Despite how effective they are, toilets do have one primary issue that must be addressed from time to time: clogging. Clogs occur in toilets because of the design of its trap. As you flush, the materials are forced upward through a trap before exiting the feature.
The easiest way to deal with a clogged toilet is to plunge it. Flush your toilet to check for drainage. Then use a plunger to address the clog. If water drains from the toilet, refill it and keep plunging.
If plunging is an ineffective method of removing a clog, there are these options to put into a clogged toilet as well.
1. Enzyme Products
Enzyme products are designed to liquefy waste materials. Many of them are designed to be introduced into septic systems to help break down the waste. Introduce it to the toilet and the clog will begin to reduce in size until it can finally be flushed away. As an added benefit, enzymes don’t harm your fixtures or pipes like caustic cleaning agents.
2. Hot Water
For toilets that tend to clog frequently, it may be a result of dried waste products within the trap. Plunging and flushing won’t remove them, but hot water can get the job done. Heat a gallon of water until it is close to boiling. You can vinegar or baking soda if you wish as well. Then pour the water down the toilet and let it stand overnight.
3. Plumbing Snake
If you need a fast and effective way to remove a toilet clog, purchase a plumbing snake. Closet augers are the best option for a toilet and they are often called a “toilet snake.” It uses a flexible coil that can be pressed through the trap of the toilet to dislodge a clog. Move the coil up and down, spinning it if need be, to work through the clog. When the water level goes down, you’ve removed it. Flush to be sure and repeat if necessary.
4. Coat Hanger
For those who have an older toilet where the finish of the bowl is not a concern, a wire hanger can do the same thing as a toilet snake. Just insert the hanger into the trap and work it around to dislodge the clog.
If all else fails, a commercial clog remover can also remove the clog for you.
Toto Ltd was founded in 1917 and is recognized as being the largest manufacturer of toilets in the world. The name of the organization is a combination of two words, Toyo Toki, which mean “oriental ceramics.”
There are currently 10 manufacturing plants outside of Japan that manufacture the Toto toilet, with locations including India, Iraq, Indonesia, and the United States.
What Is Unique About the Toto Toilet?
The Toto toilet is a unique fixture that can be added to any home. It works just like any other modern toilet, but it has an added feature to the toilet seat. Once installed, you’ll have an integrated bidet. You can press a button on the toilet or use a remote control to activate the feature.
Once activated, the toilet will extend a wand from the back rim of the fixture. This wand will then spray a jet of water toward the user, just like a traditional bidet would provide. Toto toilets have on-board heaters for the water as well, so you don’t need to worry about being blasted with a stream of ice-cold water after going to the bathroom.
Why Choose the Toto Toilet?
The Toto Washlet model offers a rear cleanse and a front cleanse option. A dryer and deodorizer are included features with the toilet as well. These additional features also come with this innovative design.
Automatic lid that opens and closes for the user.
A heated toilet seat for added comfort.
A pre-mist from the bidet to help facilitate a better cleaning experience.
A self-cleaning wand so users can have confidence in the bidet feature.
Toto toilets also provide users with access to electrolyzed water within the actual toilet, even though it connects to a standard water line. When water is electrolyzed, it acts as a disinfectant. It is a product that is often used for cleaning purposes and even in food preparation.
After each use of a Toto toilet, the electrolyzed water sends a mist into the toilet bowl, helping to keep it as clean as possible. This reduces the need for toilet owners to expose themselves and the toilet to harsh cleaning chemicals.
Different models have varying combinations of these features. All, however, have one thing in common: they are often described as the best toilet that has ever been owned.
Stains that developed in your toilet, as well as your sink, shower, and bathtub, are a result of what is lurking inside the water in your home.
If you live in a building that used galvanized or iron pipes for the plumbing systems, then any acidic water that passes through them will create corrosion over time. That corrosion puts rust into the water as it passes into your fixtures. Over time, that rust creates stains on your porcelain, especially with the toilet, because there is water ever-present in the bowl.
There’s a good chance you’ll be seeing rust-colored stains on your clothing if you’re seeing a rust ring in your toilet.
How to Fix the Rust Problem
The only way to solve the problem of rust in your water supply is to replace the faulty pipes. That can be a very costly repair.
