Is a running toilet driving up your water bill and keeping you awake at night? It’s a common issue that homeowners will likely encounter at some point. The simplest explanation for this annoyance is that, for one reason for another, the flapper (which controls the flow of water from the tank into the toilet bowl) is not closing properly, so water is continuously leaking from the tank to the bowl. This can be caused by one of several different problems inside your toilet’s tank. Fortunately, it is usually a simple and inexpensive fix. Here are a few issues that could cause your toilet to run continuously:
The first thing to check in a running toilet is the flapper. Over time, flappers can become warped, dirty, or damaged so that they don’t function properly and allow water to leak from the tank. If your flapper looks discolored, warped, or broken, it is probably time for a replacement.
Your toilet may have a plastic balloon attached to the pump, floating on top of the water in the tank. This float tells the pump when the tank is full so that it will stop filling with water. However, setting the float too high will result in a running toilet. To adjust, there will be a small screw on the rod that connects the balloon to the valve. Turn the screw clockwise to lower the balloon hight setting.
If someone recently worked on your toilet and you soon notice it running afterward, it’s probably a case that they reattached the chain incorrectly. When you open up the tank, you’ll see a chain connecting the rubber flapper to the flush lever. When you push down on the lever to flush the toilet, it is meant to lift the chain which then pulls up the flapper, allowing water to rush from the tank to the bowl. However, if your chain is too short, the flapper will be raised and will not to stop the water from leaking from the tank. To fix, unhook the chain, press the flapper completely down, reattach the chain and voilà! No more running toilet.
Need help figuring out why your toilet keeps running? Call the Best Plumbing team at (206) 785-2551! We’ll take a look, make a fix, and ensure that your toilet is functioning properly. Visit our website to learn more about our wide range of plumbing services.
Generally, you only turn off water to specific fixtures during plumbing repairs, but sometimes it’s necessary to use the main water shut-off valve to prevent costly water damage during an emergency. However, it’s surprising how many people don’t know where to find this important valve. Plumbing can be confusing, especially for older Seattle houses, so here are tips on locating your main water shut-off valve.
Ideally, water lines run directly from the water main to the shut-off valve with few or no detours. So, imagine the shortest path from the water main to your home and that’s where the water shut-off valve will likely be found.
Things get trickier if you have an older home that’s been added onto over the years. In this case, check the inspection report you received when you purchased your home (which should label the main shut-off valve). If you don’t have access to this report, perform your own home inspection. Look around the water heater, under the kitchen sink, and around the foundation wall. If you see an access panel that’s not the electrical box, that’s likely the water shut-off valve. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for an accessible pipe that has either a wheel or lever handle.
If you have any questions or concerns about your home plumbing, give Best Plumbing a call at (206) 785-2551. We’ll perform a home plumbing inspection, catch any issues before they become problems, and show you where to find important valves. We’ve been serving greater Seattle for more than 50 years!
Photo credit: pisauikan, available under Creative Commons CCO.
The Seattle winter rains are on their way, bringing almost daily drizzle and the occasional heavy downpour. As experienced homeowners know, some preventative drain cleaning can save you from having a flooded basement later on. Here’s an easy list of drains to clean around your property for a worry-free rainy season.
While the city keeps the street drains clear, the ones at the bottom of your driveway are your responsibility. Pull any weeds growing around the grate and clear away debris that prevents water from flowing into the drain. If you can see silt building up below the grate you may need to schedule a more extensive drain cleaning.
A clogged gutter can cause water to run straight down the stem wall into the basement or foundation. First, check if any birds or rodents have taken up residence over the summer. Next, use a power washer to remove built up leaves and dirt from your gutters. Finally, check that your downspout is still properly attached and that water drains away from your foundation and towards the street. Adding a screen or gutter helmet can help prevent future buildup, or nesting, inside the downspout itself.
With the hilly Seattle terrain, many houses have garages at the bottom of a slope from the street. This means the drain in front of your garage doors must work properly to prevent water from flowing straight into your home. After removing debris, run your garden hose for 20 minutes and check that water is being directed away from the house. Also, be sure to check other outside drains and floor drains to be sure the water is not be re-directed to somewhere other than the street or storm system. If you notice puddles forming near the foundation, you may want to contact a professional plumber to discuss ways to improve drainage.
If any of your drains are not functioning properly, give Best Plumbing a call at (206) 785-2551 to schedule a professional drainage checkup. We serve the greater Seattle area and the East Side. Find more great plumbing tips on our Youtube channel!
Photo credit: saschasnowstorm, available under Creative Commons CCO.