We’ve all been there before. You walk past the bathroom and hear the sound of water running into the bowl. Did someone just flush it? Or is it something more sinister?
A leaking toilet can waste a lot of water, driving up your water bill. It may also be the precursor to internal failure that leaves the toilet unable to flush. Here are a few quick fixes to stop it from running and tips to help you know when it’s time to call in the pros.
One of the most common (and least problematic) reasons for a toilet to keep running is if the flapper gets stuck in the open position. The flapper is the rubber seal at the bottom of the tank. It’s connected by a chain to an arm that lifts it when someone flushes the toilet.
Sometimes, the flapper can get stuck open, allowing water to flow from the tank into the bowl continually. To fix this, take the lid off the tank, close the flapper, and let the tank refill. If the flapper is cracked or otherwise damaged, it will also cause a leak, but the flapper will need to be replaced.
The issue might not be the flapper itself. It could be the chain that connects the flapper to the arm. In some cases, a too-long chain can get stuck between the flapper and the bottom of the tank, allowing a small amount of water to flow through.
The good news is that these chains are easy to adjust. Unclip the chain from the arm and measure out just enough so that the flapper will raise when the handle is pushed, then re-clip the chain onto the arm. You may need to try this a couple of times to get just the right length.
The fill valve is what allows water to flow into the tank in the first place. It’s usually a cylindrical tube that runs from the top of the tank to the bottom. Water flows in through the top, and many of them have a built-in float attached.
As the water level rises, the float moves up, eventually shutting off the valve when it reaches the full level. If the valve or float is malfunctioning, the toilet may continue running. You’ll need to replace the valve/float assembly to fix this problem.
When should you call in the pros? If you notice that the tank itself is leaking, it’s time to call Elk Grove Village Sewer & Plumbing. You should also call for professional help if you can’t spot the problem or if you don’t have the tools or expertise for some of the more in-depth repairs, like replacing the fill valve/float assembly.
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