Toilet problems, ranging from slow drains to complete blockages, can disrupt your daily routine. While it’s important to contact a professional for plumbing repairs, you can take a few steps to prevent issues from developing in the first place. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind when taking care of your toilet. 


Clean the entire toilet.

While you likely clean the toilet bowl regularly, it's just as important to clean the tank. Although fresh water fills up this component with every flush, it’s still possible for germs and mold to build up inside. These substances can cause the interior rubber and metal components to break down with time.

Clean the tank at least once a season by turning off the toilet’s water supply, flushing to eliminate water in the tank, and then using a clean brush to scrub the interior walls with a combination of four parts water and one part white vinegar. Wipe everything down with clean paper towels or disinfecting wipes, turn the water supply back on, and flush to refill the tank.

Check for leaks.

It’s not always easy to detect toilet leaks. Common signs include a dripping noise, which may suggest a leak from the tank, and water pooling around the appliance's base. Sometimes, a problem may leak only a tiny amount of water, and you may not realize it’s coming from the toilet until it starts flooding the room.

This may be a sign that the wax ring around the toilet drain isn’t properly sealed, which should be addressed by a professional. Detecting leaks before they worsen will help you avoid inconvenient plumbing repairs due to corroded parts. 


Flush inappropriate items.

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The only items safe to flush are human waste and toilet paper. Even wipes that say they’re flushable are usually not designed to break down adequately in the pipes. Instead, they get lodged inside, eventually causing serious blockages that require professional assistance.

Keep a small trash can in the bathroom so that you can conveniently dispose of any wipes, diapers, hygiene products, and other items. If you have kids, teach them that toys and other small objects are off-limits.

Use chemical products.

Chemical products often state that they’re safe for plumbing systems, but they can damage pipes and fixtures over time. This is especially true in older homes, where pipes may already be corroded or structurally unstable. A professional can unclog your toilet if you can't use a plunger or auger to break down the blockage.


If you’re concerned about a potential toilet problem, turn to the team at Oehl Plumbing, Heating, Electric & Air Conditioning Inc. Proudly serving clients throughout Coralville, North Liberty, and Iowa City, IA, since 1949, the company offers reliable plumbing repairs to homeowners. The plumbers will provide additional tips that protect your bathroom's fixtures and appliances from future damage.  Visit the website for more information on their services, or call (319) 622-3636 to schedule an appointment.