Temporary solutions to reduce or eliminate rust in the water are possible as well. You can either connect an ion exchange water softener to your water supply, preferably at the entry point for water into your home. You can also install an oxidizing filter before the water softener or add polyphosphates to your supply.
Unfortunately, some primary water supplies have high levels of iron in them, which means you may be stuck cleaning the rust stains off your porcelain for the foreseeable future.
How to Remove Rust Stains from Toilets
To get rid of a persistent rust stain, you will need to purchase a commercial rust stain remover. Several brands are available at most retail outlets that offer cleaning supplies. One popular cleaner to consider CLR: Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover.
Most cleaners that will remove stains contain some form of acid, so be careful when applying the product. Follow all manufacturer instructions and immediately rinse any cleaner that splashes onto your skin. Wash any clothing immediately and separate from other clothes.
Then you will need to scrub the rust stain until it begins to break up. Because porcelain, even when sealed, is a porous product, the stains could be partially embedded into the fixture itself. Use a stiff-bristled brush and apply the cleaner, as instructed, over multiple days and this will remove a majority of the stain.
By following these steps, you can know why your water has rust, why your fixtures have stains, and what you can do about it.
The wax ring on a toilet is designed to provide a seal that is pliable and soft. This creates a transition points between the harder components of the toilet system while providing a stable placement point for the fixture itself. The wax ring is placed around the exit hole of the toilet and rests on the flange.
The flange of the toilet sits on the drainpipe, which allows waste to be removed by the fixture. Most flanges are made from PVC today, but older homes may still have a cast iron flange.
Although technically one could have a toilet installed without a wax ring, there are a number of benefits that are provided by this simple technology that go beyond stability.
1. Odor Control
The wax ring on the toilet creates an airtight seal from the drain pipe. Any sewer gases that would come up the pipe are forced into the trap of the toilet instead of escaping from around the fixture. This prevents gas entry into the home, which can be quite dangerous. Hydrogen sulfide smells like rotten eggs and can cause eye irritation, coughing, and even loss of smell after just 2 minutes of exposure.
2. Leak Prevention
The wax ring on the toilet also creates a water-tight seal for the fixture. This forces the wastewater into the drain pipe instead of having the chance to spill out onto the floor. One of the earliest signs of wax ring failure is puddling and water accumulation around the toilet that is not due to condensation. By preventing leaks, the wax ring protects the structure of the floor, reducing the risk of rot and other forms of damage to the floor and subfloor.
Without the wax ring on the toilet, there is a good chance that the fixture would wobble. Toilets with a broken wax ring often wobble when being used. There is a good chance that the flange is also broken, especially if the toilet has a severe wobble to it. One of the most common causes for wax ring failure when the toilet is unstable and uncomfortable is a loose closet bolt. These fasteners secure the toilet to the flange and the stress of being loose impacts the integrity of the wax ring.
What Wax Rings Are Needed for My Toilet?
There are two common types of wax rings that are used for the modern toilet: with sleeves or without sleeves. The wax rings with sleeves provide extra stability during the fitting process, which makes installation a little easier, but the sleeves typically come with an added price.
Most wax rings today are produced from petroleum waxes. It has a higher melting temperature than other wax types and creates a solid foundation for homes that maintain an average internal temperature in a normal range.
Even if the wax ring is intact, if you lift the toilet from its placement, this will likely break the integrity of the seal and require it to be replaced. When replacing a wax ring, it is imperative that all portions of the old ring are removed for the new ring is installed. You may need to use a putty knife to break or peel off chunks of the old ring.
Am I Forced to Use a Wax Ring for My Toilet?
There are wax-free gaskets available for the modern toilet if a wax ring does not seem like the best option for your needs. Wax-free gaskets typically use a rubber seal that fits onto the bottom of the toilet instead of needing a ring fitted around the area. A deep-seal flange then goes into the drain pipe to prevent gas or liquid from escaping.
Foam gaskets are another option that is wax-free and provide a unique advantage: they can be stacked. If you have a difficult flange and toilet relationship, a foam gasket can still seal a toilet that is up to 3/8-inch above or below floor level on their own. If you have even more space, stack the foam seals to achieve the desired results. Foam gaskets can usually maintain their seal, even if the toilet happens to rock, which reduces the risk of water damage to the floor and subfloor around the toilet.
