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Is Your Toilet Constantly Running?
While the toilet may not be the most frequently used part of a home, it is nonetheless one of the most important that needs utmost attention and care. It is one of the places that tell of the hygiene level that is maintained in a home. The state a visitor finds the toilet may be used to assess the homeowner's personality. This is why many would leave no stone unturned in taking care of their toilets.
However, things can turn pretty awry and bad despite the attention you give to your toilet. One of the things that can cause such an unpleasant experience is when your toilet keeps running. Such a toilet can incur further issues and could leave you confused about what may be done to correct the situation.
When such a situation arises, you will likely start wondering what caused the problem and want to know how it may be corrected. There is really no need for panic because if you are up to the task, you can get things fixed quickly. Firstly, find out what led to the situation before you can provide a solution.
Find Out Why Your Toilet Keeps Running
Confirm that the toilet is indeed running non-stop before you can move to the next step. Often, homeowners erroneously take a recently flushed toilet for one overflowing or filling up with water non-stop. Just be patient for about ten minutes and see if the problem persists.
If the toilet doesn't stop for a long while, it could be a deep-rooted problem that needs a professional touch. When you have ascertained that the trouble with your toilet is beyond what you can handle personally and it keeps running non-stop, there is no reason to fret because this can be fixed almost immediately by a professional plumber.
However, the earlier you call a plumber when you are sure you need help, the better because this will save you from more damages and additional costs in the long run.
Signs Your Toilet May Keep Running
A toilet may show signs before it starts running without stopping. The pressure on the handle must remain constant whenever you turn, tug, push, or pull it. If it drops, you may want to check some of the toilet's components and make adjustments wherever necessary.
Some homeowners typically miss these signs until the problem becomes worse. If you have missed these signs, have a licensed plumber come around in intervals to check the plumbing works in the house.
The plumber will also inspect your toilet, locate the problem and resolve it correctly. Your plumber will change old and worn-out toilet parts at such times, which will forestall the ugly incident of finding out that your toilet is running non-stop.
Reasons Your Toilet May Keep Running
There are different reasons why your toilet keeps running; the truth is, none of them is pleasant. However, some of them are quick fixes, and you can get things sorted out by yourself in no time.
Toilet handle is stuck
This is straightforward and probably the first thing to check. Find out if the toilet handle is stuck, as it can cause the toilet to keep running. Where the toilet handle gets jammed, the toilet will run without stopping. While it seems to be a small thing, it has saved a lot of people from severe hassles with their toilets.
You definitely don't want to look silly when your plumber comes around at your distress call only to show you that a simple tug at the toilet handle could have saved you the stress you went through.
The toilet tank must be high enough so the water can go down and out of the toilet bowl when you flush. A good enough water pressure is maintained when the toilet tank is well positioned, ensuring a one-time flush in most cases when you use the toilet.
There are a few things that may occur if the toilet handle gets jammed, including:
- The cistern may fill up with water to the point it overflows.
- The toilet may simply fail to flush again.
- If the toilet handle gets stuck in the flush position, it may cause water to only go down but never come back up again.
- If your toilet's tank fills with water every few minutes, this may be why.
You must find the toilet's lever or rod to fix this issue. The lever is typically attached to the toilet cistern. Pulling this lever up and down gently a few times should get it unstuck if you keep at it for a while. However, you may have to replace the toilet handle totally if this does not correct the situation.
Steps to replace a toilet handle
- Turn off the water supply valve that serves your toilet. This is usually located behind or under the toilet. You should see a pipe that leads into the side of the cistern and visible threads around either end. You simply need to turn the valve clockwise to the point it cannot turn anymore.
- Flush the toilet to get rid of any excess water that may be in the tank. It will also release pressure on the toilet lever or rod.
- Look for a screwdriver that has many bit attachments. Unscrew any attachment that may be keeping the toilet handle attached to the tank.
- The last step is to replace what was used to hold the toilet handle in place with a new one. You should be able to get toilet parts at your local home improvement store to carry out this exercise.
