The Runaway Toilet

Okay, so your toilet isn’t actually escaping from your bathroom, but at one time in your life, you’ve probably lost sleep (and increased the water bill) due to a toilet that runs. If you are a light sleeper, there’s nothing more bothersome than the persistent trickling sound of a toilet that has constantly running water. The good news about a running toilet is that many times it’s an easy fix.

Being familiar with how your toilets work is something we recommend to all of our clients. Understanding the basic principles of a toilet is as easy as lifting the lid and flushing a few times. On most standard residential toilets you will see the flapper, the float valve or ballcock, and the fill valve. Problems with one of these three things are the most common causes for a running toilet. A running toilet is simply excess water entering the tank.

The flapper on your toilet is the rubber stopper at the bottom of the water tank. The flapper is attached to a lever or lifting arm that pulls up the stopper when the toilet is flushed. Many times when a toilet is running there is a kink in the lever chain or a leak in the stopper. If the rubber stopper doesn’t make a proper seal, water will constantly leak out into the bowl. Check the chain to make sure it is the proper length for the stopper to sit and seal correctly. Sometimes a chain can get twisted or kinked and simply needs to be pulled straight to fix the problem. If you need to replace the flapper because it doesn’t fit well or is just worn out, be sure to turn off your water and follow the installation instructions on your new flapper. You can most likely do this project yourself if you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves.

If your flapper is not the problem and water is still running, you may need to replace the float valve or fill valve to stop that pesky sound, and save your water bill. Float value and fill valve replacement require a bit more time and a few more steps, but can be done performed successfully by most homeowners. If you are unsure about tackling the runaway toilet on your own, you can always call the honest and reliable plumbers at Metro Septic & Plumbing for all of your plumbing needs.

Posted on behalf of Keith Lee, Metro Septic and Plumbing