Toilets are a luxury that we think little of, at least until they malfunction. If you’ve noticed that your toilet sounds like it’s always running, you’ve got a problem on your hands! Luckily, this is a common issue and Jim’s Plumbing Now is ready to help you get rid of that running water sound for good.
How Do Toilets Work?
To understand how to fix your toilet, it’s important to know how the system works. There are a few moving parts in play, and they can all cause trouble.
- Water fills the toilet tank by flowing through the fill valve tube. The flapper, a big gasket at the bottom of the tank, stops the water from leaving the tank.
- The float rod rises as the tank fills with water and the fill valve stops the flow of water when the rod hits a certain level. If the water rises past that point, it will spill into the overflow tube to prevent flooding.
- This is when you can flush the toilet. When you press down the handle, it pulls a chain attached to the flapper. The handle opens the flapper and lets water enter the tank.
- When the water rushes into the bowl, the water level increases and it flows through the trap and into the drain.
- The water keeps running until the tank is empty, then the flapper closes and seals the tank again.
Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?
A running toilet is a sure sign of the system malfunctioning, and there are multiple parts that may cause this issue. Luckily, there’s a simple test you can do at home to pinpoint the cause. All you need is some food dye and patience.
First, add a few drops of food coloring to the tank of your toilet — make sure that you can see the color. Then, wait about 20 minutes, and make sure no one uses the toilet. If you see dye in the toilet bowl after waiting, then there’s a problem with your toilet’s flush valve or flapper. But if the water is still clear, then you have a problem with the fill valve or overflow tube.
How To Fix A Running Toilet
There are many points throughout your toilet that may malfunction and cause your water to run. Luckily, the dye test gives you a good sign of where to start. And remember, you can always call your local plumber to help, too!
The Flush Valve
This part of your toilet works to control the amount of water let into the toilet. The chain and flapper work together to control the water levels, and these parts can both cause the toilet to run constantly.
If the toilet’s rubber flapper is warped or damaged, it isn’t sealing the tank properly, and the water continuously flows through it. This can even happen if your flapper is just extra dirty, so try cleaning it in a water and vinegar mixture. After replacing the flapper, you can do another dye test to make sure that the issue is resolved.
Another part that may give your toilet trouble is the chain attached to the flapper. Double-check that the length of the chain is not too short, which won’t allow the flapper to seal closed. If the chain is the right length and replacing the flapper doesn’t resolve the issue, then you may need to replace the whole flush valve system.
The Overflow Tube
The overflow tube is connected to the flush valve, and it prevents the tank from overflowing if the fill valve malfunctions. First, it’s important to check the water level of the tank. The water level should stay below the overflow tube and fill valve, otherwise the water will continually flow through the overflow tube.
If the water level is too high, then it will need to be lowered by adjusting the float rod or cup. You’ll need to find the screw attaching the floatation to the fill valve and turn it one-quarter of the way counterclockwise. This will lower the water level, and you can keep going until the level is no longer touching the overflow tube.
If the water stops flowing, then you’ve fixed the issue. If the water continues, then the issue probably lies with the fill valve.
The Fill Valve
This piece controls the water flow from the tank to the main water line. It should stop filling the toilet when the float rod reaches the level, but a broken valve may keep the water running constantly.
To check if your fill valve is damaged, check the water level and the overflow tube height. If you have set both appropriately and the water sits an inch below the overflow tube, the problem is in the fill valve. You will need to replace the fill valve entirely, and we recommend having a professional plumber help you with this one.
Dallas Toilet Repair Company
Are you looking for help with your running toilet? If you’re looking for professional help with your home’s plumbing, it’s time to call Jim’s Plumbing Now!
With our skilled plumbers, we can fix any plumbing issue that you may encounter in your home. We love to help Dallas homeowners keep their systems running smoothly and quietly. Give us a call today — your home will thank you!