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

The good thing is, with a little troubleshooting, there are numerous toilet issues you can fix yourself. Here, the professionals at GLR Mechanical will go over some of the most prevalent toilet problems, what they mean and whether it’s a plumbing issue 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 is constantly running, it is something you should correct because it's in all likelihood also costing you money on your water bill.

A typical culprit that causes a running toilet is something wrong with the overflow tube. Located in the tank in the back of your toilet, an overflow tube allows extra water to drain 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. At times, the issue is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube got detached. If that’s the scenario, you should be able to reach into the tank and reattach them. It also may be your toilet is running simply because the overflow tube is isn't tall enough for the 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 serves as a plug in the bottom of your tank—is damaged and no longer forms the tight seal required to hold water in the tank. This enables water to seep through or around the damaged flapper and escape out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

Occasionally a running toilet is caused by something awry with your toilet float, which is a floating device that controls the water level in your tank. It does 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 will allow 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 Make a Gurgling Sound?

A gurgling toilet is often caused by a partial obstruction in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or an obstruction in your sewage vent. If the cause of the issue is a clog in your toilet, you can try fixing this by using a plunger or drain snake to remove the clog. If this rectify the issue, you can look at where your sewage vent exits your home to ensure it is not blocked by debris that would prevent air flow.

If these efforts don’t fix your gurgling toilet, it would be a good idea to contact a professional such an expert from GLR Mechanical to evaluate the problem. As the trusted plumber in Wilkes Barre and Scranton, GLR Mechanical will investigate whether the noise is caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines directing toilet water out of your home or the mainline that carries waste water away from your home to the municipal water system.

4. Why Is It Hard to Flush My Toilet?

If your toilet is hard to flush, it's likely the problem is with the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain within your toilet tank that is affixed 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 best way to figure out why your toilet is difficult to flush is to lift up the lid, peer inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process is supposed to 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 lifting 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 change it to the appropriate length.

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

5. Why Is There a Leak in My Toilet?

A leaky toilet can be a costly situation, potentially causing water damage in and around your bathroom. Usually, 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 something wrong with 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 broken toilet flange or wax ring at the base of the toilet where it sits on the floor. Often, these issues are best fixed by an expert plumber. 

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet not filling with water often indicates a problem with the fill valve, which is what fills your toilet tank with water. If the tube is damaged or is clogged by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it might 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 letting 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 preset height. It might be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water can attain the appropriate level. Or, solving the problem of a toilet not filling with water might require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.