Toilet Running? Running Toilet? Test & Repair It Next

September 22nd, 2022 | Toilet & Fixture

Running Toilet? Tips From a Plumber

It Costs More Then You Think.

Running toilet? No, not running away from you. We mean running toilet as in the constant flow of water trying to fill the tank, It costs more than you think.

Why is my toilet running? Why is my toilet constantly running? So bad that it’s keeping me up at night? Well, Have you noticed an increase in your water bill? It’s quite possible a running toilet is your culprit. A running toilet wastes on average 200 gallons of water per day. In a given month, that adds up to over 6,000 gallons of water, equating to about $70.00.

If gone unnoticed or unfixed, a toilet running can cost you around $840.00 a year. Don’t let your hard-earned money go to waste – check your toilets periodically for leaks and repair them in a timely manner. If you’re here because you’re wondering how to fix a running toilet, then you’re in luck. Read on to learn more…

How a Toilet Works

The best way to understand why a certain problem occurs is to know how the system functions as a whole. For instance, to know how to fix your running toilet, you need to know why it keeps running. To know why it keeps running, you need to know how a toilet works. It may surprise you to know that a toilet is a fairly simple system.

The first step is to open the lid of your tank and look at all the parts. Water enters your toilet through a fill valve tube. A flapper then prevents the water from leaving the tank. This flapper is situated at the base of the flush valve at the bottom of the tank. When you flush, the flapper opens and releases water into your toilet.

As the water level rises in your tank, a component, known as a float rod, rises with it. When it reaches the correct level, the fill valve will stop allowing water into the tank. If the water keeps rising, there is an overflow tube that drains excess water and prevents flooding. The water will run until the tank is empty and the flapper closes again.

To summarize so far, we have a:

Fill valve – Lets water into your tank.

Flapper – Stops water from leaving.

Float rod – Stops fill valve from allowing water into the tank. 

Overflow tube – Prevents flooding.

Now that you know all the names of the components, you already have a better understanding of what can go wrong.

Causes of a Toilet Running Constantly

Knowing how the system works will allow you to understand how it can fail or become faulty. Here are a few possible causes for a running toilet:

The Float is Too High

If there is too much water in the tank, excess water will keep entering your bowl through the overflow tube. When your float is pushed up too much, it allows water to exit via the overflow tube to prevent the water from flooding your bathroom.

Leaking Flapper

One of the most common reasons for a toilet running constantly is an old, broken flapper. From time to time, your flapper may need replacing. If your flapper has a crack or leaks in it, water will escape and run into your bowl. This is going to run your water bill sky-high.

Refill Tube Too Long

Another reason why your toilet is running could be a refill tube that is not short enough. Your toilet will constantly run if the refill tube is stretched below the water level in the tank. This will create a siphoning effect where the fill valve will need to constantly be refilling the water that has been siphoned out. 

Faulty Flush Valve

Your flush valve may be old and damaged. Flush valves become worn out over time and may need replacing. It is also possible that there was a problem with the flush valve assembly.

Chain is Too Short or Long

If the chain in your toilet is not long enough, your flapper won’t close properly, and this will allow water to keep running into your toilet bowl. On the other hand, if the chain is too long, it can get caught under the flapper, leading to a leak. 

How To Test for a Leaking Toilet

There is a fairly simple way to test for a leaking toilet, all you need is food coloring or a dye tablet. Here’s how:

  • Remove the toilet tank lid.
  • Place one dye tablet or 10 drops of food coloring into the tank.
  • Put the lid back on & do not flush the toilet.
  • After 10-15 minutes have passed, look in the toilet bowl. If there is color in the water, then you have a leak.

How To Fix a Running Toilet

Before attempting to repair your running toilet, be sure to familiarize yourself with the various parts. If at any point you don’t feel comfortable attempting a repair, call a licensed plumber like our team of professionals here at Moffett Plumbing & Air, instead. Our plumbing professionals have the toilet running fix down.

Ultimately, there are three main possibilities as to why your toilet is leaking.

  • A broken flapper
  • The flapper chain is stuck between the flapper & flush valve
  • A broken fill valve

Check the Length of Your Chain

As we mentioned before, the chain length could be the issue. Ensure that there is a sufficient amount of chain for the flapper to close all the way.

Inspect Your Flapper

A flapper can cause a world of trouble if it is not in good condition. Check the rubber seals and position of the flapper. If it looks warped, you may need to replace your flapper with a brand-new one. Your flapper could also be dirty. You can simply clean it and see if the problem persists. It is important to drain the water in the tank and switch the tap off before cleaning or replacing your flapper.

Replace the Flush Valve

If the overflow tube is too short, you may need to replace your entire flush valve. Once again, ensure that your tank is dry and empty before replacing this part. You will need to disconnect the flapper and remove the tank to get to the flush valve. This process can be tricky. You may need a professional plumber to help replace the flush valve.

Replace the Faulty Fill Valve

The good news is that replacing the fill valve is a lot simpler than replacing the flush valve. However, you will need a set of channel locks to remove the water supply line. Once you unscrew the nut at the bottom of your toilet tank, remove the fill valve assembly. It is important to adjust the new fill valve to fit the height of your toilet. Be sure to tighten the new fill valve with a locking nut to prevent water from escaping. 

Toilet Running: To Repair or Replace?

All in all, this is a seemingly cheap fix, however, if you’re uncomfortable with attempting any repairs, you can give us a call. Our technicians will be more than happy to help solve your problems.

Sometimes, the best solution is to replace your inefficient toilet with a WaterSense toilet. A standard toilet will use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, while a WaterSense toilet will use only 1.28 gallons or less. Some older toilets can even use up to six gallons. Because toilets account for nearly 30 percent of your home water consumption, it’s important to use the most efficient appliances so that you can cut costs and save money.

Switching to a WaterSense toilet will reduce the water used for toilets by 20-60%, which accounts for nearly 13,000 gallons each year. That’s huge savings all around! If you’d like to learn more about energy-efficient and low-flow toilets, give your professional plumbers in Orange County a call!

While it may sound simple in theory, not everyone knows how to fix a running toilet. If you have tried these DIY methods and come up short, we can help you. Moffett Plumbing & Air has a team of skilled plumbers that can make your life much easier.

Our experts will be able to find the problem and offer a solution in no time. A toilet that runs is no exception for us! It is okay if you can’t find a quick toilet running fix. That’s why we are here. As a licensed plumbing company, we can ensure that the problem does not return. While DIY fixes are fun and convenient, they may not always be permanent. Sometimes, there is a bigger issue at hand.

Not only is it a challenge to fix a running toilet but finding the source of the problem can also be difficult. If you are not a trained plumber, it can take slightly more time to identify the root cause of the problem. Finding a solution requires you to know the cause. If you did not come right with finding the reason for your running toilet, you can count on Moffett Plumbing & Air to get to the bottom of it!

Our family-owned and operated business have been serving your running toilet and general plumbing problems since 1969 in the OC. Our customers have always come first. We serve in communities in California like Fullerton, San Clemente, Irvine, Anaheim, and Huntington Beach.

Moffett Plumbing & Air is a full-service, family owned & operated plumbing & HVAC company based out of Orange, CA. Follow our blog for valuable homeowner tips, and updates from your favorite team of plumbing professionals.