The toilet has quickly become an everyday occurrence for more people than not. And, if you’re a part of the “not” crowd, a conversation should probably be had about your water intake and bowel movements. Like any appliance, it begins to wear out over time.
While you can definitely hire a plumber to determine why your toilet sounds like you’re stepping on a mouse every time you take a seat, what’s the fun in that? Today, we’ll take a look at why your toilet won’t stop creaking, what causes it, and what to do about it.
Imagine it’s 2 in the morning. You consumed way too much water the night before and have to pee. As you stumble to the bathroom and sit down, the toilet squeaks. Each time you shift, it squeaks more. If you’re rather unlucky, it might even begin to wobble. Now, we don’t know about you, but when we envision going to the bathroom, it is more of a gentle, soundless experience rather than the loud, perhaps creaky experience you’re currently being put through. Not to worry, though; let’s get to fixing it.
What Causes A Squeaky Or Wobbly Toilet?
Let’s start with the basics; what causes a toilet to squeak or wobble? Over time, the bolts securing the toilet to the ground can begin to wear out. This causes them not to be attached to the ground properly and begin to wobble (we know, it’s rocket science).
When it comes to a squeaky toilets, there are several different things that cause a toilet to begin to squeak. This includes an old or broken toilet seat or issues in the tank.
How Do You Stop a Squeaky Toilet?
To stop a toilet from squeaking, you must first determine where the problem is coming from. There are three different locations of squeaks, coming from the toilet base, tank, or seat. Once you determine where the noise is coming from, you can choose the fix. Let’s dive in.
Squeaking From The Base
If the squeaking is coming from the toilet base, it is more than likely also wobbling from the base. If you have noticed consistent whiffs of sewer correlated with the squeaky toilet, the culprit is likely the wax ring. The wax ring prevents the bottom of the toilet from leaking.
To replace the wax ring, drain and remove the toilet. Using a putty knife, scrape the existing wax ring off the floor, and plug the drain with a towel or rags so that no excess wax falls into the drain when the new wax ring is installed. Use the owner’s manual to find the correct wax ring and follow installation instructions.
If there is no persistent sewer smell, congratulations, your wax ring is A-OK. In this case, to fix the squeaking coming from the toilet’s base, tighten the nuts that secure the toilet to the floor, taking care not to screw them too far into the toilet. There is probably a plastic cap covering the nut; remove this prior to tightening it into the toilet.
Now, let’s say you’ve tightened the nuts to their full potential. You sit on the toilet, and it is still just as squeaky as it was when you started. If the toilet were not properly installed, the toilet would likely continue to rock even with the nuts tightened. This is where a shim comes in handy. A shim is a thin strip of material used to fix the alignment. Place the shims where the toilet does not connect to the ground.
Squeaking From The Tank
If the toilet tank is where the squeaking is coming from, remove the lid off the back of the toilet and take a look. In the toilet tank is a fill valve and a metal float arm. This is connected to a ball float. Long story short, to make the squeaking subside, replace the washer on the fill valve.
Squeaking From The Seat
Now, if the squeaking originates from the seat, there is a problem with the toilet seat (crazy diagnosis, we know). You can do one of two things to fix a squeaky toilet seat. One is to replace the entire seat or secure the seat you have at the moment.
If you decide to replace the toilet seat and still notice squeaking, it is likely because of a lack of lubricant. To fix this problem, use lubricant on the hinges of the toilet seat.
To secure your current toilet seat, begin by closing the lid and removing the caps on the screws (for aesthetic purposes, the screws are likely hidden by plastic covers). Once removed, you can locate the nuts by the back of the toilet bowl. Once located, rotate the screws until they do not wiggle and are secure.