Having a toilet that runs continuously is something most people have to deal with occasionally. While this problem can definitely be annoying, it can also lead to a drastic increase in your water bill if left unchecked. A running toilet can usually be fixed quite easily, but first you’ll need to determine exactly what is causing the issue. For this reason, here are the potential issues you’ll want to be on the lookout for should you notice your toilet won’t stop running.
The flapper or flush valve is the most common culprit when it comes to a running toilet. In this case, there are potentially two separate issues that could be causing your toilet to constantly run. The first issue is related to the seal around the bottom of the flapper or flush valve. Over time, this component can become corroded, worn out or develop mineral deposit—all of which can prevent it from properly sealing and thus allow water to leak from the tank into the bowl.
Alternatively, the issue could also be related to length of the flapper chain. If the chain is too short or too long, it can prevent the flapper from fully closely and creating a proper seal.
Inside the tank is a float ball, which raises and lowers as the toilet is flushed and fills back up. This float ball is important as it is responsible for closing the flush valve when the water in the tank reaches a certain level. However, if the float ball is malfunctioning or improperly aligned, it can prevent the valve from closing and thus cause the toilet to continue to run.
The toilet handle is obviously an important component as it is the handle that is responsible for flushing the toilet. Unfortunately, the handle mechanism can become old or corroded, in which case the handle may stick whenever you flush the toilet. When this happens, the toilet will continue to run as long as the handle remains down. In this case, you may need to search for local plumbing services to have the handle replaced.
Another possible cause of a running toilet is a leaky fill valve. This valve is responsible for filling up the tank after the toilet is flushed. Under normal conditions, the fill valve will automatically shut off as soon as the tank is full. However, a leak in the fill valve can cause the toilet to run even after the tank is full.
Your toilet has a rubber gasket between the tank and the bowl, which is designed to prevent water from leaking into the bowl once the tank is full. As with the flapper, this gasket can degrade over time and thus allow water to continuously leak out of the tank. When this happens, the toilet will continue to run occasionally to ensure that the tank remains full.
A toilet that won’t stop running can cause a huge waste of water and also cost you money. Therefore, it is imperative that you pay close attention and get the problem fixed as soon as you can. Luckily, troubleshooting your toilet issues shouldn’t be that difficult now that you know all about the potential causes.