Answered: Why Won't My Toilet Quit Running and Five Other Plumbing Issues

Apr 8, 2022




Is your toilet running? Weird gurgling noise arising from your toilet bowl? From water leakages to odd noises, toilets can do all sorts of frustrating things.

The good thing is, with a little troubleshooting, there are numerous toilet problems you can correct by yourself. Here, the specialists at Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning will go over some of the most frequent toilet problems, what they mean and whether it’s a situation you can fix yourself—or, if it is better to call in an expert.

1. Why Is My Toilet Running?

If your toilet is constantly running, it is something you should correct because it's in all likelihood also costing you money on your water bill.

A typical culprit that causes a running toilet is something amiss with the overflow tube. Positioned in the tank in the back of your toilet, an overflow tube removes extra water from the tank into your toilet bowl so the water level in your tank does not get too high and overflow the top of the tank. Sometimes, the trouble is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube has become detached. If that’s the case, you most likely can just reach into the tank and reattach them. It also might be your toilet is running simply because the overflow tube is isn't tall enough for the water level and needs to be replaced by one that is the correct height.

Another reason for a toilet to run could be the flapper--which functions as a plug in the bottom of your tank—has malfunctioned and no longer forms the tight seal necessary to hold water in the tank. This enables water to seep through or around the damaged flapper and flow out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

At times, a running toilet is caused by something wrong with your toilet float, which is a floating device that maintains the water level in your tank. It does this by shutting off your fill valve when the water level raises the float to the appropriate height. If your float is set too high, this will allow the water level to rise too high, and the extra water will spill into your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Does My Toilet Keep Gurgling?

A gurgling toilet is commonly caused by a partial obstruction in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or a blockage in your sewage vent. If the problem is a clog in your toilet, you can try to fix this by using a plunger or drain snake to loosen the clog. If this does not have any effect, you can check where your sewage vent exits your home to make sure it is not blocked by debris that would restrict air flow.

If you've done these two trouble shooting tasks and the toilet is still gurgling or bubbling, you should phone a professional such an expert from Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning to evaluate the problem. As the go-to plumber in Warrenton, Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning will investigate whether the noise is caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines carrying toilet water out of your home or the mainline that removes waste water away from your home to the municipal water system.

4. Why Is It Hard to Flush My Toilet?

If it's difficult to flush your toilet, there’s a good chance the problem can be found in the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain inside the toilet tank that is affixed to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is attached to the flapper, which acts as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

The quickest way to get to the bottom of why your toilet is difficult to flush is to take off the lid, peer inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process should work whenever you flush a toilet: you push down the handle, which pulls up the chain, then the chain pulls the flapper up and that permits the water to whoosh out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a toilet won’t flush because the chain is stuck on something within the tank, which stops the chain from pulling up the flapper to let out the water. Or, the chain is too long or gets disconnected from either the handle or the flapper. If this happens, unhook the caught chain or reach in and shorten it to the appropriate length.

Occasionally flappers can get stuck as they age or become worn out. It's also possible there could be something awry with the handle.

5. What Is Causing My Toilet To Leak?

A leaking toilet can be a costly scenario, potentially causing water damage in and around your bathroom. Often, a leaky toilet is the result of a cracked supply line or a crack in the toilet tank. If your toilet tank is overflowing, it could be a malfunction in the toilet float.

Cracked gaskets around the connections on the underside of the tank also can allow water to leak out of the toilet, as can a damaged toilet flange or wax ring at the base of the toilet where it sits on the floor. Most of these issues are best fixed by a certified plumber. 

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet that isn't filling with water in many cases suggests a problem with the fill valve, which is the valve that lets water into your toilet tank. If the tube has failed or is plugged by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it potentially could not be allowing water into the tank.

Another typical cause for your toilet not filling with water is something faulty with the float, which is a device that signals the fill valve to stop letting water into the tank when the water has gotten to the correct level. The fill valve does this when the water level lifts the float to a preset height. It could be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water can attain the appropriate level. Or, fixing a toilet not filling with water could require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.