Diagnosing a running toilet

There are certainly worse things in the world than a toilet that runs when it shouldn’t.  However, the sound can be very annoying, and the toilet is wasting water.  Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to diagnose what’s wrong with the toilet, and it can be easy to fix.

A toilet that is constantly running usually indicates part of the flushing mechanism is hung up somewhere.  The flapper may not be seating correctly, the chain could be kinked, or the arm or tank ball may be stuck.  Usually working the mechanism a few times will let it sort itself out, but any of these items can be easily replaced.

Occasionally the water line will be set too high, which results in water constantly running down the overflow tube.  In these instances the water line will need to be adjusted.

A toilet that runs intermittently usually means a leaky flush valve is allowing water to flow into the bowl.   To test whether this is the case, add some food coloring to the tank when it’s full, and don’t use it for 15 to 20 minutes.  If the water in the bowl is colored after that time, then your flush valve is leaking and probably needs to be replaced.  Another way of determining when your flapper needs to be replaced is to touch it.  If it leaves a black residue on your fingers, then it’s too old.

Replacing flush valves can be more involved because it frequently means removing the tank from the bowl.  If you need help making this or any of the above repairs, contact us. We’ll get your toilet working right without any hassle to you.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 5:42 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.