Does your toilet refuse to stop running? Strange gurgling noise coming from your toilet bowl? From water leaks to odd noises, toilets can do all sorts of frustrating things.

The good thing is, with a little troubleshooting, there are many toilet problems you can solve yourself. Here, the professionals at Ameri-Tec will go over some of the most prevalent toilet problems, what they mean and whether it’s a situation you can fix yourself—or, if it is better to call in an expert.

1. Why Is My Toilet Running?

If your toilet won't stop running, it is a situation you should fix because it's most likely also costing you money on your water bill.

A typical cause of a running toilet is something incorrect with the overflow tube. Found in the tank in the back of your toilet, an overflow tube directs excess water from the tank into your toilet bowl so the water level in your tank won't get too high and spill over the top of the tank. At times, the problem is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube has become detached. If that’s the situation, you can reach into the tank and reattach them. It also may be your toilet is running due to the fact the overflow tube is is not tall enough to maintain the correct water level and needs to be replaced by one that is taller height.

Another factor causing a toilet to run could be the flapper--which functions as a plug in the bottom of your tank—is malfunctioning and no longer forms the tight seal required to hold water in the tank. Not having a good seal allows water to escape out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a running toilet is caused by something awry with your toilet float, which is a floating device that controls the water level in your tank. It does this by shutting off your fill valve when the water level raises the float to a predetermined height. If your float is set too high, this permits the water level to rise too high, and the unwanted water will flow into your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Does My Toilet Make a Gurgling Sound?

A gurgling toilet is often caused by a partial clog in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or something blocking your sewage vent. If the problem is a clog in your toilet, you can try fixing this by using a plunger or drain snake to remove the clog. If this doesn’t work, you can look at where your sewage vent exits your home to ensure it is not blocked by debris that would block air flow.

If these efforts don’t fix your gurgling toilet, you will probably want to call a professional such an expert from Ameri-Tec to evaluate the problem. As the experienced plumber in Narvon, Ameri-Tec will check to see if the sound is due to a blockage in one of the drain lines carrying toilet water out of your home or the mainline that carries waste water away from your home to the municipal water system.

4. Why Is My Toilet Hard to Flush?

If it's difficult to flush your toilet, it's probable that the problem lies the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain inside the toilet tank that is hooked to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is linked to the flapper, which acts as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

The quickest way to figure out why your toilet is hard to flush is to take off the lid, peek inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process is supposed to work anytime you flush a toilet: you push down the handle, which pulls up the chain, then the chain pulls the flapper up and that permits the water to whoosh out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a toilet won’t flush because the chain is caught on something within the tank, which keeps the chain from pulling up the flapper to let out the water. Or, the chain is too long or becomes detached from either the handle or the flapper. If this happens, unhook the caught chain or reach in and change it to the appropriate length.

Occasionally flappers can get stuck as they get older or become worn out. Or, there might be something amiss with the handle.

5. What Is Causing My Toilet To Leak?

A leaking toilet can be a costly problem, potentially causing water damage in and around your bathroom. Often, a leaky toilet is the result of a cracked supply line or a crack in the toilet tank. If your toilet tank is overflowing, it may be a malfunction in the toilet float.

Cracked gaskets around the connections on the underside of the tank also can let water to leak out of the toilet, as can a broken toilet flange or wax ring at the base of the toilet where it sits on the floor. The majority of these issues are best fixed by a professional plumber. 

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet that won't fill with water frequently indicates a problem with the fill valve, which is what fills your toilet tank with water. If the tube is broken or is clogged by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it potentially could not be allowing water into the tank.

Another likely cause for your toilet not filling with water is something faulty with the float, which is a device that signals the fill valve to stop bringing water into the tank when the water has gotten to the correct level. The fill valve performs this function when the water level lifts the float to a preset height. It may be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water rises to the appropriate level. Or, repairing a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or changing the fill valve.