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How do I fix my toilet?

What are the parts called inside a toilet?

 The “throne” as it is often referred to, is one fixture in a home that we depend on to always be there and in working order. Unfortunately,  like other things we come to depend on, toilets break, and toilet repair becomes necessary. With a toilet, there are many components within them that can be the problem.

A toilet basically has several moving parts, and those moving parts will break or wear out from use. Toilet repair doesn’t always require the services of a professional plumber if you learn the various parts in the tank and how it all works.

Take the time now to learn your toilet as we describe the various parts inside the tank so you’ll be better prepared for toilet repair. Placing the tank lid to the side, we’re going to describe a standard flush toilet that is found in most homes:  

  • The Handle and Flush Rod: The handle is the part you use to flush the toilet. The flush rod is attached to the flush rod which has a chain attached to it.
  • The Lift Chain: Extended from the handle horizontally is the lift rod which has a chain connected to it vertically descending to the tank bottom. This mechanism is what initiates the flush valve and allows the water to flush down through the toilet bowl. A toilet repair chain is usually shortening the chain or replacing the chain is one of the most common of toilet repairs.
  • The Flapper: There is a rubber flapper connected to the lift chain that is against the flush valve. When the handle is pressed down, the chain pulls the flapper up and the water inside the tank empties out.
  • The Flush Valve: At the tank bottom is a metal or plastic part that forms an opening that the water drops from when leaving the tank when the flush has begun. The flush valve and the vertical are usually connected to the overflow tube in a one-piece construction with a large O-ring seal fitting around the flush valve below the tank, often referred to the tailpiece.
  • The Overflow Tube: The overflow tube is attached to the flush valve, providing a safety measure that keeps the tank water from overflowing if there is a failure with the water supply valve.
  • The Shutoff Valve: On the exterior of the toilet, there is a water supply pipe that allows cold water into the toilet, located close to the floor to the left side and under the tank.
  • The Supply Tube: Coming from the shutoff valve and going to the water supply tailpiece at the toilet tank bottom is a steel mesh, plastic, or vinyl supply tube.
  • The Ballcock: Inside the tank, the ballcock, a vertical assembly, typically mounted on the tank’s left side that opens the supply of freshwater that refills the tank after the flush has completed.
  • The Float Ball: There is a floating device on all supply valves that senses when the water level inside the tank has reached the required level, then shuts the water supply off.
  • The Refill Tube: A flexible, small tube is clipped on the overflow tube at the top that has water coming from the water supply valve and refills the tank after the flush.
  • The Toilet Bowl: This is where you sit, the “throne” and it is bolted to the floor. A common toilet repair bolt to floor needs to be replaced or tightened.
  • The Wax Ring: Under the “throne” is a wax ring that creates a seal to connect the toilet to the drain, fitting to the flange. When a new wax ring is required, a toilet repair flange may be required.

What’s wrong with my toilet?

Some common toilet repairs that you may be faced with are:

A Running Toilet: A constant running toilet could be the flapper not sealing to the flush valve, allowing water to keep running. If the flapper is good order, replace the flush valve.

A Leaking Toilet: This can be one of several issues as described and should be addressed promptly to avoid waste of water and more damage. 

  • Water Supply Valve Leaking 
  • Supply Line Leaking
  • Toilet Bowl and Tank Connect Leaking
  • Toilet and Floor Connection Leaking
  • Tank Leaking at The Side

Can a toilet fill valve be repaired?

The fill valve will wear out in any toilet that is used regularly. The following are indications that you need to learn and recognize that will tell you it is toilet repair is needed by replacing the fill valve.

  • Loud Sounds: When the toilet is humming and screaming, it is typically when the ballcock metal parts wear out, not allowing the valve to open or close easily. This forces the water to flow through the hole, creating the loud sounds.  
  • Toilet Running: A flapper leaking will keep the water draining slowly and the fill valve will constantly run to fill the tank.
  • Valve Whistling: When there is a high-pitched sound coming from the ballcock valve opening, it is typically a toilet repair requiring a replacement of the ballcock.

How do you fix a weak flushing toilet?

When a toilets is used for some time, the flush can become weak. This can often be from calcium, lime, and other minerals building up inside the tank that block or restrict the water flowing, creating an incomplete flush.  Two ting that are an easy toilet repair is simply cleaning or replacing are:

  • Cleaning the feed holes and jet holes inside the toilet
  • Check the tank water level, the flapper maybe need adjusting or replaced

Why did my toilet explode?

