Does your toilet keep running? Creepy gurgling noise arising from your toilet bowl? From water leaks to peculiar noises, toilets can do all sorts of bizarre things.

Fortunately, with a little troubleshooting, there are many toilet issues you can fix on your own. Here, the specialists at Everest Heating & Cooling will go over some of the most prevalent 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 Does My Toilet Always Run?

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

A frequent culprit that causes a running toilet is something amiss with the overflow tube. Located 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 issue is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube has become detached. If that’s the scenario, you most likely can just reach into the tank and reattach them. It also could be your toilet is running simply because the overflow tube is too short for the 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 functions as a plug in the bottom of your tank—is damaged and no longer forms the tight seal needed to hold water in the tank. Not having a good seal allows water to leak out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

Occasionally a running toilet is caused by something wrong with your toilet float, which is a floating device that determines the water level in your tank. It accomplishes 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 unwanted 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 obstruction in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or something blocking your sewage vent. If the cause of the issue is a clog in your toilet, you can try to fix this by using a plunger or drain snake to loosen the clog. If this doesn’t work, you can examine where your sewage vent exits your home to make sure it is not blocked by debris that would block air flow.

If these efforts don’t fix your gurgling toilet, it would be a good idea to phone a professional such an expert from Everest Heating & Cooling to evaluate the problem. As the go-to plumber in Lansing, Everest Heating & Cooling will find out if the issue was caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines carrying 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 it's difficult to flush your toilet, it's likely the problem is with the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain in the 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 easiest way to figure out why your toilet is challenging to flush is to remove the lid, look 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 enables the water to flow out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a toilet won’t flush because the chain is caught on something inside the tank, which stops the chain from lifting 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 shorten it to the appropriate length.

Occasionally flappers can get stuck as they get older or become worn out. Or, there could be something wrong with the handle.

5. Why Is My Toilet Leaking?

A dripping toilet can be a costly scenario, potentially causing water damage in and around your bathroom. Often, 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 permit 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. Most of these issues are best fixed by an expert plumber. 

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet that isn't 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 has failed or is blocked by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it might not be allowing water into the tank.

Another likely cause for your toilet not filling with water is something wrong 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 correct level. Or, solving the problem of a toilet not filling with water could require adjusting or changing the fill valve.