Is your toilet running? Weird gurgling noise arising from your toilet bowl? From water leakage to peculiar noises, toilets can do all sorts of bizarre things.

The good thing is, with a little troubleshooting, there are many toilet issues you can fix by yourself. Here, the specialists at B & G HVAC will go over some of the most common 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 Won't My Toilet Stop Running?

If your toilet won't stop running, it is an issue you should correct because it's in all probability also costing you money on your water bill.

A frequent culprit that causes a running toilet is something wrong with the overflow tube. Positioned 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. Occasionally, the trouble is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube got detached. If that’s the scenario, you most likely can just reach into the tank and reattach them. It also might be your toilet is running because the overflow tube is isn't tall enough for the water level and needs to be replaced by one that is taller 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 required to hold water in the tank. This enables water to seep through or around the damaged flapper and leak 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 achieves 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 lets the water level to rise too high, and the extra water will go in your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Is My Toilet Bubbling?

A gurgling toilet is commonly caused by a partial clog in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or a blockage in 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 release the clog. If this does not have any effect, you can look at where your sewage vent exits your home to confirm it is not blocked by debris that would block air flow.

If these efforts don’t fix your gurgling toilet, you should call a professional such an expert from B & G HVAC to evaluate the problem. As the trusted plumber in Marshalltown, B & G HVAC will investigate whether the noise is caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines transporting toilet water out of your home or the mainline that removes waste water away from your home to the municipal water system.

4. Why Won't My Toilet Flush?

If your toilet is hard to flush, there’s a good chance the problem lies the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain within your toilet tank that is hooked to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is attached to the flapper, which functions as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

The best way to find out why your toilet is challenging to flush is to take off the lid, peer inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process is supposed to work whenever 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 stuck on something inside 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.

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

5. Why Is There a Leak in My Toilet?

A dripping toilet can be a costly scenario, potentially leading to water damage in and around your bathroom. Often, a leaky toilet is due to 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 damaged toilet flange or wax ring at the base of the toilet where it connects to the floor. Often, these issues are best fixed by a certified plumber. 

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

A toilet that won't fill with water frequently traces back to a problem with the fill valve, which is the valve that lets water into your toilet tank. If the tube is broken or is blocked by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it may not be allowing water into the tank.

Another common cause for your toilet not filling with water is something wrong with the float, which is a device that triggers the fill valve to stop letting water into the tank when the water has reached the correct level. The fill valve gives the signal to stop 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 is allowed to reach the appropriate level. Or, correcting a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.