Why Is My Toilet Constantly Running?

Toilet leaking water

toilet constantly runningWhen it comes to troubleshooting gravity-flow toilets – one of the most overlooked problems is when the toilet doesn’t shut off completely. Customers describe hearing a hissing noise and say they see ripples in the bowl. These symptoms, according to the most referred Santa Cruz plumber, suggest a problem with the fill valve or ballcock.

Remember that all ballcocks are fill valves, but not all fill valves are ballcocks. The term “ballcock” applies only to traditional fill valves, which have ball floats on the end of a pivoting arm. ~Duncan Plumbing Experts

According to your local Santa Cruz plumber, it may be that you need to remove sediment from the fill-valve diaphragm. Or you may be able to solve the problem by making a simple float adjustment. In most cases, however, the valve needs to be repaired or replaced. Don’t put it off, says your Santa Cruz plumbing experts, a toilet that won’t shut off completely wastes lots of water.

Plumbing Pro Tip of the Week

Tip #1 Do the simple things first. If the water level is so high that it spills into the overflow tube before the float ball or cup can shut off the fill valve, adjust the water level.

Tip #2 Aim for a level about 1-inch below the top of the overflow. With a ballcock assembly, tighten the adjustment screw on top of the fill-valve riser.

Tip #3 If that doesn’t work, bend the float-ball rod down slightly. Use both hands, and work carefully. Newer fill valves have other float adjustments.

Tip #4 Assuming that the float setting is fine and there is no sediment in the diaphragm, your next option is to replace the diaphragm and float-plunger seals.

Tip #5 Begin by shutting off the water and removing the two or three screws that secure the combination diaphragm cover and float-arm assembly to the top of the riser.

Tip #6 Lift the cover-and-float-arm assembly from the valve, and pull out the rubber seals. Expect a large rubber disk or stopper.

PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS: You may be better off replacing the entire fill valve, especially if it’s old.  Take these parts with you to your local Santa Cruz plumbing supply or home improvement center. If you can find replacement seals, install them in reverse order of removal, and test your work.

Not every plumbing need, needs a plumber!

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Scott Duncan

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