A toilet with a flush assist system is a water-saving design that has been known to cause a toilet to blow up. There are some particular brands that have had recalls, over 2 million toilets, happen when there is stored pressure within the toilet system. This design is intended to empty water from the tank by pushing the water. When it reaches the weld seal, that pressure can cause the toilet to explode.

If you are not comfortable with doing your own toilet repair, calling a plumber is understandable. A professional plumber can perform toilet repair and installation quickly and correctly. With one of the many DIY videos and with retail home improvement stores, you can also learn how to do your own toilet repairs. Call 404-475-3009 today for toilet repair service in Marietta, GA.

What is backflow testing for?

Testing your system

The word ‘backflow’ sounds simple and understated but is a serious health hazard to humans. Backflow is when unwanted water, usually wastewater, flows in an opposite direction, contaminating potable water with wastewater. To assure this isn’t happening, cities and communities perform backflow testing

That unwanted backflow water can contain dirty water from dishwashers, showers, sinks, and human waste. It can be filled with fertilizer, pesticides, and swimming pool chlorine. Think of everything you use water to rinse and wash off is what backflow contains. Not only is this a health issue, but it is also harmful to the pipes, causing them to corrode and leak.  With backflow testing, you can be assured there isn’t any backflow, or if there is, then you know to bring in a professional plumber. 

Having a safety device installed that prevent backflow  is available and helpful in case of any dramatic or unexpected change in water pressure. This backflow prevention device stops contaminated water from entering your clean water supply. If this device isn’t professionally installed and regularly tested, it allows contaminated water to enter the businesses and homes, creating health hazards. 

What causes backflow?

Backflow is caused by cross-connections within a plumbing system that may allow contaminants into the clean drinking water system. This occurs when the pressure in a tank is lower than the water system pressure, allowing the  contaminated water into the clean water system. 

Backflow also occurs when back pressure is created by higher water pressure used  in a fire protection system forces contaminated water  into the public clean water system. Backflow testing detects these possible contaminations happening so that they can be corrected before the contaminated water has the chance of harming any humans.

Is backflow testing necessary?

Our drinking water comes from underground by pressurized pipes that direct the water in one direction.  A cross connection safeguards that potable water is separated from non-potable water so that we have  clean, fresh water. Backflow testing is necessary to make sure there isn’t any water flowing the wrong direction. When water is allowed to run backwards, which can happen because of several things, our drinking water is contaminated and unsafe for consumption. 

Backflow testing is required by every business and multi-unit residential settings at the cross-connection point annually. This is done by a backflow test and gauge device. If local regulations do not require it, the business or multi-unit complexes can purchase a device and perform their own backflow testing. Backflow testing is imperative for maintaining a healthy environment any place that water is consumed or used for drinking. 

How often is backflow testing required?

In the state of Georgia, backflow testing equipment is required to adhere to the following: 

  • RPZ (Reduced Pressure Zone) assembly is required to be tested annually and the assembly to be rebuilt every five years. 
  • DCV (Double Check Valve) assembly is required to be tested every three years.

Does every house have a backflow preventer?

This is dictated by every local or state regulations.  Today, plumbing fixtures, backflow protection is typically built-in during manufacturing.  One example is a faucet spout is designed to terminate above a sink or tub’s flood rim level. In this manner, when a sink or tub has reached its flood level of contaminated water, like backed-up sewage, an air gap is created at the elevated spout, preventing it from backflowing. Every water using device in the home has a form of backflow prevention, including the dishwashers, refrigerator/ice makers, washing machines. Some appliance brands employ a built-in air gap for a backflow prevention method. 

How long does a backflow test take?

Once a professional plumber arrives, equipped with everything need to perform backflow testing and repairs, they will connect the backflow gauges to the backflow device. The water is turned off for approximately twenty minutes. Each device in the business or home is then tested, and if needed, repairs are completed at that time. Once all the backflow testing is completed and repairs are made, the water is turned on. 

Even landscaping drainage and water should have backflow testing each spring.  Before you hire a plumbing company or contractor to perform backflow testing, make certain the are trained and certified to perform backflow testing for irrigation systems.  Not all plumbing companies and contractors00 are trained and certified to perform backflow testing and repair backflow devices. 

As with any contractor work, you should ask to see their certification, licenses, and insurance as well as recent references. Your due diligence in checking the recent references could be the difference in a job well done and job you thought to be done and wasn’t.  Any error in backflow testing and repair could be the difference in your business or home being a healthy and safe place. Call 404-475-3009 today for your backflow testing in Marietta, GA.

