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Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

Even if you aren’t a plumber, toilets are still a pretty simple mechanism. When you flush a toilet, the water from the tank fills the bowl and flushes all water down your plumbing. After this, the water tank begins to refill until it reaches a designated level. The level is determined by a float that rises along with the water. Once the float reaches its designated height, it will shut off the running water.

So, if your toilet is running, there is no need to immediately call someone to look at your plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA. There are a lot of different ways that you can troubleshoot a running toilet since the mechanism is simple and easily accessible for homeowners. Let’s find how you can troubleshoot your running toilet and stop wasting excess water.

Step 1: Examine the Toilet Overflow Tube

Don’t call someone to check on your plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA before checking your overflow tube

new toilet tank
The overflow tube is pictured above connecting the fill valve and overflow tube.

If your toilet is running, the first step you should take is to check on the toilet overflow tube. The overflow tube is a lesser known part of your toilet plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA, but is often the cause of a running toilet. To locate your toilet overflow tube, remove the cover from the tank and look for a small flexible tube that runs between the fill valve and the overflow tube. This is the mechanism that refills the toilet bowl once the flush is complete. If the tube has become disconnected, then the toilet bowl won’t be able to fill completely. It is also possible that your flushes won’t produce as much suction as you are used to. 

If the tube is detached, you can reattach it yourself by pressing the tube firmly into the valve. Once you’ve replaced the valve, try flushing the toilet again to make sure the tube stays attached.

Step 2: Check Your Float Height

Even if you've never taken a closer look at your plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA, you can still adjust float height issues

manually fixing toilet adjusting float height
You can adjust your float height manually as pictured above.

When you flush the toilet, the tank refills according to the set float height. This height is adjustable and determines how much water is used in each flush. If your toilet is running, it's best to examine the float before reaching for help with your plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA. Toilets often run because the float height is either set too high or too low. 

To find the right float height to get your toilet to stop running, first identify the fill level on the inside of the water tank. If you are unable to find the fill level, you can estimate about one inch below the overflow tube and make a mark yourself. Once you’ve identified the correct fill level, try flushing the toilet to see if the float reaches the marked height.

If the float height is off, you need to adjust the rod that is connected to the float. Different types of toilets use different mechanisms to make this adjustment, so it is possible to encounter either a screw or a slide clip. If you have a very old toilet, you may have to bend the connecting rod to make an adjustment. 

Step 3: Make an Adjustment to the Flush Handle or Flapper Chain

If you’re about to call for help with your plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA, be sure to check your flush handle before making the call

handle flushing toilet
If your toilet is running, the flush handle could be the culprit.

Your flush handle and flapper chain are the devices within your toilet plumbing that control the flush. The chain opens up a flap at the bottom of the tank that allows the water to flush into the toilet bowl. If there is an issue with the angle of the flush handle or the chain isn’t set at the correct length, then the flap at the bottom will continually leak water into the bowl, leading to a running toilet. 

In order to troubleshoot this without calling from help with plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA, you need to test your flush handle and chain to make sure they work together to close the flap at the bottom of the tank. These adjustments are easy to make as most chains are designed to be adjustable. If the issue is with your flush handle, you may need to remove and replace the handle in it’s correct place. 

Step 4: Call Your Local Plumber for Assistance

If your toilet is still running after troubleshooting, it’s time to call for professional plumbing help in Pittsburgh, PA

man repairing moden toilet
A professional plumber may be able to recommend additional troubleshooting solutions for your running toilet.

Normally after trying at-home fixes for a running toilet, the issue will subside. If you’re still experiencing issues with your toilet, it may be time to call in a professional plumber for help. When a running toilet goes unfixed, you're risking excessive water usage and therefore a high water bill. A professional plumber may be able to walk you through some additional steps to solve the problem before they come to your house to fix your toilet. 

At Restano Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we can address any plumbing related issues in your home plumbing. We only complete repair work using experienced, licensed technicians who use professional equipment that meets our standards. So, give us a call today and let us make sure your plumbing system is running properly.