Is your toilet running? Creepy gurgling noise emitting from your toilet bowl? From water leakage to odd noises, toilets can do all sorts of frustrating things.

Thankfully, with a little troubleshooting, there are lots of toilet issues you can fix yourself. Here, the professionals at J.L. Brady Company LLC 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 Won't My Toilet Stop Running?

If your toilet keeps running all the time, it is an issue you should repair because it's most likely also costing you money on your water bill.

A frequent reason for a running toilet is something wrong with the overflow tube. Found 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 does not get too high and overflow the top of the tank. Occasionally, the problem is that the plastic tube connecting your fill valve to your overflow tube got detached. If that’s the case, you should be able to 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 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 needed 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 amiss with your toilet float, which is a floating device that controls the water level in your tank. It accomplishes 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 unwanted water will go in your overflow tube and down into your toilet bowl.

2. Why Does My Toilet Keep Gurgling?

A gurgling toilet is often caused by a partial clog 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 to fix this by using a plunger or drain snake to remove the clog. If this does not have any effect, you can examine where your sewage vent exits your home to confirm it is not blocked by debris that would block 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 J.L. Brady Company LLC to evaluate the problem. As the experienced plumber in Moline, J.L. Brady Company LLC will check to see if the sound is due to a blockage in one of the drain lines carrying toilet water out of your home or the mainline that removes waste water away from your home to the municipal water system.

4. Why Is My Toilet Hard to Flush?

If it's difficult to flush your toilet, it's probable that the problem lies the chain, flapper or the handle. That’s because there’s a chain in a toilet tank that is attached to the back side of the handle. The other end of the chain is attached to the flapper, which serves as a plug in the bottom of your toilet tank.

The easiest way to get to the bottom of why your toilet is difficult to flush is to remove the lid, peek inside the tank and investigate.

Here’s how the process is supposed to 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 enables the water to flow 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 keeps 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, free 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. It's also possible there may be something awry with the handle.

5. Why Is My Toilet Leaking?

A leaking toilet can be a costly problem, potentially causing water damage in and around your bathroom. Usually, a leaky toilet is the result of 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 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 connects to the floor. Often, these issues are best fixed by an expert plumber. 

6. Why Is My Toilet Not Filling with Water?

A toilet not filling with water often traces back to a problem with the fill valve, which is the valve that lets water into your toilet tank. If the tube is broken or is plugged 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 amiss with the float, which is a device that prompts the fill valve to stop letting water into the tank when the water has reached the correct level. The fill valve gives the signal to stop when the water level lifts the float to a set height. It might be that the float/float assembly needs adjustment so that the water rises to the proper level. Or, solving the problem of a toilet not filling with water could require adjusting or replacing the fill valve.