Troubleshooting a Running Toilet

Generally, a toilet largely consists of a tank and a bowl. In some cases, the water can be heard “running” long after the toilet has been flushed, or it can be heard filling the tank. That means that the water used for flushing the toilet is leaving the tank and entering the bowl. “Running” is the most common problem that affects toilets, and it is the most annoying. There are usually three toilet components to troubleshoot:

The flapper:

The toilet’s flapper—also known as the tank ball—is a rubber seal on top of the flush valve in the tank. Carefully remove the heavy tank lid to look inside the tank, and then flush the toilet. The flapper should open the flush valve for a brief period to allow a certain amount of water to flow from the tank to the bowl for flushing the toilet. However, if the flapper does not seat back onto the valve, or it cannot stop the water from exiting the tank, then you need to replace it.

The fill valve:

On the other hand, if the flapper is able to completely seal the flush valve, but water continues to “run,” then there might be a problem with the fill tube. Connected to the overflow pipe, the fill tube normally terminates above the water line. If its end is under water, adjust it correctly by cutting it back. Also inspect the fill valve for any apparent signs of wear and tear, and make sure that the float is properly adjusted to prevent the tank water level from rising above the overflow pipe and draining into it. If there are no signs of wear and tear, you might have to replace the old fill valve.

The flush lever assembly:

In some cases, there might be a problem with the flush lever, which is the part outside the tank that you push down to flush the toilet. Make sure that the assembly is tightly secured to the wall of the tank. If it isn’t, go inside the tank to tighten the lock nut that fastens it to the other side of the tank, and make sure it is connected to the flapper. If the lever appears to be bent or in bad shape, the entire assembly would need to be replaced.

Seeking Professional Help

Although troubleshooting a running toilet might seem easy, it might be wise to seek the help of a plumbing professional. If you are not so sure what the problem is with your “running” toilet, they can walk you through the troubleshooting steps or show up for a diagnosis. They can also provide the needed parts or direct you to the nearest home improvement store, like Home Depot. Ultimately, such professional help can save you a lot of time and money.

For professional help with any of your home plumbing or clogged drain needs, contact the friendly and courteous professionals of Mister Sewer. At Mister Sewer, we aim to provide all of our customers with honest and exceptional customer service when it comes to their home plumbing issues. We have our 25 years of experience repairing everything from sewer pipes, clogged drains and standard household plumbing issues throughout the Pittsburgh area. Let us solve your plumbing problems, call Mister Sewer at 412.835.2135 today!

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