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Don’t Let a Running Toilet Run Away With Your Utility Bill

November 27, 2023
The sound of your toilet constantly running might not give you any cause for concern at first. Though loud, the sound hasn’t led to any major leaks, and the toilet itself continues to work the way it always has. But don’t leave this condition go untreated; you’ll kick yourself the next time you receive your utility bill and see the real effects of a running toilet. Before you’re left wondering how you’ll pay your steep bill, you should administer some TLC to your toilet.

The apparatus responsible for the flushing of your toilet is composed of several parts – all of which can break and disrupt its proper mechanism. Go ahead and remove the lid to see into your tank. When you depress the handle, it lifts a chain connected to the flush valve or flap. The flap is raised to reveal a drainage hole that allows all of the water from the tank to funnel into the bowl. This usually takes about 3 seconds.  Once the flap covers the drain again, your tank can refill. Refilling is prompted by the float that (like the name suggests) floats on the water in the tank. In older models, this can look like a metal or plastic balloon, but in newer toilets the float rides up and down a plastic tube. When the float falls, it triggers the water to fill the tank so that it can be ready for the next flush.

When you’re toilet is constantly running, it means one of these parts is damaged in some way and is unable to complete its function. The flush valve can degrade over time, as it’s made out of plastic. Any cracks in its material can cause water to drain when it shouldn’t. Likewise, if you have an older toilet the plastic of the float can crack and allow water to seep in. This disrupts the float’s ability to do what its namesake suggests. If it’s constantly underwater, the toilet thinks it needs to continue to fill the tank with more water. Technically, this can lead to such an extreme overflow of water that your whole washroom is flooded; however, the overflow tube prevents that from happening. While your toilet won’t overflow due to a damaged float, it will constantly be in a cycle of filling and draining – which can be a huge drain on your wallet.

If you can locate the crack or leak in the flap and float, then these are simple enough repairs to complete on your own. Always remember to turn the water off via your inlet valve, which you can find on the woven or copper pipe that connects to the bottom of the tank. If unable to find this, you can always turn the water off at the source. Then simply unhook the damaged piece and install a new float or valve according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If when you attempt to make your repairs you see nothing wrong, then we don’t advise you to start tinkering in your tank. Without a clear idea of how each piece contributes to the mechanism, it can be easy to start playing around and make the problem worse. It’s best to leave it to the capable hands of our skilled plumbers when you’re unsure of the root of your problems. They can quickly locate the issue causing your toilet to act strange and apply a speedy repair. And they’ll be happy to lend a hand any time you need one – morning, noon, and night. So don’t let the sounds of your toilet annoy you or your water bill any longer. Just give us a call and let us get to the bottom of things.

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