Toilet repair can look deceptively simple when you see a diagram of the working parts. You think, “Sure, I can do that,” but read the directions carefully. For example, the standard directions for tank valve replacement include, “be careful of permanently scratching other surfaces”, “shut off main valve”, “disconnect hoses”, and “be careful of cracking the tank.” Even if you make it this far, the only thing you can do if your new tank valve doesn’t work is “check for leaks” and “make adjustments.” Suddenly, a fifty-minute project turns into an indefinitely unresolved issue.
Another example of toilet repair that you should not attempt is replacing the wax ring at the base of the toilet. A wax ring is a very simple part of the toilet that keeps the water from leaking out from the base of the toilet. It can cost less than ten dollars to buy and merely needs to be replaced when the wax pulls away from the toilet over time. What could be easier to fix? You’ll understand why you need a plumber’s help when you go to lift a fifty-pound toilet off of the base to replace the wax ring, and then try to set it back down on the bolts without being able to see the bolts or the wax ring. If you have any kind of back problems, you should never attempt this kind of toilet repair.