What Causes a Running Toilet? Learn What Specifically

A constantly running toilet can waste gallons of water and drastically increase your water bills. Fortunately, fixing this problem is usually easy.

The first step is shutting off the water supply. The next is to locate and remove the tank lid. Once you’ve done this, check the overflow tube and water level.

Faulty Flapper Valve

Whenever you flush your toilet, it uses water to wash away the waste and debris in the bowl. This water drains from the toilet tank into the overflow tube, where it flows down the drain and into the sewer system. If the overflow tube doesn’t close properly after each flush, it can cause your toilet to continue running – costing you money and leading to water damage in your home.

Your toilet is controlled by a hinged flap valve made of plastic and rubber (or sometimes metal) in the bottom of the tank. This is connected to a chain hanging down from the flush handle lever, and it sits tightly over the flush valve opening when it’s closed. If this flapper becomes warped, misaligned, or damaged, it won’t seat itself correctly over the flush valve opening, and the fill valve will keep pumping water into the toilet until the tank is empty.

When this happens, there are several quick fixes you can try at home before calling a plumber, especially if they’re not up to the skill level of the Corpus Christi plumbers. The first is to observe the flapper carefully and look for any signs of damage or mineral buildup. If the flapper is warped, bent, or rusty, it’s time to replace it.

The next thing to check is the chain length. If the chain is too long, it can get in the way of the flapper and prevent it from sealing properly after each flush. Simply adjust the chain length by clipping it to a lower link if it’s too long or to a higher one if it’s too short.

If the chain is positioned correctly and there’s no sign of damage to the flapper or overflow tube, the problem may be with your refill tube. You can find this tube in the center of the overflow tube, and it’s usually a 1” tube that rises up through the opening from the base of the overflow tube. If this tube is too high and keeps refilling the overflow, it’s probably a sign that your toilet needs a new fill valve assembly, which can be found at most home improvement stores.

Broken Flush Handle

When a toilet is running, it’s not just wasteful and irritating; it can also increase your water bill. However, a broken flush handle is easier to fix than you might think. In fact, it’s one of the most common causes of a running toilet and is often due to either part of the flushing apparatus itself or the chain that links the handle to the flapper.

When you press on your toilet handle, the lever arm (or link) that connects it to the trip valve rises and lifts the flapper to start the flushing and refilling process. If the lever arm is corroded or broken, this prevents the flapper from ever closing, leading to a constant flow of water into the tank and into the toilet bowl.

Luckily, replacing the handle is an easy DIY job and can save you money and hassle in the long run. Once you’ve turned off the water supply behind your toilet using the shut-off valve, drain the tank by flushing it and putting a plastic container under it to catch any residual h3O. You’ll then want to remove the lid and set it on a towel or other soft surface to protect your hands from any dropping of the toilet parts and to make cleaning the inside of the tank easier.

To get started, use a wrench to loosen the nut at the base of the handle arm. This nut is usually reverse threaded, meaning it tightens when you turn it counterclockwise and loosens when you’re turning it clockwise. Once the nut is removed, you can unscrew the handle arm and replace it with a new one. Most home improvement stores offer a wide variety of replacement handles, including some that come with handle arms and flapper chains that are universally compatible with many popular toilet models.

Once you’ve replaced the handle arm and reattached the flapper chain, it’s time to test out your toilet. If it’s still running, you may have to adjust the chain length or purchase a new handle assembly altogether. Before you do, be sure to note how your handle and lever are mounted on the tank — most commonly a front mount left, front mount right or front mount universal — so you can buy the proper replacement parts.

Faulty Fill Valve

A running toilet is not only annoying, but it can also waste a significant amount of water and cause your utility bills to skyrocket. Fortunately, most of the time it’s an easy fix that you can do at home without calling in a plumber. The most common reason a toilet keeps running is a faulty flapper valve or a fill valve that doesn’t close properly. We’ll walk you through a few simple solutions that will stop your toilet from running and save you money on your next utility bill.

First, make sure the toilet isn’t leaking by listening for a hissing sound or checking the tank for water. Then turn off the water supply by locating the shut-off valve behind the toilet and turning it clockwise. Once the water is turned off, check the overflow tube to see if it’s rising. If the water is rising, it means the float rod or float cup on the float assembly is stuck or needs to be lowered. If the float is too high, it won’t allow the overflow tube to rise and will keep pumping water into the bowl.

The float chain on the float can also be too long and get in the way of the flapper seal, which causes it to stay open, causing your toilet to run continuously. To shorten the chain, simply reach into the tank and lift the float arm to pull the chain up with your thumb and fingers. If there are too many excess links, you can use pliers to cut them down.

Over time, the fill valve can become dirty with mineral scale deposits or other debris, preventing it from closing correctly and allowing water to continue flowing into the toilet. To clean the valve, first flush it to clear out any built-up debris. Next, remove the valve cap by lifting the arm from the float and pressing down while twisting counterclockwise one-eighth of a turn. Once the cap is removed, you can rinse out the inside of the cap with a bit of bleach and then wipe it down with a damp sponge before replacing it.

Faulty Overflow Tube

If your toilet keeps running, it can waste gallons of water and cause a significant increase in your utility bill. While this is an annoying problem to deal with, luckily it’s not difficult to resolve. With a little troubleshooting, you can identify and fix the cause of your toilet’s continuous flow of water before it causes serious damage to your home.

The most common cause of a running toilet is a faulty flapper valve. The flapper is a rubber seal at the bottom of your toilet tank that lifts when you flush the toilet, allowing water to flow into the bowl. Over time, the flapper can become dirty or worn out, leading to a leak from the tank into the bowl.

Another common reason for a running toilet is a broken handle, which connects to the toilet lever or flush button and is responsible for starting the flushing and refilling process. If the handle is corroded or breaks, it won’t be able to lift the flapper and shut off the water supply.

A faulty fill valve can also cause a constantly running toilet. This is a simple problem to diagnose and fix, but the first step is turning off the water supply to the toilet by finding the water shutoff valve behind it and turning it clockwise. Once the water is off, you can remove the tank lid and check to see if the water level in the overflow tube is too high or too low.

If the overflow tube is set about an inch below the float mark on the tank, your fill valve may need to be replaced. Replacing the fill valve is a fairly simple task, but you’ll need to drain and empty the toilet tank before replacing it.

A constantly running toilet can cost you a lot of money in wasted water, and it can lead to expensive repairs or replacements for your toilet and plumbing components. The good news is that most of the causes of a running toilet are simple to diagnose and repair, even for homeowners who don’t have a lot of experience with plumbing tasks.