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

The good thing is, with a little troubleshooting, there are lots of toilet problems you can fix by yourself. Here, the experts at Everest Heating & Cooling will go over some of the most prevalent 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 is constantly running, it is something you should repair because it's in all probability also costing you money on your water bill.

A typical culprit that causes a running toilet is something incorrect 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 won't get too high and overflow the top of the tank. Occasionally, the problem is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube has become detached. If that’s the situation, you can reach into the tank and reattach them. It also might 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 serves 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 causes water to flow 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 achieves 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 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 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 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 doesn’t work, you can examine 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, you should contact a professional such an expert from Everest Heating & Cooling to evaluate the problem. As the experienced plumber in Lansing, Everest Heating & Cooling will investigate whether the noise is caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines carrying toilet water out of your home or the mainline that carries 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 affixed to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is attached to the flapper, which acts as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

The best way to get to the bottom of why your toilet is difficult to flush is to take off the lid, peer inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process ought to work when 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 stuck on something within the tank, which stops the chain from yanking 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, unhook the caught chain or reach in and shorten it to the appropriate length.

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

5. What Is Causing My Toilet To Leak?

A leaking toilet can be a costly scenario, potentially producing water damage in and around your bathroom. Usually, 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 is often because there is a failure 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 weakened toilet flange or wax ring at the base of the toilet where it attaches to the floor. The majority of these issues are best fixed by an expert plumber. 

6. Why Is My Toilet Not Filling with Water?

A toilet not filling with water in many cases 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 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 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 set height. It might be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water rises to the proper level. Or, correcting a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.