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

Thankfully, with a little troubleshooting, there are many toilet problems you can fix yourself. Here, the specialists at Northern Comfort Inc will go over some of the most frequent 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 an issue you should fix because it's in all probability also costing you money on your water bill.

A common cause of a running toilet is something incorrect with the overflow tube. Found 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 won't get too high and leak all over your floor. At times, the problem is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube has become detached. If that’s the situation, you most likely can just reach into the tank and reattach them. It also may be your toilet is running 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 reason for a toilet to run could be the flapper--which functions 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. Not having a good seal allows water to flow out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

At times, a running toilet is caused by something wrong 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 predetermined height. If your float is set too high, this will allow the water level to rise too high, and the excess water will spill into your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Does My Toilet Make a Gurgling Sound?

A gurgling toilet is usually caused by a partial obstruction in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or a blockage in your sewage vent. If the problem is a clog in your toilet, you can try fixing this by using a plunger or drain snake to loosen the clog. If this does not have any effect, you can check 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 should phone a professional such an expert from Northern Comfort Inc to evaluate the problem. As the trusted plumber in Mankato area, Northern Comfort Inc will find out if the issue was caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines carrying 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 it's difficult to flush your toilet, it's likely the problem lies the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain within the toilet tank that is hooked to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is attached to the flapper, which acts as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

The quickest way to figure out why your toilet is challenging to flush is to lift up the lid, peer inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process is supposed to 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 allows the water to whoosh out of your tank and into your toilet bowl.

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

At times flappers can get stuck when they get old or become worn out. Or, there may be something wrong with the handle.

5. What Is Causing My Toilet To Leak?

A leaking toilet can be a costly situation, potentially causing water damage in and around your bathroom. Many times, a leaky toilet is due to a cracked supply line or a crack in the toilet tank. If your toilet tank is overflowing, it may be a failure in the toilet float.

Cracked gaskets around the connections on the underside of the tank also can let water to leak out of the toilet, as can a weakened toilet flange or wax ring at the base of the toilet where it sits on the floor. Often, these issues are best fixed by a certified plumber. 

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet that won't fill with water often suggests a problem with the fill valve, which is what fills your toilet tank with water. If the tube is damaged or is plugged by rust, sediment or mineral buildup, it may not be allowing water into the tank.

Another typical cause for your toilet not filling with water is something wrong with the float, which is a device that prompts the fill valve to stop bringing water into the tank when the water has risen to the correct level. The fill valve does this when the water level lifts the float to a preset height. It could be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water is allowed to reach the correct level. Or, solving the problem of a toilet not filling with water could require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.