Need to go shopping for a new toilet installation, but don’t know where to start?

Sumich Plumbing can help you:

  • selection and toilet installation for a new bathroom build or renovation
  • choose a replacement toilet when it needs replacing, even if you’re not changing any other element of the bathroom
  • determine whether a toilet needs replacing or can be repaired

Let’s start with the basics – the anatomy of a toilet

If you’ve watched any home improvement shows or reality tv programs, you’ll know that shopping for a toilet has become a lot more complicated than it used to be because of some of the more modern toilet designs. But the essential workings of a toilet are the same.

Your standard toilet consists of:

  • tank
  • bowl
  • wax seal/wax ring (also sometimes called the gasket seal)
  • handle or flush button
  • parts inside the tank (fill valve, flush valve, overflow tube, fill tube, float, flapper, chain or wire, etc)

To simplify things, your toilet consists of two main parts. You have the bowl that you sit on, that usually rests on the floor (some modern ones are now wall-mounted; more on that below). And you have the tank attached to the wall which contains several working parts that make the toilet work.

There are several parts within the tank that make the toilet work, but essentially what happens is this. When you flush the toilet, water and waste run down the bowl, through the trap, into the waste water system. The bowl refills with water from the tank. The tank fills with water from the main water supply.

Two main tank parts keep the toilet operating correctly – and these are the same parts that often need adjusting or replacing when the toilet isn’t working properly. First, you have the flush valve, which lets water gush into the bowl during the flush; and then there is the fill valve, which allows water refill the tank after the flush. When a toilet runs continuously or intermittently, one of these valves is usually at fault.

What kind of toilet problems can be repaired?

There are a few common issues that we see in toilets that can be repaired, meaning you don’t necessarily need a toilet replacement.

Most problems occur within the toilet tank, rather than the bowl. Issues with the bowl are usually blockages. You can read more about toilet blockages and what you can do about them here.

Some toilet problems might stem from issues with the tank. We’ll address the two most common ones here. But if you need help with these or any other toilet issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Sumich Plumbing.

  • Constant water flow or running water

The first problem often encountered, as mentioned above, is the issue of the toilet water running continuously. You may notice that the water doesn’t stop running after you flush. There are a few things we would check here, starting with making sure that the fill valve that lets water into the toilet tank after a flush closes completely. Instead of being an issue with the fill valve, the cause of the constant water flow might lie with the fill tube. If it’s too long or not positioned correctly, it may be the cause of the water flow.

We might also look at the level of the float, regardless of whether it is a float arm or column float. If that wasn’t the issue, we’d also check whether the flapper needs replacing. If the flapper is old and needs replacing, it won’t seal the way it’s meant to, and water will flow from the tank into the bowl constantly.

  • Toilet leaks

The second problem we often get calls about is the issue of leaking toilet. The first thing we would look for is a crack in the tank or the bowl. That might seem obvious, but it’s necessary to rule it out before starting to repair or replace the parts within the tank. We would then check the wax seal/wax ring (also sometimes called the gasket seal) between the bottom of the bowl and the floor. The seal may be old and in need of replacing; or you may be able to simply tighten the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor to fix the issue.

A leak might indicate that the flapper isn’t sealing as tightly as it should be. Perhaps it hasn’t been installed properly, or perhaps it is old and needs replacing. A leak may also be an issue with one of the valves – the fill valve or the flush valve. The Sumich Plumbing team can diagnose what is causing the problem and determine the best and most cost-efficient way to fix the issue.

Are new model toilets really worth it?

There are some pretty fancy toilets out there, and they look much different than the original flush toilet invented in the late 1700s. In fact, there probably isn’t another product you can think of that has undergone such drastic changes in appearance while serving the same purpose for over two hundred years.

There are some aesthetic differences and some functional differences between modern toilets and older models. Newer toilets come in different shapes and more contemporary lines. They also come in wall-mounted styles as well as one-piece construction styles (where the tank and bowl are attached). Other features of modern toilets also include things like touch-less or sensor flush, as well as soft-close lids. These are all variations where personal preference and décor style will affect your choice of a new toilet.

One feature that is worth considering is the fact that newer toilets are usually more eco-friendly or water-saving than old toilets. Many old toilets don’t have dual flush system technology that allows you to select either a half or a full flush. Toilets manufactured from the 1990s onwards use significantly less water per flush than older models that are still around in some houses.

Seeing as toilet flushing accounts for a large portion of household water use, it’s definitely worth considering changing your toilet over to a new model if it’s starting to need repairs.

Get in touch with us at Sumich Plumbing and we can help you choose what’s right for your household.

Sumich Plumbing can also help with commercial spaces

If you need to renovate the bathroom(s) at your place of work, or just replace a few items like the toilet or basin, get in touch with us and we can help source, supply and install everything you need.

Get in touch for a no-obligation quote.


There are a number of plumbing and drainage companies in Auckland, so why choose Sumich?

Founded by owner-operator Chris Sumich in 1991, Sumich Plumbing & Drainage has one of the most experienced teams operating in Auckland. Our team has a combined experience of over 100 years and we’ve seen a comprehensive range of scenarios and solutions over the years. Clients trust us to give honest, transparent advice and service.

As registered members of the New Zealand Plumbers, Drainlayers & Gasfitters Association, we are professional, licensed Auckland plumbers for all of your plumbing, drain laying, gas-fitting and heating needs. Give us a call to see how we can help.