Why Is My Toilet Running Continuously?
Is the Sound of Your Toilet Running Keeping You Up at Night? Here's What We Recommend.
Most homeowners experience a running toilet problem at some point in their lives. It's not uncommon for toilets to turn themselves on and refill at random, even if they haven't been flushed for hours at a time. Even though it may be annoying because of the extra noise in your home, it can actually have a significant effect by wasting water, which means a much higher water bill than you should be paying, and here in California, every gallon counts.
Your Flapper Must Be Checked
Almost all running toilets are caused by a worn-out flapper. The flapper on your toilet is a small piece of rubber that blocks the drain between the tank and the bowl. This flapper is lifted by the handle when you flush, flushing the contents out and down the drain in a sanitary and safe manner. Rubber is used for flaps because rubber can flex and create a tight seal while still remaining very inexpensive.
In spite of this, rubber degrades relatively quickly and is susceptible to cracking when exposed to water. It can't form a tight seal when it cracks, and water will start slowly leaking through it down into the bowl below. The float valve will drop below the point where your tank starts to refill when enough water drips out of it. You can expect this to happen anywhere from every few hours to every few minutes, depending on the condition of your flapper. If your flapper has a large leak, you can hear it dripping into the tank below before the tank refills.
Are Professionals Necessary?
In the case of your flapper, which is likely the case, I would say no. The process of replacing the flapper in your tank takes about five minutes, costs about five dollars, and requires no special tools or knowledge.
Using a quick flush, shut off the water to your toilet and dislodge your flapper from the hinge it sits on. To remove the flapper, simply disconnect it from the handle, and you can pull it out.
Hardware stores sell new flappers. Put the flapper back in the tank, reattach it at the hinge, and then attach the chain to the handle. When the flapper is closed, make sure there is just a bit of tension between the handle and the chain. You should then turn on your toilet's water, let the tank refill, and make sure there are no leaks.
It's done, you're done.
Toilet flappers need to be replaced every few years or so, but when you consider how inexpensive they are, you shouldn't worry about it.
What If It Isn't the Flapper?
It could be that your flapper is still in good condition but your toilet is still running because of a leak in the tank. Water may be dripping from the base of your toilet or along the wall near it, in which case you need to replace your toilet outright. An inspection by a plumber is the best way to find out for sure.
If you've replaced your flapped and are still hearing your toilet run continuously, give us a call at 310-620-1730 and have our Los Angeles plumbers take a look!
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