The wax ring of a toilet is designed to stabilize and protect the fixture and the drain while reducing the threat of gas exposure and damage. Alternatives exist to the wax ring, but the purpose is still the same for all these products.
If you’ve recently had the floors in your bathroom replaced, then there is a chance that your toilet flange is now sitting too high. You may notice that a portion of the toilet still reaches the floor, but not the entire base.
Although this is an uncommon problem to encounter, there are some steps you can take. You don’t need to raise the entire floor to fix the problem. Raising the floor around the toilet can solve your problem.
You could also lower the drain pipe.
There is one exception: waxless sealing rings may be able to bridge the gap between the floor and toilet for you. This product also has a higher risk of leaking.
Option #1: Raising the Floor
Tile is an effective way to raise the floor around your toilet, especially if it is set on concrete or vinyl. Depending on the amount of height that is required, backing board could be placed underneath the tile to provide the amount of support that is required.
For small height problems, something as simple as grout and be added around the toilet to help secure it and prevent it from leaking. If you use this method, make sure that you have the weight of the toilet supported where it is off the floor so the grout will harden in a supportive way.
You can also build risers with the flooring materials you used, such as a hardwood flooring option, to allow the toilet to sit properly.
Option #2: Cutting the Pipe
Cutting the top of the pipe should be your last option, but it may be the only option you have. Many pipes use PVC, so a simple cable saw outfitted with a proper blade can do the cutting. You will need to remove the flange first, which means you’ll need to replace it once you’ve finished with this job.
Cut it so that your pipe is flush with the floor. Many floors are not properly square, so you’ll need to check what the angle of the floor happens to be to create the flush cut.
Then attach the new flange.
If your toilet flange is too high, do not use the toilet until you’ve corrected the problem. These fixes may not be simple, but they can get the job done for far cheaper than alternative repair methods.
If you have hard water in your home, then the scale from the minerals in the water can build-up within the toilet. This may cause a number of problems ranging from staining to weak flushing. With regular care and cleaning, many of these issues can be prevented.
Even if it has been some time since the toilet was cleaned, hard water stains can still be removed from most toilets. Here is what you can do to work on the toughest stains you might encounter.
1. Create a Borax Paste
If the stains aren’t too set-in, you can add ¼ cup of Borax into the toilet bowl directly. Use a toilet brush to mix the Borax into the water. Then add 1 cup of white vinegar into the toilet bowl. Close the lid and allow the mixture to sit for about 15-20 minutes. Open a window or turn on the exhaust fan before leaving.
When you come back, do not breathe directly over the toilet bowl as you lift the lid. Give any fumes a minute or two to filter out. Then scrub the stains with the toilet brush. Repeat as necessary.
If the stains won’t come off, mix ½ cup of Borax and a little vinegar to form a paste. Spread that onto the hard water stains and let it sit for another 20 minutes before scrubbing it off.
Some stubborn stains are set right into the porcelain of the toilet bowl. Should this happen, you need to get into the pores of the porcelain to remove the stain. A fine drywall sandpaper is your best option here. Only use an extra-fine grit because anything else will scratch the porcelain and create future staining issues. Keep the stains wet as you sand as well.
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar
For light staining issues, baking soda can be mixed with vinegar to remove stains as well. It takes about 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of baking soda to create enough of a reaction that will work to remove the stains. Give the reaction about 10-15 minutes to work deep into the stains.
Then you’ll need to take your toilet brush and scrub the stains until they are gone.
You may need to repeat these steps daily for 3-5 days, depending on the age and severity of the stains in question.
One of the most common reasons why a toilet decides to run is because there is a potential malfunction in one of its components. Although toilets are fairly simple in terms of technology, there are certain seals or rods that can change over time and prevent proper functionality.
A bad flapper, a bent float arm, or a crack in the flow pipe can all be causes of a toilet running, especially if it happens on a regular basis.
Sometimes, a toilet will only run intermittently. It may cut on and off at random times. When this occurs, it is often referred to as “phantom flushing.” This problem is caused by a leak that occurs from the tank of the toilet into the bowl. When water levels in the tank reach a low enough level, the toilet refills itself.
Here is what you’ll want to check on the problem.
When Was the Last Time the Tank Was Cleaned?
