Toilets. They can be the place where people are most vulnerable. It is also one of the last places where you want to have a problem.
One day, you could find that your toilet is running for too long or your business will not go down the drain.
Leaks are responsible for nearly 14% of the water that a household uses. If a toilet is left running for too long, that can waste about 200 gallons per day.
So, how do you know if you have a running toilet? What are the most common causes of a running toilet? How do you fix these causes?
This guide will address all of those toilet problems and more.
Toilet Handle Issues
One of the first things you should look at with a running toilet is the toilet handle. This is the part of the toilet that allows you to flush your business down the drain smoothly.
However, since no part is perfect, there may be an issue or two with a toilet handle that has enough usage.
A running toilet may be occurring because the toilet handle got stuck or is jammed. As a result, you may not be able to flush at all or the toilet will not stop flushing itself. Either way, this can result in a clogged and/or overflowed toilet if it is not addressed as soon as possible.
So, what can you do about this? Well, the first thing you should do is open the lid that is on top of the toilet. Then, you should see the toilet handle on the left side.
Wiggle the handle from the inside around a little bit. See if it has a problem moving up and down smoothly. If it does, you can then try to move it around and see if it gets back to its natural function on its own. If that does not work, then you could end up needing to replace the toilet handle entirely.
Another part of a toilet that you need to look at is the float. For those of you that do not know, this part of the toilet is the object that looks like a ball. Here, it is typically attached to the valve and if everything is working properly, you should not see it above the water.
So, what happens when the float is either barely above the water or entirely above the water? That means that your issue with a running toilet has to do with the float.
You can start out by trying to push the float back down yourself and see if it stays there. If your toilet is still running after that, there may be other issues besides the position of your float.
One of the most serious causes of a running toilet could be the pipes that are used for the toilet. The reason why this is more serious is because if the problem goes far enough into the pipes, it could require more extensive work to fix it.
Think about this. You use the toilet often and you could do a lot of business at one time on it. On top of that, you may put garbage in there such as toilet paper. If you do this often enough, there may come a point where the pipes that are supporting your toilet cannot handle the pressure anymore.
When this happens, the pipes can become clogged. As a result, your toilet could be clogged and with your business refusing to go too far down the drain, the toilet could be left running.
If this is what happened to your toilet, just know that you are not alone. Nearly 20% of American households deal with clogged toilets regularly.
Professionals are needed if this is the situation that you face and you will have to do whatever it takes to unclog those pipes.
One of the most common causes of a running toilet is a bad flapper. Why is this?
A big reason is because it is at the center of a toilet tank. Picture it as the heart of the toilet. It keeps the toilet breathing steadily and smoothly.
But what happens when there is a disruption to that process? It can either cause a rapid heartbeat, inconsistent heartbeat, or no heartbeat at all.
The same logic can be applied when a flapper is not working properly in a toilet. A flapper is responsible for keeping water used in the toilet to go down the drain from coming back up and flooding the toilet.
So, what happens when a flapper goes bad? It does not close all of the way and it can result in water coming through.
When more water comes through than expected, it can cause the toilet to keep running. If it keeps running for too long, you run the risk of overflowing the toilet.
Keep an eye on the history of toilet parts like this. A flapper is likely to go bad or wear out faster than other parts of a toilet. After about 5-10 years, you may have to look at getting it replaced.
Something else that you may also need to look at is the refill tube. This is the part of the toilet that lets the rest of your toilet know how many times it needs to flush to run smoothly.
What happens is that if your refill tube is not the right size, your toilet is going to think that it needs to flush more or less often than necessary. This can cause two things as a result.
It can end up not flushing properly because your toilet does not flush often enough for all of your business to go down the drain. Also, it can cause your toilet to flush too often and keep it running. This can also cause wear and tear on your pipes.
What you need to do here is properly measure your refill tube compared to the rest of your toilet tank. If you do not find that the measurements line up equally, you may have to resize your refill tube. Once you do that, your toilet should run properly again.
You want to make sure that your fill valve is working like it is supposed to because if it is not, that can lead to major issues with your pipes and drains.
When it comes to a toilet, a fill valve makes sure that the water in the toilet tank does not fill up too quickly. When it is not working properly, it can result in your toilet tank having too much water.
That can result in a few things. The first is that your water pressure could go up and put additional stress on your pipes. On top of this, it can cause your toilet tank and toilet to overflow quickly, thus keeping your toilet running.
Make sure that your fill valve is secured properly because if it is, it will keep the water pressure that is coming to your toilet steady.
Needing a New Toilet
Finally, you may reach a point in your toilet’s lifespan where it is just too old to function properly. The average toilet has a lifespan of up to 15 years. If you remember installing your old toilet around that time, you have to start thinking about the possibility of needing a new toilet.
This may not be the end of the world if you act on this at the right time. The average price of a new toilet can be up to $600. So, as long as you prepare for this in advance, it should not be an extreme burden on your household.
However, part of the process with this is knowing when the right time to replace your toilet is. If you wait too long, you could end up having a lot of unnecessary repair costs for a toilet with a short lifespan.
Fix a Running Toilet
These are some of the most common causes of a running toilet and how to go about fixing them. It is important to look at every part of a toilet tank possible.
This includes the tube, the flapper, the fill valve, the float, the toilet handle, and more. If none of that works, you could have an issue deep in your pipes or you could just need a new toilet.
Either way, we can help you by offering our plumbing services. Message us with your questions here.