The short answer to this would be “call a plumber.” But we don’t expect you to accept this at face value—we’ve gone into more detail below on what exactly might be causing this problem, and what can be done about it.
A running toilet is a nuisance to listen to, and can also cost you significantly in excess water you aren’t using—something that will reflect on your monthly water bills. A running toilet also means you have an inability to flush. Be sure to call for system repairs as soon as you notice this problem. In the meantime, read on for a further explanation.
Your Refill Tube Is Malfunctioning
This is one possible cause of a running toilet. The refill tube of the toilet is the component that replenishes water in the tank every time you flush. The top of this tube should always remain above water level. If it doesn’t, then you may hear intermittent running.
Problems with the Float Ball
The float ball is a small ball that sinks down each time the tank empties with a flush. This opens up an inlet valve on the fill tube. While the tank is filling, the float ball rises, which closes the valve and stops the filling process. If the float ball is misaligned or malfunctioning in some way, it may not allow the valve to close completely, and the water will continue to run.
The Flush Valve Chain is the Wrong Length
This chain is the component that pulls open the flush valve, allowing fresh water into the tank as used water is flushed out. If this chain is too long or too short, then it can interfere with the ability of the flush valve to properly close.
This is another name for the flush valve, and the component needs to seal completely after each flush in order to keep water from leaking. Flappers can age to the point that they begin malfunctioning, or they can develop mineral deposits and slowly corrode and break down as a result.
Worn Out Gasket
Your toilet’s gasket is the seal between the tank and the bowl. If it’s worn out, then it will allow water to run into your bowl from the tank.
Ultimately, these all sound like minor problems. Relatively speaking, they are minor problems. But if you let the problem go on too long without getting it properly diagnosed and repaired by a professional, you could end up with a leaking or completely unusable toilet. You may find yourself facing high water bills as a result, and potentially even unhygienic situations with leaks occurring.
Additionally, if your toilet is older and you haven’t yet taken advantage of a low flow model, now is the time to look into this option! Low flush toilets save you gallons of water per year—which is great for the environment and for your wallet.