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How To Stop A Running Toilet And Buy Time Until The Plumber Arrives

Toilet in bathroom

What would you do if you hear your toilet running in the middle of the night and you’re all alone in the room with the door locked? Panic? No! Call a plumber? Yes.

A running toilet is not only scary but can cost you up to $1000 in utility costs and 6,000 gallons of water per month.

While you can’t reach out to a plumber at this hour, here’s what you can do to stop your running toilet from haunting you all night.

Shut off the Main Water Supply

First things first have a grip on the situation, all you need to do is stop the source of flooding water. There’s a valve next to the toilet supplying the water; twist it clockwise.

If it’s a small leak, the water will immediately stop running. However, you might have to dig deeper to find the culprit for bigger damage.

Open up the tank and spot the problem area.

Whenever you hear water “running” in your toilet, it’s usually an indication that there’s a problem inside the tank.

The fill valve attached to the waterline (a flexible hose heading through into the toilet tank) lets water in when the water level falls below a specific level, such as after a flush, allowing the tank to be filled up for the next flush.

If the fill valve, float, or flapper (the barrier that moves when you turn the lever, allowing water out and into the bowl) fails, water will leak out of the tank, lowering the water level and forcing the water line to run to keep the tank filled.

What to do?

It would help if you started by inspecting the fill valve for any problems. Ensure it’s securely linked, and water flows from the valve to the overflow pipe through the tube.

The fill valve should be positioned marginally higher than the overflow tube to allow gravity to get the water into the overflow tube. You can trim it if it’s too long, and it should be stretching into the pipe.

Pipe wrap to the rescue

By now, you would’ve figured out the pipe system within the tank. For any leaky pipes, a pipe wrap bought from a hardware shop can temporarily seal the leakage till the plumber arrives the next morning.

The fiberglass wraps can easily hold the leakage at pipe joints or mid-pipe leaks. When the pipe is wet, the wrap shrinks and hardens as it dries, stopping the leak.

Examine the Float

The float is a plastic component on the fill valve that looks like a cup and indicates the correct water level. If it’s set too high, water goes into the overflow tube and keeps running. However, the flapper will remain open if it is set too low.

With the help of the attached rod, screw, or clip, adjust the float until the water shuts off at the right level, which is normally labeled within the tank or the overflow tube.

Look out for the problematic flapper

While you can look at other sections of the tank without draining it, you’ll need to drain it to look at the flapper. Flush out the water in the tank with the water supply turned off.

Water will flow from the tank into the bowl if the flapper does not create a suitable seal, forcing the water line to flow to compensate for the lowering water level inside the tank.

The overflowing water can indicate that the rubber seal is worn and must be changed if it is fractured or not sitting properly.

If you can replace the flapper yourself, all you have to do is get a universal-sized flapper from the hardware store, remove the old flapper by unclipping it from the overflowing tube and replace it with a new one by following the steps backward.

With the situation under control, wait for the plumber to fix the problem permanently.

Jacksonville Plumbers at Your Service

You need a plumbing service that responds right away for plumbing emergencies like running toilets. For the residents of Jacksonville in Florida, you can get the best Jacksonville plumbing service at Metro-Rooter, located at 8892 Normandy Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32221.

Famous for their prompt response and top-quality service, plumbers at Metro-Rooter provide plumbing contracting, emergency plumbing service, lift station operations and repair, grease trap cleaning services, septic and drain field installations, and industrial pipe cleaning.

Dial (904) 567-3775 to reach out to them for plumbing emergencies.

You can also check out their website to see everything they have to offer.

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