If you have noticed that your toilet is just not working right, there are a few things that you can do yourself that will help you save money. A malfunctioning toilet can be extremely inconvenient and can also cause an increase in your water bill. The most common problems with a toilet can be found inside the tank. The inner workings of the toilet tank control how the toilet flushes, how it shuts off after each flush, and the water level. Following are a few of the most common causes for a toilet to malfunction and how to repair the related toilet plumbing. (My husband, a plumber for over 12 years, gave me this information.)


leaky toilet water waste

Determine whether or not flapper valve needs replacing


Put food coloring in toilet tank. Putting food coloring in the tank of your toilet probably sounds a bit weird; however, my plumber husband says that this is one of the easiest ways to determine whether or not your toilet is leaking. Simply put some food coloring in the tank only, but please do not use left over paint from previous painting projects. Do not flush. If the color shows up in the toilet bowl, the flapper valve needs to be replaced.

Replace flapper valve


The food coloring has shown you that your flapper valve is leaking, and now you must replace it. Turn off the water to your toilet and flush the toilet, which will empty the water from the tank. The flapper valve is the round rubber part at the bottom of the tank and usually a red color, though some are black. Most flapper valves have two little “wings” on either side from which you unhook the old flapper valve. (Some flapper valves may be connected by a circle of rubber on the top of the valve.) Take this to your local hardware or plumbing supply store. Replace the new flapper valve doing the opposite of how you removed it. (Note: All new flapper valves have both the little “wings” at the bottom and the circle of rubber at the top. If you do not need the circle of rubber at the top, just cut it off with a pair of scissors.)

Replace the ball cock

The ball cock, which may also sometimes be called the water inlet valve, is on a shaft inside your toilet tank. The ball cock slides down when the toilet is flushed. It then rises as the tank refills. At a certain point, the ball cock stops the water from rising, and then the water in the tank stops running. If the water in the tank continues to run – which can definitely cause an increase in your water bill – the ball cock needs to be replaced. To replace, turn off the water to your toilet and flush the toilet to empty the water from the tank. Use a sponge or a rag to remove the rest of the water from the tank. Loosen the nut on the water supply line on the outside and underneath the toilet tank. Then remove the nut to the ball cock, located in the same place. Lift the ball cock out of the tank. My husband recommends purchasing a Fluidmaster brand; however, you can take the worn ball cock to your local hardware or plumbing supply store to purchase a replacement part. The easiest way then to replace the ball cock is to follow the instructions included with your replacement parts. Finally adjust the ball cock to the proper water level.

Check the water supply line


After replacing your ball cock and before turning the water back on to your toilet, you should check your water supply line while you already have it loose from your toilet tank. If it looks old and worn, you may decide that you want to replace it, too. Simply take the water supply line loose from the other end, usually at the cut off valve to your toilet. Be sure to replace it with the same length of line.



If you feel that you require the services of a plumber, check with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers for recommendations.



Some plumbing problems concerning your toilet, such as a cracked bowl or worn seal, may require more expertise than you possess. In such cases, it is probably wise that you check with a licensed and experienced plumber.

How to Paint a Room Like a Professional Painter

There a lot of good reasons you may want to paint a room in your home. Maybe the color of the walls doesn’t suit your taste, or maybe the walls are dirty or chipped. Either way, a fresh paint job always makes a room seem clean and new. Most people will contact a professional painter to do this, but in all actuality, small projects you can do yourself even if it takes you longer. It’s not a difficult job to do on your own or with the help of a friend.

There are a couple different ways you can go about painting a room. If you simply want to “touch up” the walls, then you’re going to have to match the color exactly. To do this, chip off a piece of the paint and take it to your local paint store. There they will be able to scan the sample chip and match the color, so when your touched-up areas dry, everything will blend nicely.

If you want to entirely repaint the room, here’s how:

Step #1.

Go to your local hardware store and buy a couple rollers, a medium sized brush, a small brush, paint pans, paint sticks, blue painters’ tape, and a few buckets of whatever color paint you want to use.

Step #2.

Move all furniture and objects to the center of the room, or into another room. Completely cover the floor and any furniture with the painter’s plastic.

Step #3.

Cover any molding, light switches, and/or electrical sockets, phone jacks, etc… that you do not want to get paint on.

Step #4.

Start with the ceiling. It’s always important to do the ceiling first because of drips. Obviously, you’ll want to use your rollers for this. Start at one corner of the ceiling, and work your way across to the other side, keeping your strokes as even as possible.

Step #5.

Once again, use your rollers to coat the walls. Start at the top and roll down. Don’t worry about small spaces or corners just yet. Just make sure you cover the majority of the walls with the rollers.

Step #6.

Now use you medium and small size brush to touch up any spots you have missed. This will typically be in the corners of the walls and ceiling.

Step #7.

Wait 24 hours for the paint to dry.

Step #8.

After the paint has dried, remove the painter’s plastic, and the blue painters’ tape from any sockets or switches you covered.

Step #9.

Use you small paint brush to make any final touch ups around the edges of the molding or sockets that you covered with the painters’ tape.

That’s it, you’re all done. See, that wasn’t very hard at all. You don’t have to be an artist to paint a room. You just need the right tools and procedure.