Toilet maintenance tips - the homeowners guide

Unknown to some, the amount of time we spend on the toilet in our lifetime adds up over the years. In fact, some studies show that the average person will spend up to three years sitting on one.

We think it makes sense to keep something that is so often underappreciated in top condition, to reduce the need to replace them, save you money, and keep you and your family safe from bacteria.

So, without further ado, here are some helpful tips to get you started.


Water leakage is a common problem. There are a couple of ways to check if your loo is leaking, one way would be to observe the areas surrounding the base to see if there is water getting out. This is something that can happen to units that have been used over a long period of time. What happens is the wax ring or gasket that secures the loo to the floor can degrade and become less effective over time and can allow fluid and odors to escape.

However, just because it's a common issue, that doesn't mean it should be taken lightly. On the contrary, if not attended to, it can cause damage to the floor surface. So be sure to get it fixed ASAP. This will require you to replace the wax ring.

Another way leaks occur is through the tank without flushing. This is something that will effect water bills and the environment by consuming many more gallons of water than it otherwise would have. Fixing it may require the help of a plumber, but there are ways to determine if you have such a leak. Apply some food coloring to the water in your tank, don't flush, just leave it a while and see if it gets through to the bowl.


Dealing with a blocked toilet can be frustrating, especially when you don't have all the tools needed to fix it. However, with the usage of a plunger, chances are this will be enough to ensure the waste outlet passages remain clear.


Ensure your toilet is secured tightly at the base and doesn't wobble. If it isn't, this could be yet another case of the deterioration process of the wax ring that can happen every five to ten years. The other scenario is that the unit itself has been poorly installed and may need adjustments made.

However, this could also be be the result of a floor nut that has come loose and needs tightening.

To strengthen the stability further, follow the steps above, and ensure that the caulk that acts as a sealant at the edges of the base is in good condition.

The Seat

As with most things in the modern household, consistent use of components can lead to wear and tear, requiring people to replace parts. This holds true for the toilet seat too. Take a few minutes every couple of weeks to see if your seat is wobbling. If it is, you may need to simply tighten the screws holding it in place.

However, this isn't always the case, sometimes they get damaged over time that won't allow you to do this. In this case, you may need to purchase a new one.

Cleaning tasks

Whilst we all know about general cleaning tasks on the exterior and the bowl, but how many of you try to clean the inner mechanisms every few months? This will not only improve its performance, but also help increase its longevity.

The best way to go about doing this is by cutting the water supply, then emptying the remaining water from the bowl by flushing it. The first thing you want to look for is the siphon jets. These will be located underneath the rim, not necessarily in view, so you will either have to feel your way around with a rubber glove, or simply use a miniature mirror. Once located, we recommend using a nylon brush and a cleaning spray of your choice to scrub away residue, and bacterial build up in the holes.

Units with a concealed trapway will make cleaning the exterior far easier simply because they tend to have less nooks and crannies to get into.

Wrapping up

To quote a authority in the industry, the National Association of Home Builders say: "Toilets have an unlimited lifespan, but the components inside the toilet do require some maintenance." And we whole heatedly agree with this. With propare care, they can last a decade, but if you let things become progressively worse, that's where things are going to begin to get costly with the need of replacement parts.