Have you noticed your toilet running and filling with water when no one has been in the bathroom for a while? You don’t have a phantom toilet; you have a malfunctioning toilet. You can check to see if one of these issues is causing your toilet to randomly run and fill.
Reason #1: A Damaged Flapper
When you remove the lid off the toilet tank, you will see an arm that runs horizontally from the outer toilet handle. At the end of the arm is a chain, which connects to the flapper.
Most flappers are either rubber or stiff plastic. When you flush your toilet, the flapper raises up and allows water to enter your toilet bowl. Then, when the bowl is full of water, the flapper closes again, allowing the tank to refill with water.
The flapper is essential a giant seal. It is not unusual for the flapper to eventually shrink, warp, or crack. When that happens, water can seep from the tank into the toilet. When this happens, your tank water level lowers and the fill valve is triggered, causing your toilet to suddenly fill with water.
This is a fairly common problem and also can be easy to fix. You just need to replace the flapper with a new one.
Reason #2: A Damaged Fill Valve
The fill valve is located inside your toilet tank, usually on the side nearest the handle. The fill valve is connected to the water supply for your toilet. It is responsible for releasing water into the tank when you flush your toilet, and for stopping the water supply when the tank is full again.
The easiest way to tell if your fill valve works correctly is by checking the submerged plastic ball that is connected to the fill valve. If the plastic ball is not floating on top of the water, the fill valve is probably damaged. When the fill valve is damaged, water may constantly run and fill your tank too full of water.
To replace the fill valve, turn off the water supply for your toilet and drain all the water from the toilet’s tank. After that happens, the damaged fill valve can be swapped out with a new one.
When you swap out the fill valve, make sure there is enough space between the valve and the overflow tube. Make sure everything is tightened correctly and in the right place.
Reason #3: A Cracked Toilet
Toilets are made from porcelain, which is a strong material, but not an indestructible one. Porcelain can get cracked and damaged with the right amount of force.
If you’ve noticed your toilet constantly running and also water or moisture on/around the tank or seat, or you have noticed water on the floor, your toilet probably has a crack in it. Cracks can occur throughout the toilet, in both the bowl and the tank. You may only notice water outside the tank when you actually flush the toilet; this depends on where the crack has occurred.
If your toilet has a crack in it, it is best to replace the entire unit. A cracked toilet, left alone for long enough, can cause water damage to your bathroom. When you replace your toilet, upgrade to a high-efficiency or dual-flush toilet, both of which will help reduce your water usage.
If your toilet is running all the time, you literally waste water down the drain. Give us a call at Two Men and a Snake, and we can send one of our expert plumbers to figure out the cause of your phantom running toilet and fix the issue.