A running toilet, whether it constantly runs or cycles through periodic flushes, can be one of the most aggravating and potentially expensive plumbing problems you can have. Hundreds of gallons of water can be wasted, costing you a lot of money if the problem isn’t fixed.
The most common cause of a running toilet is a bad flapper, the piece that prevents the water from flowing from the tank to the bowl unless you push the handle to flush. To test whether the flapper is leaking, push it down with a stick when the water is flowing. If the flowing stops, then you know that you have a leaky flapper. Fortunately any home repair store will sell you a kit with instructions on how to replace the flapper and associated parts,
Another cause of a toilet running is a leaky fill valve, the part that controls the flow of water into the tank. To test for a fill valve leak, flush the toilet, and then lift the float arm as the tank refills. If the water flow stops, try adjusting the float arm so that the water stops about half an inch below the top of the overflow pipe. If the fill valve still leaks, replace it according to the instruction sheet that comes with the new part.
You should also check the fill tube, which is attached to the fill valve, through which the water flows into the tank. The top should always be above the water line when the tank is filled; otherwise the toilet will continue to run by itself periodically.
Another, harder-to-fix cause of a running toilet, is a bad gasket that resides between the toilet tank and bowl. If the gasket is leaking, not only will the toilet continue to run, but you will have a mess on your hands on the bathroom floor. In this case, turn off the water to the toilet with the valve on the wall. While some do-it-yourselfers can fix this problem themselves, it is likely a job best done by a professional.
If and when you need a professional plumber in the Boyertown or Pottstown area, give Gehringer Mechanical a call. You can contact us at (610) 367-8271