Why Is My Toilet Running
Is your toilet unexpectedly running, as if someone had just flushed it? Do you find your toilet running at random times of the day or night? This can be annoying – and it can waste water over time. Fortunately, there are solutions for this problem, which generally stems from issues with how a toilet seals and refills. Here are a few of the most common reasons why toilets unexpectedly start running, and what you can do to stop the problem.
It's a New Toilet
When a new toilet system begins to work, it may take things a little while to settle. During the first few days, the toilet may unexpectedly start running as the flapper seal adjusts to its new job, or other components get used to regular work. These problems are typically self-correcting and will go away after a while. Another problem that often plagues new toilets is that a bit of grit or grime gets into the flapper seal or flush valve. Wiping down the seal inside the toilet can be a good way of resetting that seal so that water can't escape.
The Valve Isn't Positioning Correctly
One issue that the traditional "chain and flapper" models run into is that they sometimes get into the wrong position and don't seal correctly, which means water leaks away over time and the toilet sometimes flushes itself. It's worth looking at your flapper in action to make sure that it is creating a full seal and doesn't need to be repositioned. Likewise, make sure the chain isn't too short, which can cause similar issues. These problems are usually easy to fix with a little bit of adjustment.
The Overflow Pipe is At the Wrong Height
Older toilets use an overflow pipe that's designed to automatically drain water off inside the toilet if something gets clogged – so the toilet won't overflow from the top. However, poor installation or low-quality materials may lead to an overflow pipe that's too low. When this happens, the overflow pipe is activated by the toilet's natural water level as it refills. This leads to constant running after the toilet flushes and fills back up again. Turn off water flow to the toilet to stop this issue and replace the overflow pipe.
Leaky Fill Valve
Your toilet also uses a fill valve that opens to let new water into the toilet. The problem with this valve is that it can sometimes get stuck to the point where it never closes all the way. This leads to it slowly filling the toilet with water until the overflow pipe (in this case, correctly positioned) actives and drains the toilet. Here, you need to replace the fill valve.
Your Handle is Positioned the Wrong Way
An old, rusty or misplaced handle on a toilet can also "jerk" on a flapper valve and keep it from closing correctly. This problem is usually easy to fix by simply replacing your toilet handle with a new version!
If you're having trouble figuring out just why your toilet keeps running, don't sweat it! Call Amanda Plumbing today and let us give it a professional inspection for you. We'll find out what's wrong and talk about what you can do to fix the problem.