Dealing with a constantly running or improperly flushing toilet can be frustrating, but it's a common plumbing issue that can often be resolved without professional assistance. Here's a more in-depth guide on what to do: Constantly Running Toilet:
Check the Fill Valve: Lift the toilet tank lid and inspect the fill valve (also known as the ballcock). If it's the older ball and float style, adjust the float arm to lower the water level in the tank. For newer fill valves, adjust the float or water level adjustment screw to set the desired water level.
Inspect the Flapper or Flush Valve: A common cause of a running toilet is a worn-out flapper or flush valve seal. Check the flapper for any visible damage, warping, or discoloration. If it's not sealing properly, replace it with a matching flapper.
Look for Leaks: Occasionally, water may be escaping around the flush valve or tank bolts. Ensure that the flush valve is properly seated and that the tank bolts are tightened but not over-tightened to avoid cracking the tank.
Check the Chain: If the chain connecting the flush lever to the flapper is too long or too short, it can prevent the flapper from sealing correctly. Adjust the chain's length to ensure the flapper closes properly after flushing.
Inspect the Fill Tube: Make sure the fill tube is properly attached to the overflow tube. It should be above the waterline to prevent siphoning and constant refilling. Trim or reattach the tube if needed.
Improperly Flushing Toilet:
Check the Water Level: If your toilet isn't flushing properly, it might not have enough water in the tank. Adjust the water level using the fill valve adjustment screw or float until it reaches the designated water line marked in the tank.
Inspect the Flush Handle: Sometimes, a loose or disconnected flush handle can prevent proper flushing. Ensure the handle is securely connected to the flush lever and lifts the flapper or flush valve when pressed.
Examine the Flapper: If the toilet doesn't flush fully, the flapper may not be staying open long enough. Adjust the chain so the flapper remains open for the right duration during the flush.
Check for Clogs: If you suspect a clog in the toilet trap or drain, use a plunger to clear it. Plunge firmly and consistently to dislodge any obstructions.
Look for Mineral Deposits: If the flush jets are clogged with mineral deposits, soak them in vinegar or a descaling solution to remove the buildup. This can help improve flush performance.
Replace Internal Components: If your toilet is old or has persistent flushing issues, you might need to replace the internal components like the fill valve, flush valve, or flapper.
If you've tried these steps and the problem persists, or if you're uncomfortable making these adjustments, it's advisable to contact a professional plumber to diagnose and repair the issue. A malfunctioning toilet can waste water and increase your water bills, so prompt resolution is important.