A flapper doesn’t have to go bad for it to begin malfunctioning. Mold or mildew can grow on the flapper seat and this can cause the flapper to not sit properly, creating the run. Homes with hard water may experience scale build-up within the tank and on the flapper seat, causing this problem. Cleaning the mechanisms within the tank can go a long way toward restoring its functionality.
Replace it, however, if it looks damaged.
Is There a Trickling Sound?
If you have a slow trickle into the toilet bowl, then your supply line might be at fault. This problem is even more likely if a hissing sound is present when the toilet is running. It is an indication that the inlet valve has been compromised. You may be able to adjust the float arm to stop this issue, but you may also need to check the positioning of the refill tube.
You may also need to replace the entire assembly.
Do You Have Evidence of a Leak?
There are 5 common places where a toilet may leak and this can be the cause of the toilet running. Check the mounting bolts to see if they have become loose. You may also need to check on the seal between the tank and the toilet. The base of the ballcock in the toilet can also cause a problem.
There is also a wax seal underneath the toilet within the base. Look for evidence of moisture around the base of the toilet if you can’t find evidence of a leak anywhere else. Should you find it, then there is a good chance that you have a broken flange and will likely need the help of a professional.
By knowing what causes a toilet to run, you can quickly identify the problem being experienced and fix it. Running toilets can waste hundreds of gallons of water in a single month. Because these fixes are cost-effect and easy in most circumstances, it makes sense to start this repair project today.
Your two best common options for unclogging a toilet are a plunger or a snake. These tools can help you to dislodge most blockages from the toilet trap without needing to add any chemicals or household items into the toilet.
If you cannot dislodge the clog with those tools, however, you may want to try using these options to unclog that stubborn toilet.
1. Use soap or shampoo.
Adding dish soap or shampoo to your toilet can help to create less friction within the trap. Add some plunging after a generous amount of soap or shampoo and that will often dislodge a stubborn clog. If you don’t have either option, small chunks of a soap bar will also work.
2. Add very hot water.
Once the soap or shampoo is in place, you need to activate it. You can do so by adding very hot water to the toilet. Boiling water should be avoided. Use about 1 gallon of hot water for best results.
3. Unravel a wire hanger.
After 10-30 minutes, you should begin seeing improvements in toilet functionality. If you do not, then you may need to dislodge the clog manually. If you don’t have a plunger or a toilet snake, you can use a wire hanger to get the job done. Unravel it and then gently slide it through the bowl opening. Move it up, down, and side-to-side to remove any debris that is sticking to the toilet trap.
4. Use acidity to break apart tough clogs.
If you still can’t get the toilet unclogged, you can try adding some standard vinegar to the bowl or use a fair amount of baking soda. Once added, use another gallon of very hot water for activation and then wait another 10-30 minutes for it to begin working. Repeat with the wire hanger to dislodge any part of the clog which may still be clinging to the trap.
5. You can also use commercial unclogging liquids.
Many professional-strength unclogging liquids use sodium hydroxide, or lye, to remove clogs. When the lye hits the water, it creates heat and that, mixed with small bits of aluminum, will clear out stubborn clogs. Do not mix a commercial unclogging liquid with vinegar or baking soda. It will create even more heat and that could damage your plumbing system.
Unclogging a toilet isn’t always easy. With the right tools and supplies, however, you can take care of the problem quickly so you don’t need to worry about the toilet overflowing.
If you’re shopping for a new toilet, then “fun” probably isn’t the way you’d describe the process. Many toilets look the same and have similar features, which makes it difficult to compare brands and models.
One point of comparison to look at today, however, is between single-flush toilets and dual-flush toilets. Most single-flush toilets will use about 1.25 gallons of water per flush. Dual-flush models use about 1.6 gallons per flush, but may use just 1 gallon on a partial flush.
Both models have enough power to effectively clean the toilet bowl. The amount of water used during a flush does not correlate with the performance of a toilet.
Here are some unique features that are included on some premium toilet models that may be worth looking at.
1. Compressed Air
You’ll find this feature on a toilet like the Kohler Highline Classic. The compressed air boosts the power of the flush, removing more solid waste as it self-cleans. It is noisier than the average toilet as well, but reduces cleaning inside the bowl.
2. One-Piece Designs
Many toilets have the tank and bowl be separate items that connect at a joint. One-piece models make the installation process faster and cleaning them is much easier. Look for a model that will clean the inside of the bowl effectively while providing you with a comfortable sitting experience for your bathroom space.
