We all try to play our part when it comes to saving water. Whether that’s shorter showers, eco cycles when we put on a load of laundry, or using the half flush wherever possible, every little bit counts.
However, saving water when you flush is considerably more difficult when you’re dealing with a running toilet.
Troubleshooting a running toilet isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve not got much experience in the mechanics of a toilet or the common reasons a toilet might run.
This is why you need a St Kilda plumber to help you figure out what’s wrong with your toilet and fix it as soon as possible, to stop that annoying trickle, help save you water, and reduce those wasteful water bills.
Reasons why your toilet is constantly running
If you’ve ever opened up your toilet, you’ve probably got a general understanding of how:
- Water enters and exits the tank
- How the toilet bowl drains
- When the water supply shuts off
If not, no worries. Here’s a brief overview:
When you push the button to flush the toilet, a lift chain pulls the toilet flapper, allowing water to flow from the flush valve and into the bowl.
When water escapes in the flush valve, fresh water comes in to refill the tank. Some of this water goes back into the toilet bowl, too.
In cases where a toilet will not stop running, the steady trickle of water will eventually fill the bowl and can lead to an overflowing toilet, wasted water, and higher bills.
So, why is your toilet constantly running? While your local plumber can investigate the issue and determine the right solution, it’s a good place to start with some of the most common causes…
Reason #1: Damaged toilet flapper
The toilet flapper usually functions as the sealer of water in the toilet tank. Think of it as a gate-keeping device that allows water to flow into the bowl, and importantly, stop the flow, too.
When enough water goes out of the tank, the toilet flapper usually returns to its position and re-seals the tank.
However, if you have a damaged toilet flapper, chances are, water will continue to run in your toilet without a stop because nothing can seal or stop water from flowing.
Reason #2: Dysfunctional chain
A chain that is either too long or too short usually affects the way a toilet fills. You need to always check the toilet chain’s right length for it not to get caught by the flapper or not reach it at all.
Incorrect length of the flush chain usually causes a toilet flapper to either remain closed or stay open, thus impacting the way it should be working.
Reason #3: Disconnected float ball and float arm
Your float ball usually causes the water to stop when your toilet tank is already filled. Most of the time, your float ball is always connected to your float arm.
When there’s a disconnect between the two, chances are, the float ball cannot stop water from flowing. Your toilet will keep on filling in more water, causing your toilet mechanism to overflow. You’ll probably be able to hear running water if your float ball and float arm have come apart.
When this happens, you need to replace your float ball as soon as possible!
How to troubleshoot a running toilet
If you have a basic understanding of your toilet tank’s parts and function, and if the problem isn’t too complicated, you might be able to troubleshoot and solve the issue yourself.
Here a few steps you can take…
As always however, if the problem seems too complex – it probably is! The best thing you can do to save money and the stress of causing more damage is to engage a local plumber to investigate and solve your running toilet issues.
Step #1: Check for malfunctioning parts
Your toilet flapper serves as a water sealer that holds and refills water in your toilet tank. If you have a broken or leaking flapper, chances are, it cannot prevent water from getting in your tank, thus resulting in continuous overflow.
If you know you have an old flapper, check if it is still soft and if it can still hold water as it should.
Flappers would need to be properly aligned along with the chain, floater ball and floater’s arm.
You can also check for mineral build-up on your flapper that can also stop it from functioning properly.
Step #2: Check and adjust your water levels
Water levels in your toilet tank have something to do with flooding and overflow.
The best thing you can do is to make sure that when your water tank fills and empties, it’s roughly 1-3cm lower than your overflow tube.
The water level needs to reach its normal to the recommended level of filling as much as possible.
Step #3: Replace your fill valve
Replacing your fill valve may be the best way to solve your running toilet issue, especially if you know that it is worn out or broken.
A dysfunctional fill valve will usually submerge the float valve causing your water tank to stop working efficiently.
Step #4: Call an expert plumber
Struggling to identify your flapper from your float ball? Worried you’re going to cause more damage rather than find a resolution?
Then we strongly recommend leaving the task to an expert St Kilda plumber.
Causes can vary, from complicated parts replacement to simply build-up that needs to be cleaned. If you’re unsure what to do, we urge you to STOP and call your local plumber right away!
Need an immediate solution for your toilet and plumbing problems at home?
Let our expert plumbers in St Kilda, Port Melbourne and Bayside keep your toilets running like they should!
We know that most people don’t think about their toilets… until something goes wrong, that is!
And that’s where we come in. Our expert plumbers in Melbourne’s Bayside know exactly how to figure what’s wrong and will ensure you get the best and most efficient solution to solve your toilet flushing problem for good.
You can also visit us for commercial plumbing in Melbourne: pop into our headquarters at 9/22 George St Sandringham, VIC 3191, if you prefer a more hands-on approach.