You use your toilet every day, so it’s in your best interest to keep it in tip top shape. If you don’t yet know the tricks to basic toilet maintenance, we’re here to give you a run down so that you’re all set when an issue arises.
Avoiding overflows, wasted water and flushing failures:
- If there is a leak pooling on the floor of your toilet, tighten the connections to the water pipe. Check the tightness of the plastic nut on the flush pipe underneath. If nothing improves, you may have to replace the sealing washer.
- When your toilet won’t flush, check the cistern and make sure there is water inside. If it’s empty, it could indicate an issue with the inlet valve or a supply pipe. If you do find water in the cistern, make sure the internal hook inside the top of the cistern is connected to the flushing arm.
- Flush failures could be caused by loose handles – generally found in old cisterns. To fix this, remove the lid, gold the handle and tighten the locknut with a wrench.
Fixing a wobbly seat:
- At the back of your toilet, you’ll find a flip cover where the bolts can be found. Flip it up using a flat screwdriver.
- Using the same flat screwdriver, tighten the bolts while holding the wingnuts. After you’ve tightened the bolts, tighten the wingnuts.
- If there is no success, you may have to replace your seat. To do this, repeat the steps above, but in reverse.
- Instead of tightening, loosen the wingnuts and slide off the existing seat.
- Place your new toilet seat over the existing holes on the toilet and use the wing nuts that come with your new seat to set your seat in place.
Replacing old, dirty silicone at the base of your toilet:
Over time, the base of your toilet can accumulate dirt and grime, which does not look appealing. This can be fixed easily yourself, without spending too much. Replacing the silicone at the base of the toilet will also help prevent water damage.
The hard part is removing the existing silicone. This step is important to get right, in order for the new silicon to join properly with the toilet.
- First, apply a strong silicone remover to the existing silicone to soften it and make it easier to remove. Take caution if the area around the silicone Is plastic, as the remover will damage it.
- Use a razor blade or something sharp to slice off the old silicone. Make vertical cuts along the contours of the toilet base and a horizontal cut along the floor.
- Pull out as much of the silicone as possible with needle-nosed pliers. For any remaining, try using tweezers to pull them out.
- Scrub the joint with a dry, non-abrasive cloth to remove any last traces of silicone.
- Spray an anti-mould cleaner onto the joint to get rid of mould spores. For an eco-friendlier option, try wiping the join with a cloth and some white vinegar.
- Line the base of the toilet and the floor with painters’ tape. The gap between the tape should be 1cm wide (approximately).
- Cut the silicone tube at a 45-degree angle and make an opening in the tube of about 0.5cm wide. Put the silicone tube in a silicone gun.
- Put the nozzle of the silicone gun in the gap between the tape, holding it at a 45-degree angle. Squeeze gently and apply silicone smoothly.
- Wrap a damp paper towel around your index finger and place it lightly on the applied silicone. Run your finger lightly along the silicone to smooth and even it out.
- Leave it for at least 24 hours before cleaning the base of the toilet and the floor.
There you have it! 3 easy DIY maintenance tasks you can do to keep your toilet in shape for longer!