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

Thankfully, with a little troubleshooting, there are many toilet issues you can solve by yourself. Here, the professionals at LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. will go over some of the most prevalent toilet problems, what they mean and whether it’s a plumbing issue 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 repair 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. 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 doesn't get too high and leak all over your floor. Occasionally, the problem is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube is detached. If that’s the case, you can reach into the tank and reattach them. It also could be your toilet is running simply because the overflow tube is isn't tall enough for the water level and needs to be replaced by one that is the correct height.

Another thing that could cause a toilet to run could be the flapper--which functions as a plug in the bottom of your tank—is damaged 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 escape out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a running toilet is caused by something amiss with your toilet float, which is a floating device that controls the water level in your tank. It does this by shutting off your fill valve when the water level raises the float to a predetermined height. If your float is set too high, this lets the water level to rise too high, and the unwanted water will flow into your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Does My Toilet Make a Gurgling Sound?

A gurgling toilet is often caused by a partial blockage in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or an obstruction in your sewage vent. If the problem is a clog in your toilet, you can try fixing 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 make sure it is not blocked by debris that would restrict air flow.

If you've done these two trouble shooting tasks and the toilet is still gurgling or bubbling, it would be a good idea to call a professional such an expert from LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. to evaluate the problem. As the experienced plumber in Shamokin and Sunbury, LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. will find out if the issue was caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines directing toilet water out of your home or the mainline that removes 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, there’s a good chance the problem lies the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain in your toilet tank that is affixed 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 best way to get to the bottom of why your toilet is challenging to flush is to take off the lid, peek inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process should 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 enables the water to whoosh out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a toilet won’t flush because the chain is caught on something within the tank, which prevents the chain from yanking 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, unhook the caught chain or reach in and shorten it to the appropriate length.

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

5. What Is Causing My Toilet To Leak?

A leaking toilet can be a costly situation, potentially producing 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 could be a malfunction in 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 sits on the floor. Most of these issues are best fixed by a certified plumber. 

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet not filling with water often traces back to a problem with the fill valve, which is what fills your toilet tank with water. If the tube is damaged or is blocked by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it potentially could not be allowing water into the tank.

Another common cause for your toilet not filling with water is something faulty 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 does this when the water level lifts the float to a predetermined height. It could be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water rises to the proper level. Or, repairing a toilet not filling with water might require adjusting or changing the fill valve.