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Help, My Toilet is Running!

Unless it is causing flooding, many homeowners view a running toilet as just a minor annoyance. Unfortunately, your malfunctioning toilet could be wasting up to two gallons of water every minute. This could add up to 120 gallons of water in just an hour. While a running toilet may not appear to be an emergency, it does still require attention as soon as possible. Call a Plumber or DIY: In some cases, it may be possible that you can fix a running toilet yourself. Sometimes, correcting the problem may only take a couple of minutes, just to check for tank malfunctions and make any adjustments. In other cases, it may require the attention of a professional plumber. There are several steps to take to check if you can correct the problem yourself, so it is worth checking the toilet before calling out a plumber. Troubleshooting: The first step of troubleshooting your running toilet is to remove the toilet tank lid. Be sure to carefully put it to one side, as replacing a toilet tank lid can be far more expensive than replacing the components inside your tank. Check the mechanisms inside your tank, by pulling on the handle and seeing if you can spot anything that is not operating correctly. For example, one of the most common causes of a running toilet is that there is a problem with the chain connecting to the flapper at the bottom of the toilet tank. If the chain is too tight or has become tangled, it could be preventing the flapper from completely closing. It may be possible to untangle the chain, but you might need to replace it. If the flapper has deteriorated, it may have lost its seal and also require replacement. You should also check the float. This is used to gauge the water level inside the tank and trigger the ballcock and close off the water flow. If your float has broken, water will continue to flow into the bowl. Calling in the Professionals: If the problem is related to damage inside the ballcock or you cannot diagnose any obvious issues inside the tank, it is time to call in a professional plumber. An experienced plumber has the skills and knowledge to correct a wide range of plumbing issues with toilets. It is important that you realize that if you try to tamper with the tank mechanisms without adequate knowledge, you could cause further problems. A professional plumber is also likely to have many common components with them and so will be able to make a replacement quickly where necessary. Although a running toilet doesn’t appear to be a major plumbing problem, it can waste a great deal of water and indicate an underlying problem. While you don’t need to panic, it is a good idea to check your toilet for issues and call in a professional plumber if necessary. Your plumber will thoroughly inspect the toilet and tank to correct the problem and eliminate the risk of flooding. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.