Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

Of all the questions we hear from customers as the top-rated residential service plumber on Chicago’s Northwest Side, “why does my toilet keep running after I flush it?” is probably the most common. Mind you, these questions usually come to us when we’re there assisting on another residential plumbing issue so we’re not being tasked with stopping it – just being asked for information which we freely give. In an effort to help even more people across our service area, we thought we’d share our answers with our website visitors in the hopes that they may help them as well.

Of course we always recommend calling our team for any residential plumbing issue on Chicago’s Northwest Side. That’s the best way to get a lasting solution to whatever problem you’re facing with your home’s plumbing system. But if you’re just looking for simple answers to a really common plumbing issue then we’re happy to help. If you still have questions or if the answers here didn’t solve your toilet running issue call (773) 633-6139 for immediate assistance.

Most Common Reasons Why Your Toilet Keeps Running

When it comes to toilets running after flushing, the reasons usually boil down to some version of the following three problems. We’ll list them here first and then take a deep-dive into the specifics of each one so you know what you’re up against and how best to approach trying to solve the issue.

Again, you can always call Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer for the best professional toilet repair and replacement in Chicagoland – rated five stars across the web more than 500 times! But back to the three most common causes for toilets running:

  • Incorrect Float Height
  • Broken/Leaking Flapper
  • Refill Tube Too Long

Toilet Running Reason #1: Incorrect Float Height

If you’ve ever opened the tank of your toilet you’ve encountered the float arm. It’s the metal structure with the rubber float attached to one end. This float arm plays a pivotal role in your toilet’s operation by limiting the amount of water that fills the tank after flushing. If the float arm is adjusted to the wrong height then it can cause the tank to overfill and water to leave the tank via the overflow tube. This is the open-ended metal tube that stands in your tank and allows water to pour over the lip and exit the tank keeping it from spilling out onto your floor.

When this occurs your toilet will continually run because the float is set higher than the overflow tube. By lowering the level of the float arm you can stop this from happening and put an end to your toilet running nightmare. All it takes to lower or raise the float arm is loosening a screw until it’s at the level you want it and then tightening it again to keep it there.

Toilet Running Reason #2: Broken/Leaking Flapper

Flappers – the bane of many Chicagoland toilets and the cause of a great many toilets running forever after flushing. What exactly is a flapper, you ask? It’s the seal that separates the toilet tank from the toilet bowl and it’s lifted when you flush to allow the tank to refill the bowl with fresh water. A bad flapper means a bad seal and that translates into water constantly leaking from the tank to the bowl. That leaking means the float never reaches its zenith and the toilet thinks it’s never full.

To fix this issue, all you have to do is buy a new flapper at any hardware, plumbing supply or home improvement store. You’ll want to turn the water off behind the toilet before you begin and flush the bowl to clear all the water from the system. Now just detach the chain from the old flapper and remove it from the pins before placing the new one in the same position and ensuring the chain isn’t long enough to get stuck under the flapper when you flush.

Toilet Running Reason #3: Refill Tube Too Long

The last common cause of Northwest Chicago residential toilets running after flushing is related to the refill tube being too long for the toilet model or installation. This can cause the refill tube to continually pump water into the bowl by mistake and it’s all caused by a refill tube being too long for the overflow tube. To fix it you’ll have to shorten the refill tube to fit the overflow tube precisely. It’s simpler than it sounds but it will take the right tools to get it right.

First, pull the refill tube out of the overflow until it’s right above the overflow’s opening. Cut it to that length with shears before clipping it to the side of the overflow again to keep it in position. This will eliminate the suction effect that was pulling water from the fill valve into the refill valve. Remember Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer’s pros can handle this for you at a great price and in no time flat!

If Your Toilet Keeps Running Then You Need Vanguard’s Help!

Giving out advice and offering insights is what we do as a company – freely and without expectation of reward. However, no advice we can give a layperson will ever deliver the kind of results that our professional plumbers will on every service call they make to your home. Plus, we stand firmly behind everything we do with a satisfaction guarantee and a one-year labor warranty. That means our toilet repair services will put an end to your toilet running once and for all so why on earth would you call anyone else? Reach out to Vanguard at (773) 633-6139 or complete a contact form today!

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Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer is a local, family-owned plumbing company with decades of experience delivering the finest service to Chicago and its northern suburbs.

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Vanguard Plumbing

Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer
Phone: (773) 633-6139
Location: 4352 N. Kenneth Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60641


Business Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 AM–5:00 PM
Saturday: 7:00 AM–3:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

City & State Licensing:
Chicago Sewer: #2422
Illinois Contractor: #055-043043
Chicago Contractor: #SBC196464