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March 20, 2023

Why Won’t My Toilet Stop Running: Three Causes and Solutions

When you start having toilet troubles, call Complete Comfort at (317) 563-8122 to save time, energy, and money!

Throughout the day, you keep hearing that telltale rushing water sound you always hear after flushing the toilet. However, neither you nor your family, friends, or visitors have used the toilet recently. You may start wondering, “Why won’t my toilet stop running?”

At Complete Comfort, we provide top-quality plumbing experts in Greenwood, IN, and surrounding areas. You can rely on us to efficiently diagnose and treat your bathroom issues without hidden fees or constant upselling. In the meantime, here are a few reasons your toilet might be running nonstop.

First, a Few Things to Know

The toilet tank has a lot of interconnected parts that help water flush to the toilet bowl and down the pipes. If any one of these parts has a problem, it can cause several issues with the way your latrine works. Keep these mechanisms in mind as you look through the various reasons for a running toilet:

  • The toilet flush lever: You use this lever outside of the toilet tank to flush the water. It connects to a rubber flapper on the inside.
  • The flapper chain: This connector links the flush lever and rubber flapper.
  • The rubber flapper: This part opens and seals the drain connection between the tank and the bowl and keeps the toilet from flushing.
  • The fill valve: This valve holds the rubber flapper in place so the flapper chain can open and close it. It also houses the water pump.
  • The water pump: This pump connects to the water supply, which fills the tank after each flush.
  • The float: This device follows the water elevation in the tank to turn the water pump on or off. It connects to a fill valve which helps turn on the water pump.
  • The flush valve: This part prevents too much water from filling the tank, triggering the overflow tube to remove the excess water.

#1 Flapper Leaks

As noted before, the rubber flapper keeps water from flowing into the toilet bowl unnecessarily. However, if the flapper does not fit the drain, then water can slowly leak out. As that leak continues, the water level in the tank lowers until it activates the float, wasting your water.

Check if this might be your problem by looking in the toilet bowl. If you see streams of water running into the center, you likely have a flapper leak.

Turn off the water supply and empty as much of the tank as possible. Then, you can measure the opening from the tank to the bowl and purchase a flapper that fits that size. Take off the old flapper and put on the new one, then check for leaks once again after the tank fills.

#2 Float Position Problems

The float helps the mechanisms inside the toilet tank tell when your latrine has enough water for the next use. If the float adjustor sits too low, there will not be enough water for a strong toilet flush. If the device sits too high, however, water will constantly flow into the tank.

The overflow tube then prevents the tank from filling up too much, which creates the sound of running water. Your system also wastes lots of water this way, increasing your utility bills.

To check if this is your issue, turn off the water supply and empty the tank. Then, look for a height mark that should show how high the water should be. You can use a measuring tape to create one about an inch below the flush valve top if you don’t see a mark.

When you refill the tank, watch where the float tops. If you notice it triggers the fill valve too quickly or late, adjust the float to the correct level. In newer toilets, you usually turn a screw or slide a clip into a new place on a rod. 

#3 Broken or Cracked Flush Valve

You may ask yourself, “Why won’t my toilet stop running?” when you don’t see water leaking into the toilet bowl. If the flush valve breaks or cracks, water can leak into the valve and trigger the overflow tube. This process can prevent the float from reaching the fill line, like with a flapper leak. 

While you can try patching the flush valve, you may be better off replacing it instead. You can often find replacement valves at home improvement stores, as with most other plumbing supplies. Then, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the supply and flush out as much water as possible.
  • Use a sponge to soak up any remaining liquid.
  • Disconnect all valves and rods inside and outside the tank.
  • Unscrew the bolts holding the broken flush valve in place.
  • Remove the gasket and hex nut to remove the flush valve.
  • Measure about an inch below the new valve and mark it.
  • Insert the new valve in place of the old one.
  • Work backward to put the tank back together.

This kind of repair often requires lots of strength, especially if you have to remove the tank from the toilet completely. If you don’t screw or bolt the pieces back in place hard enough, you could cause leaks in your bathroom. A bathroom leak could lead to floor or wall damage, so be sure you follow detailed instructions when attempting DIY repairs.

Call the Plumbing Experts at Complete Comfort

We know everyone doesn’t have the best tools or strength to repair their plumbing fixtures. You may also be unsure if the causes we’ve listed apply to your toilet leak. In these cases, you can always ask our experts at Complete Comfort Heating, Air, & Plumbing to lend a hand.

Our experts provide top-quality plumbing assistance when you start asking, “Why won’t my toilet stop running?” and other questions. We offer 24/7 services without after-hours or hidden fees in Greenwood, IN, and surrounding areas. Call (317) 563-8122 today to experience why we’ve received over 450 five-star reviews for yourself.

Author Bio:

Brittany Katterjohn

Brittany is a marketer, entrepreneur, and writer with previous business development experience in the home maintenance industry. She currently manages the marketing for Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing and has a passion for helping people by simplifying seemingly complicated topics related to home maintenance and repair.

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