float may need to be lowered; or, the refill tube needs to be repositioned.
Toilet flappers drop down and seal off the tank when enough water has flowed through; but, if it’s stuck in the raised position, or if it’s degraded and not sealing properly, it causes water to keep running and flowing. It’s easy and inexpensive to replace your old toilet flapper with a new one that seals the tank effectively and stops a running toilet.
DON’T Flush Hazardous or Reactive Chemicals
While it may seem acceptable to flush paints down the toilet – they are liquid, after all – paints can stick and congeal to the sides of septic pipes and cause clogs. You should also avoid flushing paint thinners or other corrosive chemicals because they can eat away at plumbing.
DON’T Be Afraid to Call a Plumber
Some toilet maintenance jobs or repairs are best done by the experts. If you’ve tried a DIY solution like replacing an old toilet flapper, or put your best effort into plunging a toilet that’s still stubbornly clogged, call a professional for an evaluation and an effective fix.
If you’re curious about your home’s plumbing system and how to best maintain it, call South Sound Inspections today to schedule a visit.