When a toilet works normally, it typically fills the tank for a few seconds and then stops. But sometimes you might notice that it seems like your toilet is performing this action for a lot longer than it used to. Ever wondered why and if it's impacting your water bill in any way? Well, the bad news is that yes, it's definitely impacting your water bill. Here's what's going on and what you can do to put a stop to it.
What's Going On
Typically when a toilet tank continues to fill for a long time after being flushed, it means that there's something wrong with the toilet's flushing mechanism.
If you've ever opened up your toilet tank and taken a look around, chances are you've seen a mechanism that moves when you push down the flush handle. This is called a floater valve. It's responsible for opening up the toilet so that the water in the tank can quickly be released to push down whatever's in the bowl down the drain. When you release the handle, it's supposed to close back up, allowing the tank to fill.
Sometimes, unfortunately, this mechanism fails. This could be due to something as simple as a damaged float valve, or it could be a problem with the hole that it's supposed to be blocking off.
It Adds Up
If you think that it's not going to impact your water bill all too much to have this going on, then think again. There's no telling how much water is being wasted when your toilet does this; it really depends upon how long it takes for that float valve to seal up the hole again. But given that the average low-flow toilet uses about 1.3 gallons of water per every normal flush, if your toilet is wasting the equivalent of just one flush of water, then it can really add up over time. Consider how often you and your family use that toilet on a daily basis and you can see how you'll end up with a much higher bill.
If you're having this problem, you should get help for it right away. The issue is unlikely to fix itself, and in the meantime, your wallet won't be happy.
Your plumber will come and take a look to determine if the problem is the float valve itself or if it's something to do with the toilet tank. If needed, they'll replace the float valve for you. However, if something is wrong with the tank, it may require replacing the tank.