With your toilet getting constant use, it’s prone to wear and tear as well as breaking down. A frequent issue in many households is a running toilet. A running toilet may just seem like a nuisance, but it can lead to other, more significant problems, like wasting water or causing damage to your home through flooding.
Toilets can run for various reasons, and it is essential to know what the problem is when it happens so that you can solve it. Unfortunately, toilets don’t come with labels or a manual explaining why they keep running. So, it will initially be up to you to try and figure out what’s wrong and what can be done about it. If your toilet is consistently running and you don’t know why, the following are some reasons it may be happening.
Broken Toilet Handle
If the toilet handle is broken, the water can’t make it all the way up to the top of the tank. This would cause the toilet to constantly run until you fix it. The toilet handle can also break and cause a continuous flush. If the handle is broken, you can fix it by just replacing it. After replacing the toilet handle, check to ensure that your toilet is running properly by flushing it and waiting for it to stop.
Faulty Flapper Seal
Your toilet may be constantly running because of a faulty flapper seal. One of the most common causes of a flapper seal breaking is improper installation. Human error is often to blame for this issue, but some design flaws in older toilets can cause the same problem. This is a common problem that can occur when the rubber ring or flapper fails to seal properly. The water will continue to run until the tank overflows. If a plunger or an auger is not at hand, you can perform a DIY fix by replacing the seal and ensuring it is securely in place.
Leaky Fill Valve
If you’re noticing a constant stream of water flowing from your toilet, it may be because the fill valve is leaking. This usually happens when loose fittings are located above or below the toilet. The fill valve controls the flow of water to and from the toilet tank. A leaky fill valve may cause the water to overflow into the bowl. You can address the problem by tightening the valve or replacing it.
Short Flapper Chain
The toilet may consistently run because the flapper chain may be too short. Flappers are the rotating device that keeps water from going back up into the tank after it’s flushed. The flapper chain is the chain that controls the water level in a toilet. If the chain is too short, it will cause the flapper not to seal properly and prevent the toilet from filling with water. It is attached to a float valve and can be adjusted by turning a knob or screw. The flapper chain needs to be adjusted if it is too short. The optimal length will allow enough water to flow into the bowl at all times and avoid overflowing when someone flushes.
Broken Flush Valve
Your toilet may be consistently running because of a broken flush valve. The flush valve is the component that turns on the water to flush the toilet bowl. If the toilet’s flush valve malfunctions and doesn’t send water to the bowl, then there is no way for it to turn off and stop draining. To fix this issue, you will need to replace the flush valve with a new one.
Faulty Float Switch
The toilet flushes by using a float switch that turns on the water and shuts it off when the water’s up to the top of the tank. The switch times out and begins to turn on again, sending more water into the tank. If this switch has been faulty for a long time, it can cause a continuously running toilet, and the toilet keeps running and flushing even when it should not. You can fix the issue by replacing the faulty switch with a new one.
Float Height Not Being Properly Adjusted
If your toilet keeps running, it could be because the float height requires adjustment. The water level in the tank below the toilet bowl controls how often it drains and fills. If this level is too low, the water will drain continually and run through the overflow tube into the bowl. This condition can be fixed by adjusting the float height by raising or lowering the float valve.
Long Refill Tube
The toilet may consistently keep running because the refill tube is too long and not positioned correctly in the overflow tube. The free water will eventually build up and cause the overflow to back up into the bowl, causing a continuous cycle of water to flow over the top of your toilet. This can be fixed by shortening the refill tube. To shorten the tube, pull out the toilet overflow tube from the overflow and hold it just above the overflow opening. Trim it right there and then clip it to the side of the overflow tube. This will keep it in the right place.
Leaking Toilet Flapper
Toilet flappers are responsible for keeping the toilet bowl watertight and preventing it from overflowing. A leaking flapper can cause a backflow from the bowl to the tank. This can result in an overflow of water into the bowl and a continuous leak. You should replace your flapper with a new one if yours is leaking and faulty.
Clogged Fill Valve
If the toilet is constantly running and the water cannot go down the drain, it could be a sign that there is debris in the fill valve. Toilet fill valves can clog because of human waste, which is not flushed properly or leaves behind residue on the floor. The problem with a clogged fill valve is that there is not enough water flowing into the tank, so it can’t flush properly. This means that you may start noticing an unsanitary condition in your tank, or even worse, an overflow. To fix this, you should unscrew the fill valve from the tank and remove any debris or foreign objects inside it.
If you’ve done your investigative work and you still don’t know why your toilet keeps running, it’s smart to turn to a professional plumber. The team at Black-Haak can help. We have certified plumbers we can send to your home who will know how to efficiently handle your running toilet. We also provide heating and cooling services, including AC repair and installation, furnace repair and installation, and tune-ups as well as generator installation, new construction wiring, lighting upgrades, electrical work during basement remodels, and geothermal installation and maintenance. Contact Black-Haak today for more information. We serve the residents of Fox Valley, WI, and surrounding areas.