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Is a Constantly Running Toilet a Serious Plumbing Problem?

logoThis is one of the more common residential plumbing issues homeowners run into: the toilet flushes but then continues to run long after the water from the tank should have filled the bowl. Sometimes jiggling the flush handle will fix the problem. Other times it won’t. What causes this, and is it a serious problem that requires calling an emergency plumber in Las Vegas, NV?

There are a few different answers to this, and we’ll go over the different possibilities below. However, when in doubt, calling a professional plumber is always the best resource: you’ll get the answers you need and whatever service is necessary to fix the problem correctly.

The Simple Cases

Perhaps the best single answer to the question in the title is: “A running toilet is a problem and needs to be corrected, but it usually isn’t a drastic emergency.” And in some cases it’s a simple problem that doesn’t take much to correct and won’t require relying on a professional plumber. 

If you jiggle the handle of the toilet and that fixes the trouble, then it’s likely all that was wrong was a misaligned flapper at the bottom of the tank. If the flapper keeps allowing water through the bowl, the toilet will continually refill the tank because it won’t register the water level has risen high enough. If the problem reoccurs and can be temporarily solved, then the flapper may be deteriorating and needs to be replaced. You can call a plumber for this, but you can also purchase flappers at a store to replace them. 

The More Complex Cases

Jiggling the handle doesn’t correct the problem. You don’t have an emergency—unless for some reason the toilet starts to overflow, which indicates other problems are occurring—but you do have a toilet that is wasting water. The toilet is the fixture in your home that uses the most water indoors, so if it keeps running water from the feedline it will contribute to an unpleasant rise in monthly water bills.

What else could be causing the problem? One possibility is that the float (older toilets) or fill valve (newer toilets) isn’t shutting off the water flow. You can open up the lid and jiggle around the valve or float to get it to shut off the water, but this isn’t likely to be a long-term fix. You’ll want a plumber to replace the fill valve. Another possibility is that the washers between the tank and the bowl are worn down, allowing water from the tank to leak down into the bowl continually. Finally, the tank itself may be leaking: if you see water pooling around the base of the toilet, this is likely the reason. Shut off the feed valve to the toilet and call for a plumber.

If the tank is cracked, the toilet may simply be too old to keep around. We recommend replacing a toilet that’s more than 20 years old, not just to stop problems like these leaks but also to have a more water-conserving model put in. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have when it comes to your toilet and other bathroom plumbing.

Reach out to The Sunny Plumber Las Vegas. Bright and Shiny and Won’t Show Our Hiney!

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