Toilets haven’t changed much in the last 80 years. After a flush, water still fills a tank, lifting a float that shuts off the water when it reaches a certain level. A lever still opens a flapper to cause the flush, falling back into place when the water level drops. So it’s no surprise (nor any consolation) that we face the same flush problems today that our grandparents did. Sometimes the flush is too wimpy, sometimes the water keeps running, and sometimes the bowl doesn’t refill.
Our ace plumbing consultant has a simple four-step strategy to solve 95 percent of these problems. You can complete the first three steps in five minutes. That’ll solve most problems. The fourth step is usually easy too, but not always. More on this later. These steps work for most toilets but not for pressure-assist models.