What Is A Running Toilet?
A running toilet is a toilet that runs continuously without being used by anyone. It is an indication of a damaged part, and it can be a serious headache. While it may not be as bad as a clogged toilet, it will, indeed, waste hundreds of gallons of water and raise your utility bill significantly. However, a running toilet is very easy to fix especially if you are a lover of DIY projects or invite a certified plumber to fix it.
You may think that your toilet is running correctly but it can get worse if not fixed as soon as possible. Apart from the fact that it wastes water and increases your bill, it also wastes the efforts of the board in charge of the public water supply. Consequently, a running toilet should not be taken with a hand of levity.
Types of Toilets
Before going ahead to find out what went wrong with your toilet that makes it run continuously, you should know the kind of mechanism that your toilet has.
This type of toilets uses head pressure or the pressure created by the weight of the water in the tank to push the wastewater. The intensity of the downward pressure is determined by the height of the column of water. For this reason, water-saving toilets usually have taller tanks to make the 1.6 gallons of water effective enough to push the wastewater down the drains.
This type of toilet usually has a large plastic air container in the tank to add more pressure to the water flow to flush waste away.
It is good to know, however, that these two types of toilets require different approaches of repairs. The gravity-flow toilets have two essential parts: a fill valve that takes water into the tank and a flush valve known as the flapper that pumps water from the tank to the bowl.
How to Fix a Running Toilet
When you notice that your toilet is running without anyone using it, you can remove the tank lid to see what is going on. Several things may be responsible for the running toilet; so, you have to remove the lid to see and fix the problem. Here are the steps to take in an attempt to fix a running toilet.
1. Check the Flapper
First, you will see that the flush lever lift the flapper, which is designed to be at the base of the tank and let clean water into the bowl. When the lever is released, the flapper will return to its position; thus, sealing the tank to allow it to be refilled with clean water. Meanwhile, when the flapper does not close correctly or seal completely, it causes a problem. It may be that the flapper is damaged or there is a buildup of sediments under it that prevents it from sealing up entirely and allows water to leak. As a result, the water level in the toilet that should be raised and shut off the fill valve will not be reached, which will leave the faucet on all day long. Therefore, the first step is to check the inside of the toilet tank for a leaky flapper, a bad valve, or overflow pipe at an inappropriate height.
Test and Replace the Flapper
Use a stick to push down the flapper when water is running. If the running water stops, it means that the flapper is not sealing completely. Then you have to replace it. Buy a new flapper of the same size and follow the instructions for installation.
2. Check the Fill Valve for a Leak
Another likely reason for a running toilet is a leaky fill valve. Let the toilet tank be filled with water and flush. While the water is getting flushed into the bowl, look for a fill valve leak. As the tank is filling up, lift the toilet float arm and see if the water stops. Adjust the toilet float arm to make sure that the water stops. If the water does not stop, that means that the fill valve is leaking and you should change it to stop the toilet from running.
How to Remove and Replace Toilet Fill Valve
Shut off the water supply to the toilet tank and flush the water in the tank. Sponge the little water left in the tank. Remove the line that supplies water to the tank and unscrew the fill valve locknut and gently remove the old fill valve.
Insert a new fill valve into the tank according to the guideline provided in the installation manual. Tighten the locknut but if the overflow pipe is higher than the critical level mark, use a hacksaw to shorten it appropriately.
3. Connect the Fill Tube
Attach one of the ends of the new fill tube to the fill valve and the other end to the enclosed angle adapter. Clip the angle adapter onto the overflow pipe. Complete the installation by attaching the flapper chain to the flush lever as explained. Turn on the water supply and flush the toilet. Listen carefully to hear if it keeps running again.
It is advisable to replace the flapper and the fill valve at once when you are fixing a running toilet. This will prevent you from installing warped or cracked valves into the toilet because that can cause a leak. Remember that you will need a plier and a hacksaw for this project. And be careful when removing or fixing any parts to avoid snapping some parts.
On a final note, if you cannot fix your running toilet yourself, you should contact a professional plumber. This will help to stop your toilet from wasting hundreds of gallons of water and dollars. Give us a call at Urban Piping Ltd., and we assure you of a quick fix to your to your running toilet. We are a certified plumbing company with more than ten years of experience. You are guaranteed an exhilarating experience.