Toilet Constantly Fills With Water
Your toilet flushes just fine, but it doesn’t know when to quit. Perhaps it stops running and then starts up again suddenly or constantly leaks into the bowl. Either way, it’s wasting a lot of water and making that noise that keeps you up at night. Fortunately, it’s usually not difficult or expensive to repair your toilet, if you know a bit about how they work. Be systematic about tracking down the problem. There are only so many things that can go wrong inside a toilet tank.
First check the flapper in your toilet tank.
When you push the handle, the chain lifts a flapper, letting a tankful of water fall through the opening in the bottom, into the bowl. As the water level drops, the flapper drops and closes the opening.
Catch it in the act.
If you’ve waited long enough after flushing and the toilet hasn’t quit running, lift the tank lid and look in.
Close the flapper.
If the tank is not full and it is not filling, chances are that the flapper is stuck open.
- Reach in and close it with your hand. If it sticks repeatedly, look for the cause. Make any necessary adjustments.
- Is the chain catching on something or is the flapper catching on the chain? Try threading the flapper chain through a plastic soda straw to prevent a long chain from getting stuck on things and preventing the flapper from seating properly. Or, replace the chain completely with a loop made from dental floss that is the same length as the chain.
- Is the flapper wedged open on its hinge?
- Is the flapper aligned with the opening?
- If you have a ball seal instead of a flapper, is the wire that lifts the ball straight and does it move freely?
Clean or Replace the flapper or flush valve. If the toilet stops filling and then starts again intermittently or water constantly runs into the bowl, you have a slow leak from the tank into the bowl. Manufacturers make universal flappers. Some brand toilets have to be made by their own manufacturer. Try this: shut off the water to the toilet and remove the flapper. . . take the flapper to your nearest hardware store and find one that can replace it.
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