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Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

Not only does a running toilet sound obnoxious, but it can also waste hundreds of gallons of water. If you notice your toilet running, get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid any unpleasant surprises on your next water bill. How can you tell what’s causing your toilet to run? We’ve covered some of the most common causes of a running toilet, how to fix them, and when to call in the pros.

Common causes of a running toilet

Wear and tear on the toilet flapper
The toilet flapper is the rubber seal that stops tank water from flowing into the bowl. When you flush the toilet, a chain attached to the flapper lifts the seal up, allowing clean water to flow through into the bowl.
Toilet flappers accumulate wear and tear over time. Cracked or worn-out toilet flappers are one of the most common causes of a running toilet. If you push down on the flapper and the toilet stops running, you’ve identified the problem.

Improper chain length
If the toilet flapper itself isn’t the problem, the chain attached to the flapper might be too long or too short. Check the chain to see if it’s getting trapped under the flapper or if it’s not long enough to seal the flapper.

Float misalignment
There are two types of floats: cup floats and ball floats. Most modern toilets are equipped with ball floats. Floats are also called ballcocks and float valves.
The float regulates the water level. When you flush the toilet, the float rises up to a certain point, causing the toilet to stop running.
If the float is cracked or positioned too high, water will flow into the overflow pipe, causing your toilet to run. If the float touches the side of the tank, it may be misaligned. Unless the float ball is cracked, you can usually fix this problem by adjusting the float arm.

Malfunctioning fill valve
As its name suggests, the fill valve is the mechanism that refills the toilet bowl after a flush. If you’ve checked the flapper and float, the fill valve could be the cause of your running toilet.
If the water is rising too high and running into the overflow tube, you may need to clean or replace the fill valve.

How to figure out what’s causing your toilet to run constantly
The easiest way to tell what’s causing your toilet to run is to look inside the tank. If you’re checking the flapper or float, you won’t need to turn off the water supply. If you’re replacing the flapper or fill valve, you’ll need to turn off the water supply first.
Once you’ve identified the cause, you’ll usually find the supplies you need at your local hardware store. But before you start drawing up a shopping list, make sure you’ve isolated the problem. You wouldn’t want to replace the toilet flapper only to find that your toilet is still running.

Got a running toilet that needs fixing? Call the Denver plumbing pros

Fixing a running toilet could be as simple as replacing a worn-out flapper and as complex as replacing the whole fill valve assembly. If you’re confused just looking inside the tank, give us a call. We’ll have your toilet up and (not) running promptly!
Golden West technicians are licensed, bonded, and insured for your peace of mind. No Denver plumbing job is too small. Call us or start a chat with us today to schedule your appointment.

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