Isn’t it one of the most annoying things when you are just finished with your business, you get up and press the flush button and it doesn’t work? On top of this you also notice that the toilet had been running all along. This is not only annoying and disgusting but it can also waste a lot of water over time. There are some easy and simple ways you can fix this issue by yourself, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can do so.
Some of the most common reasons behind your toilet running can include an issue with the outlet valve, the inlet valve or with the overflow pipe. If your toilet does not have a ball float, the issue will most likely be the fill valve.
To check the inlet, outlet and the fill valve, all you have to do is unscrew the component and full it out to examine it. The installation process is simple as well and all you will need for the process is a wrench, a bucket and some cleaning cloth.
How Does A Button Toilet System Work?
Before looking at some of the possible issues and ways of fixing them, let’s understand how the entire toilet system works. A button toilet system is extremely simple yet an ingenious machine which is also one of the most efficient toilet systems out there.
Most of the button toilet systems out there have two flushing options, one which will release a larger quantity of water while the other one only releases a small amount. This is one of the reasons why this system is considered to be one of the most efficient one.
Over a long term period, the dual flushing system can end up saving a lot of water. But not all button flush systems have this dual system, yet they can be considered to be button toilets.
The entire system is composed of a lid, on top of which are the buttons, a tank which of course stores the water and a flush valve. There is also the inlet valve, a float ball and the overflow pipe both of which are connected to the buttons on top of the lid.
This entire system of the overflow pipe, the flush valve and the inlet valve comprise the flushing system.
When you push one of the buttons on the top, the steel pipe connected to the flush valve pushes the valve down to release water from the tank. The overflow pipe is also connected to this mechanism.
It is this overflow pipe which controls the water level inside toilet. But this level of water is controlled by the inlet valve. As the name suggests, the inlet valve is responsible for filling the tank.
The inlet valve always needs to be above the float ball and the overflow pipe. And the float ball has to be at least an inch below the overflow pipe. And usually this inlet valve is at least 3 inches above the overflow pipe. If this is not so, then the entire flushing mechanism will fail.
As the water level keeps rising when the tank is being filled, the float ball also rises along with it, but this float ball can never rise above the overflow pipe. Once it reaches a certain level, the overflow pipe closes the inlet valve which stops the water flowing into the tank.
Reasons Why The Toilet Keeps Running And How To Fix Them?
There are three major reasons why your toilet can be constantly running, and all of these reasons have something to do with the flushing mechanism alone.
The problem can either be with the inlet valve, the flush valve or the overflow pipe. It is pretty easy to check and sometimes even fix the issues by yourself.
An Issue With The Flush Or Outlet Valve
One way to check whether this is the issue is to look at the water level in the tank. If the water is not above the overflow pipe and is on a perfect level then most likely the issue will be the outlet valve.
The first thing which you will have to do is to take the entire flush valve out. Empty out the tank once by flushing and close off the water supply to the toilet before doing this. You will have to be very careful while you do so as taking out the flush valve can permanently damage the entire flushing mechanism.
The process is pretty simple, just twist it a bit to the left and right and it should pop right off. There will be a slight ‘click’ noise and it will pop out of the connection point. You will have to hold it very carefully as the entire system is really delicate.
You will notice that there is a rubber seal at the bottom of the valve and this is responsible for sealing off the flush valve. If this rubber seal is broken then there will be a continuous water flow out of the flush.
Check if it is damaged, if this is the case than you can easily replace it. The rubber seal is pretty cheap and you can find it at any hardware store. In emergency cases, you can turn it upside down and use it for a couple of days.
If the rubber seal is in a good condition, the other reason can be the button push mechanism. There is a disc that goes up and down when you press the buttons and as they go up and down, water is release from the flush.
This movement has to be smooth and the disc should be properly connected to the seal. If this movement is not smooth, then you have tough luck as the entire system will have to be replaced.
An Issue With The Inlet Valve
If none of the above reasons apply to your case then the next logical step is to check the inlet valve. You will have to take out the valve by unscrewing the valve using a wrench from beneath the tank. Once the screws are out, the entire system should out of the slot.
Before you do this, make sure that you flush the toilet once to let all the water out. You will gave to remove the top cap to expose the top of the valve, this is pretty tightly attached so twist it left and right to expose the top section.
There should be a round disc made of plastic with a sharp pointer at its centre, once you remove this disc you will see a washer in the top section of the fill valve.
Most probably the issue must be coming from this washer. You will most probably have to replace the entire washer or the entire inlet valve.
Problem With The Overflow Pipe
If there is any water in the overflow pipe then understand that the water is being filled too much and too fast inside the tank. This also indicates that there is an adjustment issue with the fill valve.
The toilet is running constantly because all of the extra water is being carried by the overflow pipe into the toilet bowl.
To counter this issue, simply adjust the float ball to control the water filling rate.
You can also adjust the water connection to control this water flow rate.
How To Fix A Running Toilet Without A Ball Float
If your toilet does not have a ball float but it still keeps on running there is no need to panic. For a lot of people replacing or fixing these types of toilets is much easier when compared to the other one.
The only difference between this type and one with the ball float is the presence of the fill valve which controls the flow of water when you press the button.
If your toilet is constantly running, then most probably it is this fill valve which is the issue. In most of the cases you will have to completely replace this part.
But no need to worry, you can easily find a good quality fill valve either on Amazon or in a nearby hardware store.
Replacing it is also easy and simple. All you will need is a wrench and some screws, also a bucket to collect any water.
All you have to do is shut off the water supply and flush the toilet once to empty out the water. Just stick your hand to the bottom of the tank and unscrew the hose using an adjustable wrench.
Once the nuts are off, you can simply pull out the entire mechanism.
Take the new unit and adjust its height to match the overflow pipe and the tank. Place the screws again and tightly screw them using wrench. Once this is done, turn on the water supply and try it out. It should be fixed.
If there is still any issue, then you should probably call a professional to get it looked at.
As you can see, the entire diagnostic and the repairing procedure for this problem is not at all difficult. But I would still recommend that you call a professional if you are still unsure about any of the steps.
Even with professional help the entire process does not take a lot of time, it doesn’t even cost a lot.
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