The DIY Toilet Page

Save youself hundreds of dollars with these simple do-it-yourself soultions.

Toilet Leaks

Greg shows how to diagnose a toilet leaking from the tank into the bowl. Some people describe this as the tank "flushing itself" - but, it's really not (it's the toilet filling itself over and over). He uses a blue dye to show if the tank really is leaking and a few spots of where the trouble could be and what to do about it.

Why NOT to use a plunger to clear a Toilet!

Listen to why Greg doesn't carry a plunger in his plumbing tools. Did you know it can make a clog worse, damage your toilet, and even lead to illness? Listen in...

Clearing a Clogged Toilet using a Closet Auger

Greg , shows how to clear a clogged toilet using a closet auger. Using this inexpensive tool (about $35 at the home store), and a little practice you can save hundreds of dollars in plumbing service-call costs with each use.

For this video, Greg created a clog in a toilet drain using paper towels. During the unclogging process there is some rust colored water visible in the bowl - That IS rust from the auger itself, not anything nastier that that.

Greg talks about how to diagnose if the plug is in the toilet, or farther down the drain; he talks about the closet auger and demonstrates its use; and how to check for a common reason the toilet clogged in the first place.

Improve Toilet Flush Performance.

Water mineral deposits can build up on the inside workings of your toilet. These deposits restrict the free flow of water from the tank and can cause a weak flush.

The resolution is to quickly poor about a quart white vinegar down the overflow tube (located in the toilet tank). Let the vinegar work for a minimum of an hour (preferably overnight) before flushing. It may help to first remove the small 1/4 inch bowl fill tube that comes from the ballcock and to the overflow tube, and use a funnel to assist pouring the vinegar into the overflow tube. The vinegar dissolves the calcium (hard water build up) in the flush ring and the siphon jet, allowing the toilet to once again work as designed. Annual treatment could be necessary.

Time to complete 5 minutes, results overnight
Materials 1 gallon of white vinegar (appoximately 1 quart per application)
Tools required Funnel
Costs $3 - Vinegar - available at most grocery stores
Skill level easy
Troubleshooting Depending on the amount of hard water build up, repeated applications may be required.
Safety Issues Avoid splashing vinegar in eyes
Property damage potential Vinegar is acidic and a solvent, be sure to wipe up any spills.
Technique Be sure to pour the vinegar rapidly so that it can penetrate the farthest reaches of the flush ring. The funnel helps in this effort, and allows a more rapid pour than trying to aim the vinegar down the overflow tube without one.

Cleaning and repairing a ballcock Valve

Greg demonstrates how to disassemble and clean out two different types of ballcock toilet valves. This simple procedure could improve fill performance and or stop the valve from constantly running if it was caused by debris in the valve.

Time to complete 5 minutes
Materials May require a replacement washer, but this can be acquired after the valve is first disassembled
Costs Less than $5, if a replacement washer is required
Skill level easy
Troubleshooting Depending on the amount of hard water build up, repeated applications may be required.
Safety Issues
Property damage potential Avoid use of excessive force as plastic parts can be broken