Why Does My Toilet Keep Running After Flush?

The toilet is an essential part of every home. While a toilet should flush smoothly and quickly without any issues, problems will arise over time. The internal plumbing components can break down, which causes leaking or improper seals. You may also encounter a toilet that keeps running after you flush, an unpleasant experience that leaves many homeowners frustrated.

When your toilet won’t stop running, the situation demands immediate attention. Some homeowners assume the issue might fix itself after a while, but that seldom happens without intervention. In some cases, you might resolve this problem by making a few minor adjustments. However, your best option is to call a plumber for a professional inspection. The experts will figure out why the toilet is constantly running and recommend a solution. This can also save you hundreds of dollars on your water bills.

Have you wondered why your toilet water continues to run long after you flush? While it can be caused by numerous factors, there are a few likely culprits. Here are the most common reasons your toilet keeps running after a flush.

Toilet keeps running because of the water level.

Your toilet has an overflow tube that connects the bowl to the tank. In many instances when you flush, a float ball drops and opens the inlet valve to let water into the bowl. As the water refills and rises, the ball closes the valve. If the water level rises above the overflow tube, that’s why the toilet keeps running after you flush.

Address the problem by setting the float ball to stop the water level below the top of the overflow tube. After making the adjustment, flush the toilet again. Watch where the water level reaches in the toilet tank and readjust if necessary.

The float ball may also get caught up in the chain, which stops it from reaching the height to close the valve. Ensure it can move upwards and downwards freely. Also, check that the ball isn’t filling with water itself. If the ball gets heavy enough, it may sit below the water line just enough to keep water running into the toilet.

Toilet keeps running because of a broken flush valve.

Lovingly known as the flapper, the flush valve plugs the drain in the bottom of the toilet tank. The component holds the water in the toilet until you press the flush handle. The handle and the flapper are connected together with a chain. When you press the handle, the flapper opens to let water flow into the bowl and flush the toilet’s contents.

After completing the flush, the flapper closes and forms a tight seal on the opening, allowing the bowl to refill. Over time, the flapper can get brittle and break down, causing water to leak into the bowl. It breaks down quicker when there is chlorine/chloramine present in the water. If debris builds up around the opening, it can also prevent the flapper from making a tight seal. Check the flapper to see if it forms a rigorous seal. Inspect for any wear and tear, replacing the components if necessary.

Toilet keeps running because of the flush chain.

In most cases the handle and flapper in a toilet are connected together through a chain. However, water might leak into the bowl if the chain is not the correct length. When the chain is too short, it won’t allow the flapper to make a tight seal. Your toilet tank will fill up, but it won’t stop running. That’s because the float will never lower and re-engage with the water fill valve.

When the chain is too long, it can fall into the drain opening after you flush. If so, the flapper is blocked from making a tight seal, which causes the toilet water to keep running. You can adjust the chain to the appropriate length. Try flushing a few times and watch where the chain falls as the water drains. Give it enough slack to allow the flapper to seal the hole without getting in the way.

Toilet keeps running because of the refill tube.

Your refill tube runs from the inlet valve and feeds water into the overflow tube. Its purpose is to fill water into the toilet bowl after a flush. The toilet bowl needs to have water to prevent sewer gases from coming out and filling the room. The water also helps to prepare the toilet for the next flush.

If the refill tube is placed too low into the overflow tube, it can sit below the water line. Instead of working as intended, it causes suction and pulls water out of the fill valve. You can raise this part to the appropriate level and cut off any excess tube.

Other potential problems can cause a toilet to run constantly, such as a faulty fill valve or other worn-out mechanisms. Fixing a toilet can be a complicated endeavour, so you may want to contact professional help. Our Burlington plumbers and the Birnie Plumbing & Drains team across Southern Ontario can help troubleshoot any toilet problems!