Toilets will always make some noise. If you have a small home or you don’t want to know whenever someone might flush the toilet, look for a model that has built-in soundproofing and improved water movement technologies. American Standard makes the Acticlean model that will even dispense toilet bowl cleaner for you when needed while being the quietest toilet you’ve ever heard.
4. Toilet Bowl Size
Toilet bowls can be round or elongated. Round bowls are typically 16.5 inches in length, while elongated models are 18.5 inches in length. Round bowls take up less room, but elongated bowls provide added comfort. Be sure to think about the distance from the drain and the wall, the “rough-in,” as well. The standard distance is 12 inches, but older homes have a range of 10-14 inches which may need to be accommodated.
Ultimately, the best toilet is the one that fits within your budget and provides the best possible value experience for your space. Shop for comfort, but also shop for convenience and ease of use so you can enjoy the benefits of owning the best toilet for years to come.
A dual flush toilet is designed just like any other toilet, but with one key exception. It has two handles or buttons equipped to the fixture so that it can flush different levels of water. Initially proposed in 1976 by Victor Papanek, the first dual flush toilets began to be installed in 1980.
The modern dual flush toilet was created in 1993 as a way to cut water usage when flushing.
Due to the complexity of the toilet’s mechanisms, the cost of a dual flush toilet is usually higher than a single flush design. Once installed, however, a modern dual flush toilet can cut water consumption levels by 50% or more when it is used properly.
There are additional advantages and some disadvantages which must be considered when looking at the dual flush design as well.
List of Advantages for a Dual Flush Toilet
1. It reduces a home’s environmental impact. Many homes live in areas that are conserving water right now. The goal of many conservation efforts is to save 10% on total water usage over a specific time measurement. If you are upgrading an older traditional toilet, you could move from 4-5 gallons per flush to just 1.1 gallons per flush with the dual flush option.
2. You don’t need to upgrade the entire toilet. There are several manufacturers which have created dual flush conversion kits that can be used with most modern toilets. Although you may need to bring in a professional plumber to make the necessary adjustments to the toilet tank, it is usually a cheaper upgrade than replacing the entire toilet.
3. Both bowl styles are available. You can find dual flush toilets with round or elongated bowls, allowing your space to have the best possible toilet to meet your needs. Be sure to measure your rough-in distance before finalizing your purchase, especially if you live in or own an older home.
4. Rebate programs might be available. Because of the water-savings advantages that come with dual flush toilets, many utility districts offer homeowners the opportunity to secure a rebate when they upgrade to this type of toilet. That can offset the added cost of this design for some homeowners, making it an advantageous purchase that will eventually save water at the same time it saves them money.
List of Disadvantages for a Dual Flush Toilet
1. It requires a consistent user experience for water savings. Consumers must always choose the one flush for liquid waste and the secondary flush for solid waste when using a dual flush toilet to experience water savings. Choosing the second option for liquid wastes or the first option for solid waste can actually increase water usage over time.
2. There are more maintenance issues to consider. Dual flush toilets have a deeper flushing mechanism that is used to control water. Although the toilet design is often easy to use, maintaining two lever or push-button mechanisms instead of one provides double the risk of cost. Compared to a traditional toilet, a dual flush toilet’s lifetime maintenance cost can be double.
3. It may require more cleaning. Some dual flush toilets conserve water at the expense of providing pressure. Look for a toilet design that offers a high PSI in the bowl with each flush to maintain a clean toilet. If you have a model that does not offer a high PSI, then you can expect to be cleaning it on a frequent basis.
4. It takes time to get the money back on this investment. If you are replacing a traditional toilet with a dual flush model, it could take up to 8 years to make your money back in utility savings. That means other environmentally-friendly upgrades to your home, like a conversion to solar energy, might be a better option to think about.
5. Water levels may sit lower in a dual flush toilet. Many dual flush toilets have a lower bowl water level as part of the conservation process. When this fact is combined with a deep bowl design, some users may experience some splash back after using the toilet. Some models may also require you to hold the button or handle to complete the flush, which increases the chances of a splash event occurring.
What is a dual flush toilet? It is an excellent opportunity for you to save water, save money, and upgrade to a more comfortable flushing experience. Consider each advantage and disadvantage carefully to ensure that you are purchasing the best possible toilet for your home today.