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What You Need to Know About Plumbing Maintenance for Toilets

Regular plumbing maintenance is important because it ensures your water pipes, plumbing fixtures, and other crucial plumbing components function properly. Another goal of plumbing maintenance is to spot problems before they grow larger. With a good maintenance plan, you can avoid the leaks and damage associated with plumbing neglect as well as major, potentially expensive plumbing repairs.

But did you know that toilets require plumbing maintenance as well? Read on to discover more about the importance of toilet maintenance.

A Toilet Does Not Last Indefinitely

A toilet is designed to last a long time but cannot last indefinitely. When the average person spends 92 days of their life on the toilet, the working parts inside the toilet tank see a lot of use. Most toilets rely on gravity to operate instead of electricity, but each flush puts strain on these and other working parts:

  • Handle and arm
  • Flapper
  • Flush and fill valves
  • Fill and overflow tubes
  • Float and arm

Even non-mechanical toilet components can fail over time also. The toilet bowl, tank, and wax floor seal perform important duties and should not be ignored. When a toilet receives regular maintenance, expect it to last several decades.

Maintenance Means Inspection

Part of regular maintenance consists of inspection. During an inspection, a plumber checks for several things.

Water Leaks

Water leaks that go unnoticed cause damage to the floor and wood sub-floor of a home. Leaks can occur between the tank and bowl, at the wax floor ring, at the water valve behind the toilet, and within the walls and floor where water lines are located. Also, water can seep from the tank into the bowl when the toilet is not in use.

Firm Connections

A toilet must have secure connections in key areas. A plumber can test the connection of the tank to the bowl, and the bowl to the floor. Signs of looseness and rocking can mean a potential for future water leaks. A plumber also checks the bowl and tank for signs of cracks or chips.

Proper Flushing

When a toilet flushes properly, several things should occur. First, water leaves the bowl and is forced into the waste pipe. Next, the tank reservoir refills the toilet bowl with clean water. Finally, water stops running after the tank is full once more.

If a toilet does not flush properly, wastewater cannot leave the bowl and enter the waste pipe. The bowl does not fill with water, and the water continues to run after the tank is filled. Any of these scenarios mean your toilet is failing.

When inspection reveals a problem, your plumber can recommend the best solution to fix the problem.

Maintenance Means Be Proactive

You can be proactive about your toilet maintenance and replace it with a more water efficient model. Older toilets use more water to flush, around 6 gallons. Check your toilet for the GPF, or gallons per flush. A plumber can help you find this number on the inside of the tank, underneath the tank, or on the bowl.

Toilets made after 1994 should not use more than 1.6 GPF. You can save up to $100 each year on water when you switch one toilet to a more water efficient toilet. Low flow toilets that use even less water equal greater utility savings.

You can avoid water damage and expensive plumbing repairs when you invest in regular toilet maintenance. If you require plumbing assistance with any of your fixtures, visit the professionals at JR Putnam Plumbing, Heating and Air. We can perform inspections and recommend plumbing repairs or install new water-efficient toilets in your home.

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