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

The good thing is, with a little troubleshooting, there are numerous toilet dilemmas you can solve yourself. Here, the professionals at Appalachian Heating will go over some of the most frequent 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 Is My Toilet Running?

If your toilet won't stop running, it is something you should repair because it's in all likelihood also costing you money on your water bill.

A typical reason for a running toilet is something amiss with the overflow tube. Located in the tank in the back of your toilet, an overflow tube allows extra water to drain from the tank into your toilet bowl so the water level in your tank doesn't get too high and spill over the top of the tank. Sometimes, the problem is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube has become detached. If that’s the scenario, you should be able to reach into the tank and reattach them. It also might 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 the appropriate height.

Another thing that could cause a toilet to run could be the flapper--which acts as a plug in the bottom of your tank—has malfunctioned and no longer forms the tight seal necessary to hold water in the tank. This enables water to seep through or around the damaged flapper and flow out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a running toilet is caused by something wrong with your toilet float, which is a floating device that controls 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 Keep Gurgling?

A gurgling toilet is commonly caused by a partial blockage in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or something blocking your sewage vent. If the reason for the noise 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 examine where your sewage vent exits your home to ensure it is not blocked by debris that would block air flow.

If you've confirmed the problem isn't a clog in the toilet or a vent obstruction, you will probably want to phone a professional such an expert from Appalachian Heating to evaluate the problem. As the trusted plumber in Mount Hope, Appalachian Heating will find out if the issue was caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines transporting toilet water out of your home or the mainline that takes waste water away from your home to the municipal water system.

4. Why Is My Toilet Hard to Flush?

If your toilet is hard to flush, it's probable that 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 functions 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 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 drain out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a toilet will never flush because the chain is caught on something in the tank, which stops the chain from pulling up the flapper to let out the water. Or, the chain is too long or somehow comes unhooked 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 when they get old or become worn out. It's also possible there might be something wrong with the handle.

5. Why Is There a Leak in My Toilet?

A dripping toilet can be a costly problem, potentially causing 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 something wrong with the toilet float.

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

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet that won't fill with water in many cases indicates a problem with the fill valve, which is the valve that lets water into your toilet tank. If the tube is damaged or is blocked 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 amiss with the float, which is a device that prompts the fill valve to stop bringing water into the tank when the water has reached the correct level. The fill valve performs this function when the water level lifts the float to a set height. It may be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water can attain the appropriate level. Or, repairing a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or exchanging the fill valve.