Excess water pressure
Your toilets may have fill valves that do not close all the way if you live in an older home. If this is the case, the toilet tanks will fill up quickly due to the high-water pressure from your city's water supply. Find a way to reduce the water pressure in your home or install pressure-reducing valves in your toilets.
You can flush your toilets more smoothly with toilet pressure-reducing valves installed. This will reduce the amount of water that is used each time toilets are flushed. Installing these valves does not only help with running toilets but could also significantly cut down your water bill.
High toilet floats
High toilet floats could be another reason you have constant running toilets. This is one other thing you should check before you even call a plumber. You can also save hundreds of dollars, which you would spend on parts and labour fees fixing or replacing the faulty part.
The toilet float is a device that is found in the toilet tank, and its job is to control how full the cistern gets after it is refilled with water following flushing. Where the float is too high, the toilet is bound to run. If you open your toilet tank, you should be able to see whether the float is too high. A running toilet is a sign that the float is too high.
You may also observe that the float ball is not all the way up or just manages to be above water level. Adjusting the water levels of toilet tanks is an integral part of plumbing work, and only professionals can do it. Adjust the float down a little bit if you have identified this as the problem. There should be an adjustment screw that makes height adjustments possible.
Turn it in to make the toilet's float sink lower into the tank as necessary. You can now flush the toilet to check if it is still running non-stop. If the problem persists, re-adjust the float and go over the process once again until the situation is corrected. Follow the next step in diagnosing the problem if the toilet is still running after several attempts.
Toilet flappers control the way water flows in and out of the cistern. This means that as soon as you flush your toilet, the flapper closes and stops water from getting back up into the toilet's bowl and drain.
Flappers are usually made of rubber or plastic, which is why they deteriorate quickly with age and use. A worn-out toilet flapper no longer closes up as it should because of age. The best way to manage this problem is to replace it. On average, toilet flappers need replacement after five to eight years.
If your toilet flapper is quite worn out or too old, you can replace it easily. To do so, remove the plastic or rubber piece that has been worn away by looking for it in your toilet tank. If you see any holes, tears, or stretches in the toilet flapper, replace it immediately to solve the problem of a running toilet.
You should be able to find a suitable replacement at your local home improvement store. Ensure you take the old one with you so an employee can direct you where to go. A plumbing supply store would be a better option for you because you will likely find flappers in different shapes and sizes.
Worn out toilet refill tube
A toilet's refill or overflow tube lets the toilet know how many times it is necessary to flush after materials have been flushed away. If this tube is too long or too short, it could lead to the toilet running without stopping.
A toilet that unlicensed plumbers or handymen install could cause this problem. If you want to ascertain that your toilet's refill tube has the correct size, simply calculate the height of the tank and measure the refill tube's height using a ruler.
Measure from the top of the toilet tank. Also, measure the toilet refilling tube height starting from the end of the toilet tank to the point it meets the toilet bowl to the exact height. Change the refill tube if these measurements are not the same.
Unscrew the toilet tank lid to access and replace the refill tube. Replace the old refill tube with a new one with the correct size. If the tube is too long, reduce it to the appropriate size and reinstall.
Clogged or blocked plumbing
The toilet tank's flushing valve depends on gravity to get rid of its contents. When there is an extensive blockage in the toilet, the flushed water will not flow out. The toilet will continue to release water to clear the blockage.
Your toilet will constantly run, and unfortunately, this spells bad news for you regarding the water bill. Try snaking out the blockage with a toilet auger if you have reason to believe that your toilet is clogged. Use a plunger instead if you do not have a toilet auger.
Use Experts To Help Stop A Toilet From Running
If you have tried everything highlighted to keep your toilet from running without success, the issue may be much more severe than anticipated. You can save yourself any undue stress of wracking your brain on what to do about this knotty problem and let the professionals take it off your hands.
A licensed and reputable plumbing company can quickly address this issue, identify any other problem in the toilet system, and nip it in the bud before it becomes severe. The exercise is well worth the fee you will pay, and it is an investment that pays off in the long run.