If your toilet runs, not only is it annoying, but it’s also costing you a fortune on your water bill.Â There are only a few causes of this problem, and some of them are easy fixes. However, some causes requireÂ professional repairs.
In this blog, we’ll talk about four common reasons your toilet may be running. Remember, the toilet tank’sÂ water is clean and perfectly sanitary for you to touch.
1. Flush Valve
The flush valve of your toilet sits near the tank bottom. It’s the part that allows water to enter theÂ bowl. The flush valve can become sticky, warped, or nicked, and water will leak through to the bowl. MostÂ flush valve leaks move slowly, which can make them difficult to identify.
When the water level gets too low, the fill valve acts as if the toilet was just flushed and refills theÂ tank. “Ghost flushes” may occur, meaning the toilet sounds like it’s flushing while not being used. The onlyÂ way to fix flush valve issues is to have the part replaced.
The flapper is the large rubber device located near the tank bottom. It blocks water in the tank fromÂ running into the bowl. Over time, the flapper can warp, break, or gather buildup. In order to check theÂ flapper, you need to empty the tank. First, flush the toilet. Before the tank fills back up, unhook theÂ flapper and pull it up to get a closer look.
Check for any breaks or warping. If you find any, you’ll need a new flapper. If you don’t encounter anyÂ damage, it could just be buildup. Clean the flapper thoroughly before reconnecting it. If you do need a newÂ flapper, make sure you choose one that connects to the chain in the center rather than the edge, as that willÂ help prevent warping.
The chain connects the flush handle to the flapper. If the chain constantly pulls on the flapper, then theÂ chain is too short and prevents the flapper from creating a watertight seal. A chain that is too long, on theÂ other hand, may get stuck under the flapper, causing that part to stay open.
If the chain is too long, you should be able to unhook it and re-hook it a little farther down. If it’sÂ too short, however, you need a new chain. Some chains have floats on them that should easily float on theÂ water, with little tension on the chain. You should be able to move the float up or down on the chain ifÂ necessary.
4. Float Arm and Float Ball
The plastic balloon sitting on top of your toilet tank’s water is called the float ball and the rodÂ connected to it is the float arm. Typically, the problems you’ll have with these components are that theyÂ don’t sit in the right position or they’re cracked.
If you lift the float ball while the water is still running, then the water stops, the float ball is tooÂ low. This can happen if it’s too close to the tank wall, so bend the arm away from the wall. On the otherÂ hand, if the water level in the tank gets to the overflow valve-the open pipe in the tank-and still hasn’tÂ stopped rising, the float ball is too high. Again, bend the arm to fix this problem.
A crack in the float ball will make it fill up with water and sink to the bottom. When this is the case,Â or if you’re unable to bend the float arm, you need to replace it.
If none of these instances describes your issue, there may be something wrong with the ballcock assembly.Â Call your plumber for help with diagnosing the issue and replacing any necessary parts.