It’s happened to us all at some point… the inevitable sound of a toilet that won’t stop running. For some of us, we know right away where to go to inspect the situation. For others, this is the start of a goose chase that can lead to broken components, or worse, flooding.

How it works

Toilets are an easy thing to understand how they work. The tank on the back is always filled with water from your plumbing system. When you flush the toilet, the bowl empties down the drain and is replaced with the water that was in the tank in the back. The tank is then refilled by the valve connected to your plumbing to prepare for the next flush. There is usually a float of some type in the tank. When the tank fills and the float reaches a certain height, it alerts a valve to turn off the water and stop filling the tank.

Most Likely Cause for A Running Toilet

Now that you know how the system works, you might be wondering what a leak has to do with the ever-running toilet. The water from the tank empties into the bowl from a hole that connects to the tank. The hole is blocked by a flap, usually made of rubber or plastic. When that flap does not cover the hole correctly, then water will continue to leak into the bowl. As a result, the float will never rise to the level it needs to and the valve to refill the tank will remain open. This is why you will continue to hear the toilet “run”.

Other Causes and Guidance

While it may seem simple to fix this issue, there are many cases when you will need the help of a professional. The float, valve, or flap may be broken and will need to be inspected by a professional plumber. If you are not comfortable even lifting the lid off the tank, then call a professional right away.

While understanding the toilet is not too complicated, fixing one can be. If you are not sure how to, always contact a professional. Poor fixes can cause flooding to your home or broken components, which will lead to more costly repairs.