How Can I Get a Toilet to Stop Running?

A running toilet can be both annoying and costly. Not only does the constant sound of running water disrupt your peace, but it can also waste a significant amount of water, which can rack up some pricey water bills. A running toilet doesn’t have to drive you crazy and drain your wallet.  

Fortunately, fixing a running toilet is a simple task that anyone can handle with basic tools and DIY know-how. Keep reading for our seven steps to fix your running toilet for good today! 

Identify the Cause of the Running Toilet 

Before fixing the problem, you need to know what’s causing the toilet to run continuously. There are several reasons why a toilet may keep running, including a faulty flapper, a malfunctioning fill valve, or a stuck float.  

To identify the cause of the problem, remove the lid from the toilet tank and inspect the various components. The components you want to focus on are the flapper, the fill valve, and the float.  

Once you know what’s causing the toilet to run continuously, follow the appropriate steps to repair or adjust the faulty component. Alternatively, you may want to contact a plumber for professional help. 

Check the Flapper 

The flapper is a rubber valve that sits at the bottom of the toilet tank and controls water flow into the bowl when you flush. The flapper is attached to the toilet handle by a chain and lifts when you push the handle down, allowing water to fill the toilet bowl. If the flapper is damaged, cracked, or worn out, it can allow water to leak from the tank into the bowl, causing the toilet to run continuously.  

An ill-fitting flapper could also be causing your toilet to run continuously. To check the flapper, flush the toilet and watch if it closes properly. If it doesn’t, it may need to be replaced. Flappers can easily be replaced by simply unhooking the old flapper from the chain and attaching a new one.  

Check the Flapper Chain 

While we’re on flappers, ensure your flapper chain isn’t to blame for your running toilet. A flapper chain that’s too long could get stuck around the flapper and prevent it from sitting in its proper place, which will allow water to seep slowly into the toilet bowl.  

A too-short chain will also prevent the flapper from sitting in its proper place. Open up the back of your toilet and look at the chain. You’ll want to replace it with the correct length if it looks too long or short. 

Check the Fill Valve 

The fill valve refills the toilet tank with water after each flush. If the fill valve is not working correctly, it can cause the water to run into the toilet bowl continuously. To check the fill valve, turn off the water supply to the toilet and remove the lid from the tank. Then, flush the toilet and watch to see if the water level in the tank rises and stops at the correct level. If it doesn’t, the fill valve may need to be adjusted or replaced.  

Luckily, adjusting the fill valve is relatively simple, and instructions can be found online. You’ll just need to determine the kind of fill valve your toilet has, as there are a few different types. If you adjust the fill valve and are still experiencing issues with continuously running water, the fill valve may need to be replaced. 

Check the Float

The float is a plastic ball or cylinder that sits on the surface of the water in the tank and tells the fill valve to shut off when the tank is full. If the float is stuck or damaged, it can cause the fill valve to stay open, resulting in a continuously running toilet.  

To check the float, flush the toilet and watch to see if the float rises and stops the water flow at the correct level. Suppose it doesn’t adjust the float arm or replace the float. 

Check the Overflow Tube 

While an issue with the flush valve seldom causes a running toilet, don’t completely rule out the possibility. The overflow tube is part of the flush valve assembly, and if the assembly isn’t compatible with your toilet, the overflow tube could be too short. If the overflow tube is too short, you must replace the flush valve assembly. 

Despite your best efforts, sometimes a running toilet is beyond your ability to fix. You may want to call a professional to look at the problem when you hit a roadblock after trying to fix it yourself. The plumbers at Birnie Plumbing and Drains have you cover

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