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Malfunctioning Toilet? — What You Need to Know as a Home or Business Owner

May 9, 2012 | Blog

A toilet that runs continuously can be costly. Estimates are that a single commode can use up to 200 gallons of water a day. You may need to replace the toilet, and probably want an experienced plumber to handle that project. There are steps you can take, though, to stop unnecessary leaks without buying a new toilet.

At Public Service Plumbers, we have set the standard of excellence for reliability and customer service for more than 50 years. We make our services available throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Call us at (214) 753-4633 to schedule a service visit, or to learn about the most effective ways to heat and cool your home.

Steps You Can Take to Fix a Toilet

A toilet properly flushes because the pressure of water held in the tank forces waste down the drain under the toilet bowl. Though the mechanism inside the tank is not complex, there are a number of ways that it can malfunction, causing your toilet to run non-stop. The tank has a rubber flapper at the bottom, which plugs the hole to the bowl, forming a seal. If the flapper has a crack or tear, or has deteriorated, it may not form a good seal, resulting in a leak. The flapper is also attached to a trip lever with a metal or plastic chain. If the chain becomes tangled, the flapper may not drop all the way down.

Another frequent cause of a continuously running toilet has to do with the float ball. The float ball essentially shuts off the supply of water to the tank. When the water reaches a certain level, and the float ball reaches a certain height, it will turn off the water flow into the tank. If the float ball does not rise high enough, it will never trigger the turn-off switch. Because there is an overflow tube, the tank will never run over, but the water will run continuously, simply draining down the overflow tube.

If your toilet is constantly running, your first step should be to take off the top of the tank. First, look at the overflow tube (a vertical tube with an opening at the top). If there is water running into the tube, you need to adjust or replace the float ball.

If the problem is not the float ball, roll up your sleeves and reach down to the bottom to check if the flapper is making a good seal (It’s okay, the water in the tank is clean). You can purchase a new flapper, but can also get an entire tank kit at a reasonable price. To replace the tank kit or flapper, turn the water off to the toilet and flush it, so that you drain the tank. Most tank kits are easy to install, but you can always call a plumber to help.

Call Us Now

For service, or if you just have questions about a heating or cooling system, call us at (214) 753-4633. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week—whenever you need our help. Because we have a large service fleet, we can often address warranty and service issues the same day. We also offer a one year warranty on all parts and labor.

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