What Does Low Water Pressure Mean?

What is the main water line?

Taking a shower or washing dishes with low water pressure is aggravating, but what can you do about it? Well, the first thing you want to do is check the plumbing in, around, and under your house. There could be a leak somewhere that needs water line repair. If you don’t find anything there, it could be the main water line. 

Every homeowner will likely experience a main water line problem sometime. It may be something a handy DIY homeowner can fix, or it may require a professional plumber’s knowledge and service of water line repair. Either way, this is a vital part of your home because this pipe is how the water gets inside your home for bathing, cooking, and more. 

The main water line is located underground and is the connection from the community water source to your home. This is not the same line as the private sewer lateral line that takes away your used water and sewage. The main water line is for clean water coming into your home and until you have water line repair done, the water pressure inside your home will remain low. . 

How do water main breaks happen?

Main water line pipes are under pressure, so when the break, crack, or develop a hole, some of the water goes into the soil and surfaces instead of through the pipes inside your home. Cracks and holes often develop in a main water line from  any of the following: 

The Temperature

  • Slight changes in the temperature of the air or water can cause stress on water pipes.
  • Cold temperatures will freeze water pipes, making them brittle.
  • Water pipes are stressed externally when the ground freezes, causing them to break.
  • Water temperature is delayed behind the air temperature changes. Water line breaks are common up to 2 days later. 

The Pipe’s Age

  • As water pipes age, the breaking rate increases. There are water lines still in place and being used from the late 1800s in many cities around the country! 

The Material

  • Water line pipes that were installed in the 1970s or before were made of materials that become brittle with time, making them susceptible to breaking, cracking, and having holes develop.

Why fix main water line breaks?

Fixing main water line is important for your family’s safety. With the main water line busted, it is vulnerable to contamination getting in the water line. That contaminated water is coming into your home where you’re bathing, cooking with it, and drinking that water. Water line repairs are an absolute must as soon as you realize you have a main water line leak and the use of any water for cooking and drinking should stop until the water line repair is complete.        

How do you fix a water main break?

Learning the How to main water line repair isn’t easy, but it is repairable. With the following steps: 

  • Step One: Identify the spot, which if water is blowing out like a geyser, that’ll be easy. If you aren’t seeing any obvious main water line breaks but your water bill has had a dramatic increase, you’ll have to do some searching. Look for really green patches in the grass or after a good rain, areas that puddle and stay wet after all else has dried. 
  • Step Two: Turn the water off at the main water valve or you may have to require the city to turn it off. This is usually at the water meter and requires a unique tool. 
  • Step Three: Dig a trench in the area where the water is leaking deep  enough to uncover the pipe and far enough on both sides of the leak where you can work. 
  • Step Four: Check the water line for wear in areas other than the obvious leak. Looking for tree roots that need to be cut back or redirected so they don’t cause further damage to water lines.  Look for other areas of pipe that look like they are on the verge of breaking or cracking and repair them as you do the other water line repairs. 
  • Step Five: Cut out the leaking pipes, six inches to either side and replace with rigid copper piping. Clean the ends of the existing pipe and the new pipe. 
  • Step Six: With a wire brush, clean the interior or two clip couplings then slide the couplings on the new water line pipe to the center of the pipe.  Position the new water line pipe in place underground and slide the slip couplings half on old and half on new pipe. 
  • Step Seven: Using a propane torch, heat the couplings from the underneath side to connect the couplings to the old pipe. Using a tar base insulator, spread over the new section to weatherproof the water pipe. 

How long does it take to fix a main water line?

A main water line repair can take up to eight hours on average. Some can take less time and some can take more time. It depends on where the break is and how much line needs to be replaced.  When one part is repaired and the water is turned back on, it can cause a weak spot to break, then that area need water line repair. 

Can you shower if there is a water main break?

A normal water main break can be repaired while the water is still on, placing the line under pressure and will not require the water to be boiled before using. This means you can bathe, do laundry, and water plants without having to boil the water. Until the main water line repair is completed though, you should boil any water that will be used for cooking, washing dishes, or drinking. 

Does home insurance cover water line breaks? Yes, as a homeowner, you pay a monthly premium for your homeowners insurance policy and you’d like to get something back in return. When it comes to water line repairs, all you’ll get is help with cleaning up any damage that was done by a sudden water line break.  

If the water line repair is because the pipe was old and nothing was significantly damaged, no, your insurance will probably not pay for the repair.  You should check your policy and clarify this you’re your agent. Need help with water line repair in Marietta, GA? Call 404-475-3009 today.