One of the absolute scariest situations for a homeowner is toilet trouble. Never mind the cost, the clean up alone will send most people heading for the hills. Chances are, however, problems can be caught before they do too much damage. Before you call the plumber, let's take a look at five common issues and the solutions that follow.

Phantom Flush  - Some homeowners may occasionally hear their toilets fill mysteriously, as if they had just been flushed when no one was in the bathroom. This is referred to as a 'phantom flush' by plumbers and indicates an issue with the flapper valve. If the rubber flapper is worn, it allows water to constantly refill since the water is running out of the drain.

Doesn't Empty The First Time - If you're having to flush your toilet more than once to empty the bowl, chances are the holes underneath the rim of the seat are clogged. The easiest solution for this is taking something like a straightened out wire hanger and sticking it in the holes underneath the rim to unplug them. Use a small mirror if you need help locating the holes. If this doesn't work, try an acid based cleaner to unclog the holes. Use caution when performing these DIY fixes and consult a plumber, like Roto-Rooter Sewer & Drain Service, if you don't have experience with clogs.

Double Flush - If your toilet is flushing twice with one push of the lever, the water level may be set too high. Take a second and lower the setting and see if the problem improves.

Leaky Valves - Leaky valves cause a number of problems in toilets, the most obvious of which is the valve between the tank and the bowl. A leak in this valve will result in water shooting out from the tank after a flush and requires a lengthy replacement process. They are also responsible for the constant "running" sound a toilet will make, as well as slow filling tanks.

The Clog  - Perhaps the most common toilet issue is the clog. While there could be many reasons for a clog, the plunger remains the most efficient way to unclog a toilet as long as the clog isn't severe. For severe clogs, you should call a plumber and avoid using chemical drain cleaners that can damage your septic system.

Most plumbing troubles that come up are minor and can be solved with a little work, but it's important to know what to do and when to call in professional help. 

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