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In most cases problems with a toilet can be repaired or avoided by simple maintenance. The process that occurs when you flush a toilet begins when a trip lever lifts the stopper ball out of the flush valve seat allowing water into the bowl. As the tank reaches an almost empty state the stopper ball drops back into the valve seat, sealing the outlet of the water. As the float ball sinks with the water level it will open the ball cock valve, which allows water from the inlet pipe to refill the tank and bowl. As the water enters the tank the ball rises until it has closed off the ball cock valve, which stops the flow of water.

When your toilet is running continuously or constantly making noise, in most cases it is caused by a defective flush valve or ball cock valve. To check and repair this you should begin by removing the tank lid to observe what happens during, as well as after, you flush your toilet. When the tank empties you will need to check the stopper ball to see if it is seating tightly in the valve. When it isn't, the water will keep running but the tank will not fill. In most cases the water level in a filled tank should be about 3\4 inch below the top of the overflow tube. When this is not happening you should loosen the guide arm thumb screws and center the arm over the valve seat. If any of the lift wires are bent they will need to be straightened. Using steel wool, scrub the valve seat and if necessary replace a worn out stopper ball with the more efficient flapper ball type of stopper.

A flapper ball can easily be installed after you have drained the tank. To do this close the shut off valve and flush the toilet. Next you will need to unhook the lift wires and remove the guide arm with the stopper ball attached. Insert the over flow valve into the flapper ball's collar by sliding it over the flow valve. Then center the ball in the valve seat and tighten the collar thumb screw. Be sure you hook the chain to the strip lever, allowing 1\2 inch slack in the chain. When your tank fills with water that continues spilling into the over flow tube, you will need to lift the float arm. If this causes the water to stop, your float mechanism is faulty. Twist the float ball counter clockwise and remove it. Check the ball for cracks and damage. If it is damaged, it will need to be replaced. Take the float arm in your hand bending it slightly downward and then replace the float ball on the end of the arm. Flush your toilet to see if the water flow will stop. If it doesn't you will need to replace the ball cock washers. To replace the ball cock washers you will need to turn off the water supply to the toilet and then flush it to empty the tank. Detach the retaining pins that hold the float mechanism to the ball cock. Then lift the float arm and plunger. Slide the plunger off the ball cock lever. Using a screw driver, pry off the plunger's split washer and unscrew the washer at the plunger's base. Then replace the washers and reassemble the parts. If this doesn't fix the problem you will most likely need to replace the ball cock assembly with a less leak prone inlet or fill valve.

When your toilet is clogged you need to begin by bailing out the water until the bowl is half full. If there is little water in the bowl, add water instead. Using a plunger, pump it up and down quickly ten times. Pour more water into the bowl and if it rises, bail out the excess and use the plunger again. After several tries if the plunger is not working use a toilet auger to unclog the toilet. The auger should be inserted curved end first into the outflow passage. Crank the handle until the tip bites into the clog. Then you can slowly pull the clog out or crank the handle of the auger back and forth to break it up.