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The Running Toilet: Here’s What You Need to Know

toilet-plumbing-concerned-womanAfter a bathroom toilet is flushed, it should make a sound of running water for about a minute and then go quiet. This is the toilet refilling both the bowl and the tank with water brought in through the feed line from the wall. However, if the sound of running water continues, it’s a problem known as a running toilet. People sometimes ignore this sound, or don’t actually pay attention to it in the first place, and let it continue on without taking any steps to correct it.

Yes, This Is a Problem

The reason people might ignore the sound is because nothing else about the toilet seems wrong. It’s not leaking, it’s not overflowing—so what’s the problem? Well, the problem is massive water waste. For some reason, water is escaping from the toilet and forcing it to continue to refill the tank. This adds up quickly to a costly increase in water usage. Considering the toilet already account for around 40% of water use indoors, a running toilet will create an immense spike in your monthly water bills.

The problem may be bigger than water waste—depending on the reason for the water loss, there may be a serious water leaks.

Why a Toilet May Be Running

The issue may be a simple one. The first thing to do is the jiggle the flush handle. Sometimes the flapper in the tank hasn’t closed all the way, or the chain connected from the handle the flapper is caught. Jiggle the handle and flush the toilet again to see if the running sound stops after the normal time.

If this doesn’t work, lift off the lid of the tank (be careful, since replacing a broken porcelain tank lid is often expensive) and check to see if the flapper has closed all the way or if the chain is tangled or hooked on something. For an older toilet, a decayed flapper might be allowing the water to escape around it. You’ll need to have it replaced, and a professional can help you with this. A deflated float ball in an older toilet could also be responsible for the trouble.

A more serious possibility is there are leaks somewhere allowing water to escape. Worn-down gaskets between the tank and bowl are one source. There also may be leaks around the base of the toilet because of a decayed wax ring. Leaks of this kind can place building material in jeopardy and allow the development of mold or mildew growth. Make sure you call for a professional plumber to look into the issue if there is no simple solution—you don’t want to take chances on leaking water in the bathroom.

Fixing a running toilet often requires a call for plumbing in Pomona, CA from professionals. If you can’t find a simple fix to the issue, our plumbers are ready to help. We’re a trusted leader in residential and commercial plumbing for Southern California.

Reach us 24/7 when you need plumbing repairs. At Sweetwater Plumbing, we’re always open for business.

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