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

Fortunately, with a little troubleshooting, there are numerous toilet problems you can solve on your own. Here, the professionals at Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. will go over some of the most common toilet problems, what they mean and whether it’s a situation you can fix yourself—or, if it is better to call in an expert.

1. Why Won't My Toilet Stop Running?

If your toilet won't stop running, it is an issue 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 amiss with the overflow tube. Located 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 doesn't get too high and spill over the top of the tank. Occasionally, the trouble is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube has become detached. If that’s the situation, you should be able to reach into the tank and reattach them. It also might be your toilet is running simply because the overflow tube is is not tall enough to maintain the correct 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 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. Not having a good seal allows water to leak out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

Occasionally a running toilet is caused by something wrong with your toilet float, which is a floating device that determines the water level in your tank. It accomplishes this by shutting off your fill valve when the water level raises the float to a predetermined height. If your float is set too high, this lets 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 Does My Toilet Keep Gurgling?

A gurgling toilet is often caused by a partial clog 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 loosen the clog. If this doesn’t work, you can look at where your sewage vent exits your home to ensure 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 will probably want to contact a professional such an expert from Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. to evaluate the problem. As the trusted plumber in Port Clinton, Ohler & Holzhauer Inc. will check to see if the sound is due to a blockage in one of the drain lines transporting toilet water out of your home or the mainline that takes 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 is with the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain inside a toilet tank that is hooked to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is connected to the flapper, which functions as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

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

Here’s how the process should 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 drain out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a toilet won’t flush because the chain is snagged on something within the tank, which keeps the chain from pulling up the flapper to let out the water. Or, the chain is too long or becomes detached from either the handle or the flapper. If this happens, unhook the caught chain or reach in and shorten it to the appropriate length.

Sometimes flappers can get stuck as they get older or become worn out. It's also possible there might be something awry with the handle.

5. What Is Causing My Toilet To Leak?

A dripping toilet can be a costly situation, potentially leading to water damage in and around your bathroom. Often, a leaky toilet is caused by a cracked supply line or a crack in the toilet tank. If your toilet tank is overflowing, it may be a malfunction in the toilet float.

Cracked gaskets around the connections on the underside of the tank also can allow 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. Often, these issues are best fixed by a professional plumber. 

6. Why Is My Toilet Not Filling with Water?

A toilet not filling with water in many cases traces back to a problem with the fill valve, which fills the tank in the back of your toilet with water. If the tube is damaged or is plugged by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it potentially could not be allowing water into the tank.

Another typical cause for your toilet not filling with water is something faulty with the float, which is a device that signals the fill valve to stop allowing water into the tank when the water has risen to the correct level. The fill valve performs this function when the water level lifts the float to a predetermined height. It might be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water is allowed to reach the proper level. Or, solving the problem of a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.