No one wants to deal with any problems involving any of their plumbing fixtures – especially not their toilets. Because we need our toilets on a pretty consistent basis and there’s really no replacement for them, having something go wrong with a toilet can put your whole household to a screeching halt.
Of all the problems that could plague your toilet, though, a running toilet is fortunately neither the worst nor the most difficult to solve. Still, a continually running toilet wastes gallons of water every day that all get reflected on your water bill at the end of the month. For this reason, you should never “learn to live with” this problem!
What Causes a Running Toilet?
There are a few common causes for a running toilet, and each of them will probably warrant a trip to the hardware store or a call to your local plumber.
Broken or Disconnected Flapper Chain
Inside your toilet’s tank is a chain that connects the flushing handle assembly to the assembly that lifts the rubber seal (flapper) at the bottom of the tank. When properly connected, this chain lifts the flapper, which flushes the toilet.
Sometimes this chain can get disconnect or even break. In either situation, you’ll notice there’s a problem almost immediately because the toilet handle will have a “jiggle” to it. Chances are the chain got disconnected or broke during the last flush, which didn’t allow the flapper to fully close. This allows water to slowly leave the tank, and once enough of it does, the toilet will flush and begin the cycle again.
Fixing this problem can be as simple as reconnecting the chain from the flushing handle assembly to the flapper assembly. It might be necessary to buy a new chain if the old one broke was simply too short to allow the flapper to create a strong seal.
Broken or Dirty Flapper
Sometimes the flapper itself is the reason why you have a running toilet. The seal this component makes is crucial to your toilet’s entire function. If the flapper is dirty or damaged, it will be unable to make this seal, causing a running toilet.
If you want to fix this problem yourself, it’s important to make sure you’re buying the right flapper. An incorrect size won’t create the right type of seal, and your running toilet issue won’t end! Check the make and model of your toilet as well as that of the old flapper before purchasing. There are also universal flappers that can be used on pretty much any kind of toilet.
Float Is out of Position
The water level within your toilet tank is controlled by an adjustable floating device. If this float is set too low, then there won’t be enough water in the tank to create a strong flush. If the float is set too high, though, it may cause a running toilet.
This is because water will spill into the toilet’s overflow tube, causing it to continually run. Resetting the float is the easiest way to fix this, but it’ll take some work. You’ll want to close the water line to your toilet and flush it to empty the tank. Then, check the back of the tank to see where the toilet’s fill level should be and make a mark inside the tank.
Turn on the water and see where the water level rises to – if it goes beyond the fill level mark you made, the float is too high, and vice versa. This can be a bit of a complicated issue to handle on your own – especially if you own a newer toilet.
That’s why it’s always best to contact a plumber to save you the time and headache it takes to stop a running toilet. If you’re having any plumbing problem and want an expert to come out and help, reach out to NY Boiler & Air Conditioning Repair for assistance!