A running toilet is a problem most Birmingham homeowners face at some point. Often, the solution is a bit of troubleshooting on your part, but other times, you need a plumber. We walk you through a few common issues which cause a running toilet, what to do about them, and when to call for help.
What Happens When a Toilet Flushes
When a toilet flushes, the flush arm connected to the exterior lever pulls open the flapper. The flapper component sits at the connection of the tank to the toilet bowl. As the flush completes, the flapper shuts to allow the tank to refill. If you have a running toilet, a common cause is a flapper issue.
If a Toilet Flapper Doesn’t Work in Your Toilet
When the flapper does not seal, the toilet continues to run and water trickles into the bowl.
To see if a flapper issue is the cause of your running toilet, follow these steps:
- Remove the lid to your toilet tank.
- Locate the flapper at the bottom of the tank.
- See if the flapper is stuck in an open position; it may be caused by a kink in the flush chain.
- Look around the bottom of the tank where the flapper seals. Is an obstruction or mineral buildup causing a broken seal?
If the chain is fine and there is nothing breaking the flapper seal, the flapper itself may have gone bad. Some homeowners choose to DIY flapper replacement, but if you are not comfortable doing so, your plumber is happy to help make this plumbing repair.
Want to try it yourself? Be sure you purchase the correct flapper at the hardware store. Take the old one to match to the new one or look up the part specs on the toilet manufacturer’s website.
Here’s a visual explanation of how to replace a leaky toilet flapper.
When Valve Leaks Cause Toilets to Run
The fill valve refills the toilet tank after a flush. Sometimes, this component leaks and causes a running toilet.
To test for a leaky fill valve in your running toilet:
- Remove the toilet tank lid.
- Flush the toilet using the exterior lever.
- As the tank begins to fill, lift the float arm up when the tank is about an inch below the overflow pipe. The float arm is the piece that connects the fill valve to the float; it’s the rubber ball-looking component.
- If the fill valve still sends water to the tank, there is a fill valve leak and the fill valves must be replaced.
It’s best if a plumber handles fill valve replacement, so give us a call if you suspect this is the cause of your running toilet.
Is a Bad Flush Lever to Blame for Your Noisy Toilet?
A flush lever that sticks in a downward position causes a running toilet, because it keeps the flapper open and water moving into the bowl. A common cause is corrosion of a bad flush lever due to minerals in your water. These components also wear out with age.
Flush lever replacement is a DIY project for some handy homeowners, but if you aren’t comfortable doing so, leave the job to your licensed plumber.
KS Services Plumbing Experts Ready to Fix a Running Toilet and More
If your toilet’s running and you need someone to ‘catch it,’ KS Services’ licensed plumbers are ready to investigate and find the cause of its malfunction. Don’t delay, because a running toilet easily wastes 200 gallons of water each day. Before you ask, “Why is my water bill so high?” call KS. We perform toilet repairs for these and other toilet issues like clogs or overflows.
In addition, we’re happy to help you find a new replacement model if necessary. Have an overflow or a water leak? We’re available for emergency service 24/7 if you need us. Call us today or click to schedule toilet repair in the Birmingham, Alabama area.