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Why Your Toilet Randomly Runs

A toilet in a clean bathroom

In the world of modern plumbing, one of the most important household fixtures is a toilet. However, just like any other plumbing fixture, prolonged use can lead to wear and tear issues. One of the most common toilet-related issues is when it runs.

While a running toilet can be rather annoying, the resulting water bill can be downright shocking.

Here’s why your toilet may run, as well as what you can do about it.

How Does a Toilet Work?

Although you use your toilet multiple times a day, you likely do not give it much thought. It’s simply a part of your everyday routine. The only time you likely think about how a toilet works is when something has gone wrong, and at that point, the way a toilet functions can seem rather daunting to those who lack experience.

When broken down into its two main parts, you have the tank and the bowl. Of course, the bowl holds the water and connects to the drain that disposes of water, while the tank holds reserve water for refilling the bowl after you flush. Within the tank, there are a number of other critical parts, including the flapper. When this part stop sealing properly, this is one of the main reasons that a toilet constantly runs. However, a running toilet may also result from issues with the fill valve, flapper chain, toilet handle, or even the water level.

Why Does My Toilet Randomly Run?

Before you repair a toilet, you must first diagnose the issue. The sound of running water typically indicates some sort of leak. As mentioned, the majority of leaks are caused by a worn-out flapper or a faulty toilet fill valve. While these are the most common issues, there are a number of possible variables to consider, and in some cases, a combination of issues is to blame.

Although you can inspect your running toilet, if you lack experience, we strongly advise that you contact a professional.

How to Fix a Toilet That Runs Randomly

Assessing and fixing a toilet are two different things. To fix a toilet, you must first accurately diagnose the problem. Only then will you be able to address the underlying cause. For example, if you determine that the water level is rising so high that it is draining into the overflow pipe, then you may need to clean your fill valve. In other cases, a running toilet may have nothing to do with what’s going on inside the toilet, but with the handle sticking.

Again, if you are unsure as to what the issue is, or you have tried to fix your toilet without success, call an expert plumber at (385) 446-1019 . In many cases, this will save you money in the long-run, as inexperience can result in unintentional, costly damage.

Will a Running Toilet Increase My Water Bill?

Unfortunately, many don’t realize the consequences of a running toilet until they receive their water bill. In fact, a running toilet is the most common cause for a high water bill, and in many instances, the total can be rather shocking. Although toilets are now considered to be “low flush” (due to the Energy Policy Act of 1992), they still use a lot of water. Nearly 24 percent of water used in an average home is to flush toilets.

How much your water bill increases will depend on whether a running toilet or a leaking flapper is to blame. If it’s a leaking flapper, you may waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. This can double your typical water bill. However, a running toilet can water up to 4.5 gallons per minute, which can be as costly as $60 per day. That is why it’s imperative that you fix your running toilet as soon as you become aware of the issue.

Can a Running Toilet Cause a Leak?

Aside from a shockingly high water bill, a running toilet may also be associated with a leak. While a running toilet will not cause a leak, if the fill valve cracks, a leak may result. This will cause your tank to fill more slowly. Since the tank will be constantly filling, this can cause your toilet to run. To check if you have a leak, put 10 drops of food coloring in your tank (you can also source dye tablets). Do not flush your toilet and then wait 20 minutes. Once you check your toilet bowl, if you see colored water, you have a leak.

Although leaks are often contained within a toilet, a slight crack in your tank or bowl can damage the surrounding floor. Unfortunately, these leaks can be very subtle, causing damage before you’re aware there’s an issue.

Related: 6 Silent Signs Your House Has Plumbing Problems

Why Does My Toilet Run By Itself So Long After Flushing?

There are numerous reasons why your toilet continues to run long after flushing. For example, the flapper may not be sealing as it should, the clapper chain is either too short or too long, there is a fill valve leak, or several other potential causes.

How Black Diamond Experts Can Help

If you have recently noticed a noise coming from your toilet and are concerned that your toilet is running, it’s critical that you do not ignore it. After a quick examination, if you’re not comfortable fixing the issue yourself, Black Diamond Experts offers toilet installation and repair services. We are a team of award-winning electricians and plumbers, as well as heating and air conditioning technicians. In addition to toilets, our plumbers repair, install, and replace everything from water heaters and showers to garbage disposals and faucets. We even clean, unclog, and repair drains and main sewer lines. We guarantee all our work and offer upfront pricing.

Servicing the Wasatch Front, including Salt Lake City, Utah County, Odgen and the surrounding areas, and St. George, we are open 24/7. No job is too small. Don’t let a running toilet drive up your water bill — call us today at (385) 446-1019 !

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