One of the household items we take for granted the most is the toilet. We use it every day, and usually it works perfectly fine, but when it doesn’t work right, it changes the course of your day.
If you have a toilet that keeps running after you flush, you may have a lot of concerns. Don’t fret however, it’s usually more annoying than problematic. The hard and environmental costs, however, are substantial. A continuously running toilet can cost the average homeowner $1,000 more a year in water costs (on top of wasting 6,000 gallons of water each month).
TIPS FOR DIAGNOSING A RUNNING TOILET PROBLEM
The biggest indicator that your toilet is running is from the sound that it makes. Directly after flushing, there will be the familiar sound of water running. However, whereas it usually stops shortly after, when there is a problem, your toilet continues making this noise.
One interesting way to diagnose a running toilet aside from using your ears is to add some food dye to the water in your toilet’s tank. When your toilet is constantly running you will be able to tell within a few minutes due to being able to track the dye in your tank. If it flows out without flushing, there is a problem. Here are a few of the most common reasons.
1. YOUR FILL VALVE IS ON THE FRITZ
The fill valve is what determines how much water fills the tank after a flush. Sometimes these are the floating devices found in the tank, and can also be a cylinder that activates to allow water refills to occur.
Your fill valve always has to be set at the right fill height in order to prevent your toilet from overflowing. If you think a fill valve is your problem, we can come out and either replace the device or help you reset it to its proper setting.
2. CHECK YOUR FILL TUBE
The device that actually replaces the water into your bowl after flushing can also be a root of your problem. This device can spring a leak or even become dislodged, causing your toilet to continuously attempt to refill.
3. YOUR TOILET FLAPPER MAY NEED TO BE REPLACED
Your toilet flapper lets water out of the toilet and then seals in order to allow water to properly refill the tank. If your toilet flapper isn’t sealing, your toilet will always be running. Your plumber will be able to help you determine if your flapper is damaged and needs to be replaced. While this is a quick fix, it’s both a sanity and a money-saver in the long-run.
4. Check the Toilet Chain
Your toilet chain’s job is to raise and lower the flapper at the bottom of the toilet tank, which controls whether the water in your toilet tank is flushing or not.
Open the back of the toilet tank and locate the chain. This chain should come off a metal arm in the toilet tank.
Toilet chain unhooked: At the bottom of the chain, there is a small metal hook. This hook can sometimes come undone. Normally, the hook should attach the chain to the flapper at the bottom. If it can’t form a seal, you’ll have a constantly running toilet on your hands!
Toilet chain too long: If your toilet chain is too long, it may be getting stuck under the edge of the flapper and prevent it from closing or making a seal. Trim the chain to lessen its slack.
Toilet chain too short: If your toilet chain is too short, the bottom flapper won’t lay flat even when the chain is fully extended. Sometimes the chain can become wrapped, this can be due to kinks in the chain. See if the chain on the flap at the bottom is caught or wrapped around the metal arm. Smooth them out, or you may need to buy a new chain altogether.
5. Check the Toilet Handle
If for some reason all the other fixes you’ve tried don’t work, give your handle a once-over. Does it stick when you press it? If so, it may be old and you need to replace it.
Life is busy, the last thing you want to worry about is a running toilet or any other type of plumbing problem. If your home is moving a little slower because of its plumbing, give us a call.