When you flush your toilet, the tank will fill with water to allow you to flush again within a matter of a few seconds to about a minute. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for toilets to continually run even after the tank has fully filled with water.
One of the main issues with having a toilet that is constantly running is that it can affect water pressure throughout the house and put undue stress on your water pump. Understanding how your toilet works and the different issues to look for can help in getting that leaky toilet to stop running. Here’s what you need to know about how to stop a running toilet from our team of experienced Las Vegas plumbers.
How Your Toilet Should Work
The mechanics of toilets haven’t changed much over the years, so the issues that your grandparents faced with their toilet are similar to what you’ll be dealing with yourself. The way that a toilet works is by water coming up and into the tank. The water fills to a specified fill height, which is determined by the fill line or water level mark.
At this point, water flow should immediately stop, and you shouldn’t hear any running water coming into or from the tank itself. When you flush the toilet, the flush rod, which is attached to a long chain, pulls up on a rubber flapper and allows a good majority of the water from the tank into the toilet to clear away waste and paper. The rubber flapper should then fall back down over the hole upon release of the handle and stop any water from entering the toilet.
When there is a problem with your toilet, it may not work the way that it should. You may constantly hear the toilet running regardless of how long it’s been since you last flushed. Here are some of the different things you can do and check for to help in stopping a running toilet:
Jiggle the Handle
The handle you use to flush the toilet may be stuck, causing the flush rod and the chain to keep the rubber flapper open. Try jiggling the handle slightly and see if this helps to close the flapper inside of the tank.
Check the Fill Height
The fill height may be too high and is causing excess water to fall into the overflow tube. This will cause water to fill the toilet even after the tank has filled. By lowering the fill height, less water will enter the back of the tank and will not go into the overflow tube.
Check the Flapper
The rubber flapper creates a tight, yet pliable seal between the water in the tank and the actual toilet. If the flapper has disintegrated or has warped, this could cause water from the tank to fill the toilet regardless of whether or not you’ve flushed.
Check the Chain
The chain that is attached to the rubber flapper may be too long, causing some of the metal to get caught and prevent the flapper from closing. Likewise, the chain may be too short, preventing the flapper from having a tight seal over the hole that allows water to go from the back of the tank into the toilet.
Replace the Flush Valve
The flush valve sometimes referred to as the “guts” of the toilet, may need to be replaced entirely. Many of these kits can be found in hardware stores and even department stores. The kit is easy to assemble and allows you to adjust the chain length and fill height in the tank.
It is essential to remember that if you attempt to change or fix anything in the tank of the toilet that you shut off the water coming into the tank. Most toilets will have a small shut-off valve right underneath the toilet. Turn this small knob, and you will cut off the water supply to the tank, allowing you to work more efficiently and comfortably. If your toilet is continuously running, you may want to give it a break by turning off the water supply to the tank until a professional can come out and check the source of the problem.
Working with Professional Plumbers in Las Vegas
In some cases, a running toilet is more difficult to repair. Some homeowners may have issues repairing the toilet or replacing the entire flush valve unit on their own, especially if they’ve never tackled the problem before.
In this case, contact the experts at Larkin Plumbing offer their services to help your home run more efficiently. By repairing your toilet and preventing it from running constantly, you can increase water pressure throughout the house and give your water pump a break. If you’ve tried everything you can to fix the issue on your own with little to no success, it is time to get the professionals in to address the problem entirely.