Does your toilet keep running? Weird gurgling noise coming from your toilet bowl? From water leakages to odd noises, toilets can do all sorts of bizarre things.

Fortunately, with a little troubleshooting, there are numerous toilet dilemmas you can solve by yourself. Here, the professionals at Fire & Ice HVAC 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 a situation you should correct because it's most likely also costing you money on your water bill.

A frequent culprit that causes a running toilet is something incorrect with the overflow tube. Positioned in the tank in the back of your toilet, an overflow tube removes extra water from the tank into your toilet bowl so the water level in your tank does not get too high and spill over the top of the tank. At times, 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 may be your toilet is running due to the fact the overflow tube is isn't tall enough for the water level and needs to be replaced by one that is taller height.

Another reason for a toilet to run could be the flapper--which functions as a plug in the bottom of your tank—is malfunctioning and no longer forms the tight seal necessary to hold water in the tank. This causes water to escape out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

At times, a running toilet is caused by something amiss with your toilet float, which is a floating device that maintains 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 excess water will spill into your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Does My Toilet Keep Gurgling?

A gurgling toilet is usually caused by a partial obstruction in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or a blockage in your sewage vent. If the reason for the noise is a clog in your toilet, you can attempt to correct this by using a plunger or drain snake to remove the clog. If this doesn’t work, you can check where your sewage vent exits your home to confirm it is not blocked by debris that would prevent air flow.

If you've done these two trouble shooting tasks and the toilet is still gurgling or bubbling, you will probably want to contact a professional such an expert from Fire & Ice HVAC to evaluate the problem. As the experienced plumber in Manassas, Fire & Ice HVAC will investigate whether the noise is caused by 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 Is It Hard to Flush My Toilet?

If you can’t flush your toilet, it's probable that the problem lies the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain within the toilet tank that is attached 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 best way to find out why your toilet is challenging to flush is to remove the lid, look 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 permits the water to whoosh out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a toilet won’t flush because the chain is stuck on something in the tank, which stops the chain from pulling 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 change it to the appropriate length.

Occasionally flappers can get stuck when they get old or become worn out. There also may be something amiss with the handle.

5. Why Is There a Leak in My Toilet?

A leaking toilet can be a costly problem, potentially causing water damage in and around your bathroom. Many times, a leaky toilet is caused by 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 a professional plumber. 

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet not filling with water in many cases indicates a problem with the fill valve, which fills the tank in the back of your toilet with water. If the tube has failed 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 wrong with the float, which is a device that triggers the fill valve to stop allowing water into the tank when the water has risen to the correct level. The fill valve gives the signal to stop 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 rises to the proper level. Or, correcting a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.