It’s not too loud, it’s not high pitched, and it’s quite common. But, it’s perhaps the most annoying sound that a homeowner will ever hear: a toilet that won’t stop running. To make matters worse, it is not all that easy to identify why a toilet won’t stop running. That’s why the expert technicians at Freedom Air have assembled this guide to troubleshooting your toilet, so you can fix it before you pull your hair out.
How Does a Toilet Work?
Before repairing a toilet, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of its mechanics and parts. When you flush a toilet, the handle pulls on a metal chain inside the toilet tank. This chain is connected to the flapper. The flapper is a rubber plug at the bottom of the toilet tank. The chain lifts the flapper, allowing water from the tank to flow into the bowl. The float is a plastic ball connected to an arm, or a thick plastic ring with a tube through it. As water is drained, the float sinks to the bottom of the tank, activating the fill valve. The fill valve then brings fresh water into the tank, raising the water level, and the float, to just below the overflow tube.
Troubleshooting a Toilet that Won’t Stop Running
1. Check the Toilet Handle
The first area to examine is the toilet handle. If your toilet handle is sticking, the chain won’t be able to raise the flapper. This makes it impossible for your toilet to drain and refill properly.
2. Worn Out Flapper
Overtime, the flapper will become eroded and cracked, making it ineffective. When the flapper no longer creates a tight seal between the bowl and the tank, water will leak from the tank into the bowl. As a result, the float will continuously lower, activating the fill valve – making your toilet run non-stop.
3. Water Level is Too High
The overflow tube of a toilet is an open-mouthed vertical tube that prevents the tank from overflowing. The level at which you place your float determines the fill level of your toilet.
If you place your float too high, the water in your tank will constantly flow into the overflow tube, causing a constant running sound. You can adjust the water level of your tank by lowering the float.
4. Toilet Chain Issues
Several things can go wrong with a toilet’s chain. If the chain is too long, it will likely get caught under the flapper. If this happens, water will constantly drain into the bowl, forcing your toilet to keep running to maintain the water level. On the other hand, if your toilet chain is too short, it will also prevent your flapper from sealing, producing the same result: constant drainage into the bowl, and a constantly running toilet.
5. Examine the Float Ball
As you have probably noticed, the float is essential to maintaining proper water level in your toilet. If the float is cracked, it will fill with water and sink to the bottom of the tank. This will trick the fill valve into making your toilet run unnecessarily.
Still don’t know why your toilet won’t stop running? Call Freedom Air today!
If you have tried troubleshooting your toilet with these steps, and it’s still running, call a professional. The experienced plumbers at Freedom Air have seen every problem your plumbing has to offer. We will solve your problem with friendliness, timeliness, and expertise. Call us today at 321-631-6886 (Brevard), 772-778-2272 (Indian River), or request service on our website.