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

Fortunately, with a little troubleshooting, there are numerous toilet issues you can solve yourself. Here, the experts at Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating will go over some of the most frequent toilet problems, what they mean and whether it’s something you can fix yourself—or, if it is better to call in an expert.

1. Why Does My Toilet Always Run?

If your toilet won't stop running, it is a situation you should correct because it's most likely also costing you money on your water bill.

A frequent cause of a running toilet is something incorrect with the overflow tube. Located in the tank in the back of your toilet, an overflow tube directs excess water 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. Sometimes, the trouble is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube is detached. If that’s the case, you most likely can just reach into the tank and reattach them. It also could be your toilet is running due to the fact 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 factor causing a toilet to run could be the flapper--which functions as a plug in the bottom of your tank—has malfunctioned and no longer forms the tight seal necessary to hold water in the tank. This causes water to flow out the bottom of your tank into your toilet bowl.

Sometimes a running toilet is caused by something wrong with your toilet float, which is a floating device that maintains the water level in your tank. It accomplishes 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 lets the water level to rise too high, and the extra water will flow into your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Does My Toilet Keep Gurgling?

A gurgling toilet is usually caused by a partial obstruction in your toilet, drain lines, mainline or something blocking 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 release the clog. If this rectify the issue, you can check where your sewage vent exits your home to ensure it is not blocked by debris that would block air flow.

If these efforts don’t fix your gurgling toilet, you will probably want to call a professional such an expert from Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating to evaluate the problem. As the trusted plumber in Pella, Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating will find out if the issue was caused by a blockage in one of the drain lines transporting 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 you can’t flush your toilet, it's likely the problem lies the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain in a toilet tank that is hooked to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is linked to the flapper, which functions as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

The quickest way to get to the bottom of why your toilet is difficult to flush is to lift up the lid, look inside the tank and investigate.

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

Sometimes a toilet doesn'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 somehow comes unhooked from either the handle or the flapper. If this happens, unhook the caught chain or reach in and change it to the appropriate length.

At times flappers can get stuck as they age or become worn out. There also might be something amiss with the handle.

5. What Is Causing My Toilet To Leak?

A leaking toilet can be a costly scenario, potentially causing water damage in and around your bathroom. Often, a leaky toilet is due to 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 weakened toilet flange or wax ring at the base of the toilet where it attaches to the floor. The majority of these issues are best fixed by a professional plumber. 

6. Why Is There No Water in My Toilet?

A toilet that isn't 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 broken 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 signals the fill valve to stop bringing water into the tank when the water has gotten to the correct level. The fill valve gives the signal to stop when the water level lifts the float to a set height. It could be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water rises to the appropriate level. Or, repairing a toilet not filling with water may require adjusting or exchanging the fill valve.