DIY Toilet Installation & Repair

If your toilet is not flushing, or if it’s running all the time, here are some tips from Wilson Plumbing & Heating, Inc. to get your toilet working again.

Water-saving toilets don’t always perform up to speed. The first water-saving toilets came out in the mid-1990’s, but they often required more than one flush and often caused backups to happen. This may be why your toilet isn’t working right.

Tips for Fixing Common Plumbing Problems Yourself

Before you spend the money to replace it, you can try these simple repairs yourself.


Clean a slow-running toilet with only a mirror and a coat hanger.

Use a mirror to look at the rinse holes around the toilet rim. Over time, they can become clogged with mineral deposits from hard water.

Bend a coat hanger and use the tip to loosen any deposits that have built up.

Flush your toilet a few times to remove the deposits.


If you hear your toilet running constantly or refilling more often than needed, you may have a leaky flapper. This flapper is a valve or plug inside the tank that holds water between flushes. If the valve wears out, water will keep running to fill the tank.

Turn the water supply off to your toilet. Then remove the flapper and take it with you to a store to find a replacement. Check the seat where the flap sits. If it looks pitted or damaged, you’ll need a new flap seat too. Both items should be available at a home improvement store or a hardware store.

You’ll need to flush the toilet to remove all the water from the tank, then get rid of extra water with a sponge. Read and follow the package instructions for replacing the valve and seat.

While you’re working in there, check the chain length. It needs to have a little slack when the flapper is closed. You’ll need to flush a few times to get the right chain length for the correct amount of water in the bowl. Once you have found the right chain length, cut off the end so it doesn’t get caught.


Does the toilet seat wiggle when you sit on it, or does the entire toilet move? If it’s only the seat, you can easily replace it with a variety of choices from a home improvement store or hardware store.

If the toilet itself moves, you can tighten the nuts that secure the toilet to the floor. You can stabilize the toilet with some shims. For small gaps, use stainless steel washers as shims, because they won’t rot or stain the floor with rust. You can use plastic shims for larger gaps. Put a fresh line of caulk around the toilet after you’ve installed the shims.


If you have water on the floor around your toilet, you may have leaks from the water supply line. The connectors on the supply line should only be hand tight. If they are too tight, they may actually cause leaks. Check the connections with pliers and adjust accordingly.

If these DIY tips don’t fix your problem, call the experts at Wilson Plumbing & Heating, Inc. If you live in the Akron, Canton, or Cleveland area, we can fix your toilet or install a replacement. Call us today for an estimate.