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

Fortunately, with a little troubleshooting, there are many toilet dilemmas you can correct yourself. Here, the professionals at Mechanical Air Systems Co will go over some of the most common toilet problems, what they mean and whether it’s something you can fix yourself—or, if it is better to call in an expert.

1. Why Won't My Toilet Stop Running?

If your toilet keeps running all the time, it is an issue you should correct because it's in all probability also costing you money on your water bill.

A typical cause of a running toilet is something amiss 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 does not get too high and overflow the top of the tank. Sometimes, the issue is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube is detached. If that’s the situation, you should be able to reach into the tank and reattach them. It also may be your toilet is running because the overflow tube is too short for the water level and needs to be replaced by one that is the correct height.

Another reason for 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. This enables water to seep through or around the damaged flapper and escape out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

At times, a running toilet is caused by something wrong with your toilet float, which is a floating device that maintains the water level in your tank. It accomplishes this by shutting off your fill valve when the water level raises the float to the appropriate height. If your float is set too high, this will allow the water level to rise too high, and the excess water will go in your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Does My Toilet Make a Gurgling Sound?

A gurgling toilet is commonly caused by a partial clog in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or something blocking your sewage vent. If the cause of the issue is a clog in your toilet, you can try to fix this by using a plunger or drain snake to remove the clog. If this rectify the issue, you can check 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 contact a professional such an expert from Mechanical Air Systems Co to evaluate the problem. As the trusted plumber in Mason City, Mechanical Air Systems Co will investigate whether the noise is caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines directing 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 It Hard to Flush My Toilet?

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

The easiest way to find out why your toilet is difficult to flush is to remove the lid, peek inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process should work when you flush a toilet: you push down the handle, which pulls up the chain, then the chain pulls the flapper up and that allows the water to flow out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a toilet will never flush because the chain is stuck on something within the tank, which keeps the chain from lifting up the flapper to let out the water. Or, the chain is too long or gets disconnected from either the handle or the flapper. If this happens, free the caught chain or reach in and change it to the appropriate length.

Occasionally flappers can get stuck as they age or become worn out. There also may be something amiss with the handle.

5. Why Is My Toilet Leaking?

A dripping toilet can be a costly problem, potentially producing water damage in and around your bathroom. Many times, 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 could 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 weakened toilet flange or wax ring at the base of the toilet where it attaches to the floor. The majority of these issues are best fixed by an expert plumber. 

6. Why Won't My Toilet Fill With Water?

A toilet not filling with water often indicates a problem with the fill valve, which fills the tank in the back of your toilet with water. If the tube has failed or is plugged by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it may not be allowing water into the tank.

Another typical cause for your toilet not filling with water is something faulty with the float, which is a device that triggers the fill valve to stop bringing water into the tank when the water has gotten to the correct level. The fill valve gives the signal to stop when the water level lifts the float to a preset height. It could be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water can attain the proper level. Or, solving the problem of a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.