An open toilet against a wall

Why Your Toilet Won’t Stop Running

A toilet that won’t stop running can be a big concern for homeowners. Not only does running water waste money, but it can also be a concern for bigger plumbing issues.

Plumbing problems can be a concern for any homeowner or renter. If you don’t have any previous plumbing knowledge, something like a toilet that won’t stop running can seem overwhelming. While flushing is what this bathroom fixture is supposed to do, you should start taking action when it won’t stop. The average toilet used about 1.6 gallons of water per flush, so when your toilet doesn’t stop running, it wastes water and wastes your money.

How a Toilet Works

There are a few reasons why a toilet won’t stop running. To get to the bottom of the problem, it is important to understand how toilets work first. We all know that water is moved through the toilet and out the bottom when we press the flush handle. The water used to flush is stored in the tank behind the toilet until it is time to be used. Within the tank, a flapper is attached by a chain to the handle responsible for stopping the water in the tank from running into the bowl. When the handle is pressed, the flapper is lifted, allowing the water in the tank to flow through, and gravity does the rest!

After emptying the tank, it has to refill for its next use. This is where the float comes in. As the water runs out of the tank, the float mechanism drops, triggering the fill valve to bring new water in. As more water enters, the float is lifted until it reaches a specified level and turns the fill valve off. The fill valve is also responsible for refilling the bowl through a small refill tube. This tube should be above the water level and adds just enough water to the overflow tube to fill the bowl.

Why the Toilet Won’t Stop Running

Now that we know the basics of how common toilets work, we can help you pinpoint what may be causing your toilet to run continuously.

A Broken Flapper

Also known as the flush valve, this piece of the toilet can wear over time, causing it to not seal the drain properly. Without a proper seal, water will continue to leak from the tank into the bowl, meaning the tank can’t ever fill to its specified level.

The Chain Gets Tangled or Is the Wrong Length

The chain to the flapper may be small but is essential to the functions of a toilet. If the chain gets tangled or is too short, it can prevent the flapper from closing the drain all the way, letting water continuously rush from the tank to the bowl.

Problems With the Float

The float is the piece that triggers the fill valve to turn on and off. If there is a malfunction with the float, it could prevent the fill valve from entirely closing, so water will continue to run from the valve to the tank.

The Refill Tube is Underwater

The refill tube is essential for getting the water back into the bowl. This tube should always be above water to fill the overfill tube. If this tube is ever below the water level, it could be the cause of too much water entering the tank.

What Should You Do for a Toilet That Won’t Stop Running?

If you know the cause of your toilet that won’t stop running, you can get the materials and pieces from your local hardware store and attempt to solve the problem on your own. If fixing a running toilet is something that you don’t feel comfortable doing, though, you can always call a plumber for a quick fix. At Mason Pro Services, each of our plumbers is experienced in a wide range of plumbing problems and knows just how to handle any situations that may come up. Whether it’s a running toilet or broken pipe, our plumbers are ready to help! If you need help with any plumbing problem, contact us today, and we’ll be there for you!