Why Won’t Your Toilet Stop Filling?

When you normally use a toilet, you can hear the toilet tank refill after flushing for a short while, and then the water turns off. But sometimes, this doesn't work as expected. When the water keeps flowing no matter how much time passes after flushing the toilet, you have a problem on your hands. Here's what's likely going on and what you can do about it.

Why It Happens

The most common cause of this problem is that something has gone wrong with the float in your toilet tank. This device sits on top of the water level and rises as the water does. When it reaches the top of the tank, or wherever your toilet tank is designed to shut off the flow, the water automatically comes to a stop. However, if something goes wrong with the float, this may not happen as planned. In this case, the water will continue to flow.

Problems It Can Cause

There are a few issues that this can cause, of varying levels of annoyance.

The first, most common problem is that your water bill will go up — potentially tremendously. Water will just keep coming until this problem is resolved, so think of it as running a sink all day. You're likely to waste a lot of water during this problem.

The second issue is that if your overflow tube fails, the water will start spilling out of the tank itself. This is rare, but if it does happen, you could end up with a giant mess in your bathroom that can damage your flooring, subflooring, and cabinetry. It can even break down the caulk used to secure your toilet to the floor, which will create a whole additional headache for you to solve.

What to Do

If you're going through this problem, the best thing you can do in the short run is to shut off the water to your toilet. If it's the only toilet that you have, you can turn the water back on when you use the toilet and shut it off once the tank is nearly full. However, you're going to need help to fix this problem.

For a repair, call a plumber. This is a fairly easy problem for a plumber to fix, but if you were to try and do it by yourself, you'd likely end up needing to run to a hardware store, and there's no guarantee that they'll have the part that you need. It's best to have a professional repair the toilet.

Contact a company like Complete Plumbing to learn more.