A Happy Toilet Is A Happy Household
Many people do not like to mess with household plumbing. That is understandable, and a good decision, especially if you are not familiar with what you are doing. Things can get real messy real quickly if something unintentionally goes wrong, especially with toilets and sewage issues. However, there are relatively simple things that can be done to help maintain your toilet to help prevent a bigger event from happening. The smartest thing you can do for your toilet is to maintain it.
Simple Toilet Health Tips
Toilets are one of the most used plumbing fixtures in your home. When something goes wrong with a toilet it can be messy and expensive to have repaired. So we have ten things that you can begin doing to help maintain your toilet and help keep it from having bigger problems in the future.
Tip 1. Regularly clean your toilet with mild cleaners. We suggest using baking soda, vinegar or a mild soap to clean to porcelain. Regular cleaning helps keep bacteria and foul odors away and it allows you to spot cracks in the porcelain or leaks that you otherwise may not notice.
Tip 2. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners for clogged toilets. In general it is best to avoid using high strength chemical drain cleaners on your toilet. They can be harmful to your health if some is splattered on skin, inhaled too much, or accidentally ingested. Older fixtures and pipes can also be damaged by the harsh chemicals. Besides they are not good in our water system and they can cause problems with septic systems by killing the good bacteria in them and leaching into the soil.
Tip 3. Inspect your toilets mechanisms twice a year. Every six months it is a good idea to take the lid off your tank and look around inside to make sure everything is working properly. Flush the toilet and watch the mechanisms work, make sure the flapper valve seals properly and the water shuts off inside the tank at the proper level.
Tip 4. Fix any leaks right away. If you happen to spot a leak inside or outside your toilet, make sure to get it repaired quickly. It is likely that the leak will continue to get worse leading to water damage and perhaps become a much bigger problem if disregarded.
Tip 5. Be careful if using a brick in tank to save water. If your toilet is more than about 20 years it is probably using more than the 1.6 gallons for every flush than more recent low flow toilets use. A trick to save water when using an older toilet is to put a brick in the tank to reduce the volume of water per flush. Some bricks can deteriorate and breakdown over time, causing disintegrated brick to clog your plumbing or interfere with the flapper valve sealing properly.
Tip 6. Inform youngsters about proper toilet care. Inquisitive children may want to experiment with flushing different items down the toilet, or using excessive toilet paper that can leads to clogs. Be sure to inform them about proper tissue usage, what is acceptable to flush and how to leave the toilet when the finish up.
Tip 7. Only flush human waste and toilet paper down the toilet. This sounds pretty obvious, but it is often ignored and an occasional exception is what will invariably cause problems.
Tip 8. Not all toilet paper is the same. If you happen to be using a septic system, you will definitely want to use paper that breaks down easily, otherwise it can clog up a septic system. A municipal sewage system can tolerate the non-biodegradable paper but it can cause clogging issues in your house drain pipes.
Tip 9. Use a proper plunger when needed. The best type of plunger to use for the simple clogs is a flange style plunger. Sometimes all the paper clog simply needs is a series of pushes from a plunger to open up the clog, and another flush or two to keep it flowing along.
Tip 10. Don’t hesitate to contact a plumber. It is always good to know when to ask for professional help. Plumbing issues can be complicated and become a much bigger and more expensive issue if certain repairs are not performed properly.
With some regular toilet maintenance you will normally be rewarded with a more reliable and trouble free toilet. Still, parts can wear out and not work properly just because of usage. Hopefully you are better informed about proper care and what to do when something does need maintenance. You may also enjoy reading some plumbing conservation ideas with our “green plumbing ideas“.
If you do run into problems and you’d like some help, give us a call, we’d be happy to help.
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