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Running Toilets.

A toilet will run on it's own for a couple reasons. The most common is a leaking stopper valve at the bottom of the tank. The stopper covers a large hole and when lifted it allows the tank to empty into the bowl for a flush. Two problems can occur with the stopper valve:

The most common is that is simply wears out in time, making a poor seal. In this case the leak cana be so small that the water leaking into the bowl below can't be seen or heard. However, in time (minutes or hours) enough will leak out to cause the float to drop, signalling the shutoff valve to open and refill the tank. So the symptoms here are the toilet suddenly runs water on its own for a moment and then stops for a while, only to repeat again later.

The stopper valve could also be seating poorly because the chain used to pull it up is not adjusted properly. The chain connects the outside handle you use to the stopper. Too long and it could lay on the stopper causing it to misalign as it floats down. In an extreme case the chain may get under the stopper but in this case you will probably have a toilet the runs and doesn't stop. A long chain may also give you the symptom of insufficient water when flushing. With a long chain to long, the stopper does not lift high enough to allow all the water to pass and will close too quickly when the handle is released. A chain that is too short could keep the stopper from dropping far enough to seat completely causing water to leak. The toilet may shut off, only to run again in a little while.

Another reason for toilets to run unexpectedly is a malfunction in the refill valve and/or float. Refill valves are like mouse traps. Someone is always trying to invent a better one but they all have their pros and cons. The float needs to be adjusted so the valve closes when water is within a half inch of the overflow tube.

Most modern relief valves have an adjustment screw for this purpose.
Running Toilets.

A toilet will run on it's own for a couple reasons. The most common is a leaking stopper valve at the bottom of the tank. The stopper covers a large hole and when lifted it allows the tank to empty into the bowl for a flush. Two problems can occur with the stopper valve:

The most common is that is simply wears out in time, making a poor seal. In this case the leak cana be so small that the water leaking into the bowl below can't be seen or heard. However, in time (minutes or hours) enough will leak out to cause the float to drop, signalling the shutoff valve to open and refill the tank. So the symptoms here are the toilet suddenly runs water on its own for a moment and then stops for a while, only to repeat again later.

The stopper valve could also be seating poorly because the chain used to pull it up is not adjusted properly. The chain connects the outside handle you use to the stopper. Too long and it could lay on the stopper causing it to misalign as it floats down. In an extreme case the chain may get under the stopper but in this case you will probably have a toilet the runs and doesn't stop. A long chain may also give you the symptom of insufficient water when flushing. With a long chain to long, the stopper does not lift high enough to allow all the water to pass and will close too quickly when the handle is released. A chain that is too short could keep the stopper from dropping far enough to seat completely causing water to leak. The toilet may shut off, only to run again in a little while.

Another reason for toilets to run unexpectedly is a malfunction in the refill valve and/or float. Refill valves are like mouse traps. Someone is always trying to invent a better one but they all have their pros and cons. The float needs to be adjusted so the valve closes when water is within a half inch of the overflow tube.

Most modern relief valves have an adjustment screw for this purpose.
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