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

The good thing is, with a little troubleshooting, there are lots of toilet dilemmas you can correct on your own. Here, the professionals at Age Heating & Cooling will go over some of the most frequent 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 Does My Toilet Always Run?

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

A typical reason for a running toilet is something amiss 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 won't get too high and spill over the top of the tank. Occasionally, the trouble 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 might be your toilet is running due to the fact the overflow tube is too short 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 needed 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.

Sometimes a running toilet is caused by something awry with your toilet float, which is a floating device that maintains the water level in your tank. It does this by shutting off your fill valve when the water level raises the float to a preset height. If your float is set too high, this permits the water level to rise too high, and the excess water will spill into your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Is My Toilet Bubbling?

A gurgling toilet is commonly caused by a partial obstruction 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 should phone a professional such an expert from Age Heating & Cooling to evaluate the problem. As the trusted plumber in Sandpoint, Age Heating & Cooling will check to see if the sound is due to 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 it's difficult to flush your toilet, it's probable that the problem can be found in the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain within a toilet tank that is affixed to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is linked to the flapper, which acts as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

The quickest way to get to the bottom of 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 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 doesn't flush because the chain is stuck on something in the tank, which prevents the chain from yanking up the flapper to let out the water. Or, the chain is too long or becomes detached from either the handle or the flapper. If this happens, unhook the caught chain or reach in and change it to the appropriate length.

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

5. Why Is There a Leak in My Toilet?

A leaking toilet can be a costly scenario, potentially leading to water damage in and around your bathroom. Usually, a leaky toilet is due to a cracked supply line or a crack in the toilet tank. If your toilet tank is overflowing, it is often because there is a malfunction in the toilet float.

Cracked gaskets around the connections on the underside of the tank also can permit 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. 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 suggests a problem with the fill valve, which is the valve that lets water into your toilet tank. If the tube is damaged or is plugged by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it might not be allowing water into the tank.

Another typical cause for your toilet not filling with water is something wrong with the float, which is a device that signals the fill valve to stop letting water into the tank when the water has gotten to the correct level. The fill valve does this when the water level lifts the float to a preset height. It might be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water can attain the correct level. Or, solving the problem of a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or changing the fill valve.