Have you ever experienced the frustration of a perpetually running toilet? The sound of running water when no one is using it can be not only annoying but also a potential sign of underlying issues. In this blog, we’ll dive into the world of plumbing mysteries to uncover the common causes behind a persistently running toilet.

From simple fixes to more complex problems, let’s ask a plumber and unravel the reasons behind the vexing question: ‘Why is my toilet constantly running?

What could be causing my toilet to run constantly?

There are three operating parts to a toilet and any of the three could cause a toilet to be running every few minutes or constantly.

1. The Flapper

The part that most commonly fails is called the flapper found inside of the toilet tank. It is a rubber seal at the base of the tank of the toilet. Anything that is made of rubber and is submerged under water for three to five years is eventually going to wear out. St Paul Pipeworks generally starts by replacing the toilet flapper.

If you are trying to replace the flapper yourself, bring in the worn out one to the store with you because the are about thirty different varieties and you will want to get one that is as close as possible to the original.

2. The Trip Lever

The second part is the handle that you press down to flush the toilet, called the trip lever. It can get hung up. There is usually a chain or some device attached to the trip lever inside the tank that lifts the flapper.

It can get misaligned and hold the flapper up causing the toilet to run continuously. Trip levers occasionally wear out or they are the wrong trip lever for that particular toilet.

3. The Fill Valve/Ballcock

The third part is called the fill valve, or the ballcock. The fill valve allows water to come in and refill the tank. It has a device in it that tells when the water should fill and when the water has reached the proper level.

If the fill valve gets stuck in the on position, the toilet will continue to run. When the mechanism inside of the fill valve gets worn out, we usually don’t repair them, we just replace them.

Running Toilet

Don’t Ignore Your Running Toilet

A running toilet might seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can lead to significant water wastage and increased utility bills if left unchecked. From faulty flappers to issues with the fill valve or even sediment build-up, identifying and addressing the root cause of a continuously running toilet is crucial. Not only does it save water, but it also prevents potential damage to the toilet and surrounding areas.

Remember, regular maintenance and prompt repairs can help prevent unnecessary water consumption, subsequently saving both the environment and your wallet from the impact of wasteful usage. So, if you notice your toilet persistently running, don’t delay – consult a plumber, diagnose the issue, and take proactive steps to conserve water and avoid the costly consequences of prolonged water wastage

If you are having a problem with a running toilet or are just looking for a quality plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, give St Paul Pipeworks a call today.

Yours Truly,
Matthew Dettwiler
Social Media Manager

FAQs about Running Toilets and Plumbing Solutions

Q: What could be causing my toilet to run constantly?

A: There are three main parts of a toilet that can lead to constant running:

  • The Flapper: This rubber seal at the base of the tank commonly wears out and needs replacement after a few years submerged in water.
  • The Trip Lever: Misalignment or wear can cause the lever to hold the flapper up, resulting in continuous running.
  • The Fill Valve/Ballcock: When stuck in the on position or when its internal mechanism wears out, the fill valve causes the toilet to run persistently.

Q: How do I replace the toilet flapper?

A: To replace the flapper, start by identifying the type needed. Take the worn-out flapper to the store to match it with a similar one among the various varieties available. Follow the instructions provided with the replacement part or seek professional assistance if unsure.

Q: Can a misaligned trip lever be fixed?

A: A misaligned or worn-out trip lever can cause the flapper to stay up, leading to constant running. Adjusting the chain or fixing the alignment issue can solve this problem. However, if the trip lever is damaged or incompatible, replacement might be necessary.

Q: What causes a fill valve to malfunction?

A: The fill valve regulates water intake into the tank and can malfunction due to wear or getting stuck in the on position. When the internal mechanism wears out, it’s often best to replace the fill valve rather than attempt a repair.

Q: Why is it crucial to address a running toilet promptly?

A: A running toilet may seem like a minor issue, but it can result in significant water wastage and higher utility bills if ignored. Identifying and resolving the underlying cause, whether a faulty flapper, trip lever, or fill valve, prevents unnecessary water consumption and potential damage to the toilet and surrounding areas.

If you’re experiencing issues with a running toilet or require a reliable plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, don’t hesitate to contact St Paul Pipeworks for professional assistance.

Why is My Toilet Constantly Running? Ask a Plumber…