There are sounds you expect to hear from appliances and fixtures in your house, and you know how long these sounds should continue. For example, after a toilet is flushed, you should hear the sound of running water for about a minute afterwards. This is water coming from the feed line to fill up the tank to a set level, ready to rush down into the bowl for the next flush.
But if the sound of running water continues for more than a minute after the flush, there’s something wrong. Often, all it takes to correct the problem is to jiggle the handle or flush the toilet a second time. If the issue persists, there’s something wrong in the tank or elsewhere in this vital fixture that will need to be repaired. For your bathroom plumbing in Minneapolis/St. Paul and the surrounding areas, we’re the plumbers to contact for the job. We have 24-hour emergency service available—and trouble with a toilet often counts as an emergency!
Why Does a Toilet Start Running Like This? There are a couple of possible causes for incessant or overlong running of water from the feed line into the tank. Here are some of the most common:
Broken or decayed flapper The flapper is the seal over the bottom of the tank that stops water from moving down into the bowl after flushing. If this seal is incomplete because of deposits around the flapper or because the rubber of the flapper is decaying, water from the tank will continue to leak down into the bowl and the float won’t detect the water in the tank has risen to its maximum, causing the refill tube to continue to send water. The flapper will need to be replaced.
Broken float As water in the tank rises, it raises up the float as well until shutting off the flow of water to the tank. A broken valve means the water will continue to rise and flow down into the overflow tube. The float will usually need to be replaced to fix this problem.
Leaky gaskets The gaskets between the tank and the bowl form a seal. If these gaskets wear down, water will continue to flow from the tank into the bowl, causing continuous running. (We recommend looking into possibly replacing the toilet if it’s old enough for this problem to crop up.)
Broken refill tube This is the tube that sends water into the tank in the first place from the feed line. It shouldn’t ever dip below the water line, but if it does it can lead to a continually running toilet.
Discount Rooter to the rescue! We know it’s tempting to lift up the top of the tank and tinker with the parts inside when a toilet malfunctions. But in most cases, you should leave the work to plumbing professionals. We can help with the repairs for the toilet, or even arrange to have a new toilet installed. (We recommend looking into a low-flow model to help you cut down on your water costs.)