Bathroom toilets are durable fixtures made of vitreous china, a type of clay that’s glazed for a smooth surface. That surface can get scratched if it’s used or cleaned improperly. Learn how to clean the bowl, prevent clogs and repair or replace parts in the tank to keep your toilet clean and flushing smoothly.
Care and Maintenance
Follow these care and maintenance suggestions for your home’s toilets.
To Clean the Toilet Bowl
Use a commercial cleaner made especially for the toilet. Use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t mix it or use it with household bleach or any other cleaning product.
Don’t use suspended chlorine cleaning bars, chlorine tablets, or bluing pellets in your toilet; they can cause early deterioration of the rubber pieces located inside the toilet tank.
To Protect the Finish
Don’t use commercial toilet cleaners for anything but the inside of the toilet bowl.
Don’t use a strong abrasive to clean the outside of the toilet; it may scratch the finish.
Don’t clean the inside of the toilet tank; you risk damaging the interior parts.
Don’t pour hot water into the toilet bowl or tank.
To Prevent Clogging
Pay special attention to the holes located under the bowl rim. If they aren’t cleaned regularly, they can become clogged and cause the toilet to malfunction.
Never flush hair, grease, lint, diapers, rubbish, facial tissues, etc., down the toilet. These types of waste stop up the toilet and sanitary sewer lines.
To Adjust the Water Level in the Tank
Find the water level adjustment screw on top of the water control. Turn the screw clockwise to lower the water level and counterclockwise to raise it.The water level line is marked on the back of the tank.
To Adjust the Tank Fill Time
If your toilet has this feature, find the flow rate adjustment screw on top of the float rod assembly. Turn the screw clockwise to reduce the flow rate of the water and counterclockwise to increase it.
Toilet tank lids, which are also made of vitreous china, can be deceivingly heavy, so be careful when lifting one off the tank before performing maintenance.
If the Toilet Doesn’t Flush
Adjust the float, which maintains the water level in the tank, so that the tank can store enough water for flushing.
Replace the flapper. The rubber flapper can deteriorate over time. You can find a new flapper at any hardware store. Follow the instructions on the package to replace it.
If the Water Tank Appears to Be Leaking
If the tank appears to be leaking, it might be that condensation is forming on the outside of the tank and dripping to the floor.
If Water Leaks Into the Bowl
First, check the overflow tube. While holding the float, bend the rod closer to the bottom of the tank. Flush the toilet.
If water continues to leak into the bowl, you might need to replace the washer on the inlet valve.
If water leaks into the bowl, but isn’t coming through the overflow tube, it’s probably coming from the flush valve. Align the rods between the flush valve and the flushing handle so that the flush valve float drops straight down when the toilet is flushed.
If water leaks into the bowl from the tank, it could be caused by a warped flapper in the toilet tank. Check the flapper, and replace if necessary.
Condensation on the Water Tank
Condensation can occur on the outside of the water tank and may look similar to a leak.