Home » Plumbing Problems: Methods and Steps to Fix a Running Toilet

Plumbing Problems: Methods and Steps to Fix a Running Toilet

by Uneeb Khan

A leaking or running toilet is no doubt a very disturbing and irritating phenomenon that can happen to your toilet. However, fixing a running toilet is a lot easier than you think.

Even if you do not have any plumbing experience, you can still fix your running toilet and can easily get rid of this irritating issue that leads to huge wastage of water.

Reasons of a Running Toilet

There are some reasons why you are facing a running toilet. These reasons are given below.

  • There could be some fault in the float,
  • There could be a faulty flapper.
  • The fill valve of your toilet could be the culprit.

Whatever the reason is, you can easily locate and solve the matter by replacing the faulty part causing a runny toilet.

Steps to Run a Running Toilet

The good news is that fixing a runny toilet is not a difficult task. You can easily fix the running toilet yourself by simply following the below steps.

1.     Turn Off Water Supply

The first step is to turn off the water supply. There is a knob near the floor where the toilet is fixed. Turn this knob in a clockwise direction to shut off the water supply.

The water supply is turned off because you will be going to open the parts of the toilet to fix them and check them. The water will create a mess and it will not be possible to work with running water.

2.     Open the Tank Lid

There is a cover on the top of the water tank of the toilet. This cover is usually made of ceramic. Remove this lid carefully.

This ceramic tank cover is fragile therefore you should handle it gently and place it on a safe place. Now you are able to see the inside parts of the toilet tank. Look carefully all the parts that are related to water controlling your toilet.

The main water controlling parts are float, flapper and fill valve. Check all these three for the possible problem.

3.     Check the Flapper

Sometimes the reason for a runny toilet is the faulty flapper. If the chain of the flapper is broken or is not sealed properly, then the water keeps on running in the toilet bowl. You can press your finger around the edges of the flapper.

If water stops running by doing so, this means that the flapper seal is broken and it needs replacement. In case of a faulty flapper, remove the flapper by disconnecting the chain from the flush lever. You can bend and unclip the chain easily.

After this take the flapper out of the tank. The installation of the new flapper depends on the type of flapper you are going to install. Follow the instruction manual written on the packing of the new flapper or call a local plumber.

4.     Check the Float

The float ball inside the tank could also be the reason for a running toilet. If it is not adjusted properly at a specific height then it can cause the water running constantly into the toilet bowl.

The faulty float can cause high water levels in the toilet tank. The high water will go into the overflow tube of the tank. The overflow tube will keep on passing this water into the toilet bowl. This will result in a continuously running toilet.

Now you have to adjust the float level to fix the running toilet. You have to adjust the float 2 inches below the overflow tube. There might also be a marking inside the tank to show the correct level of the float ball.

You simply have to unscrew the float from the side where there is a nut and washer. After that adjust the height of the float ball and tighten the screws back again.

Now check that the float should be sitting in the water in the tank. Check the toilet if there is still water running in the bowl or it has stopped.

5.     Check the Fill Valve

There is a possibility that your fill valve of the toilet could be the culprit behind your running toilet. The leaking fill valve needs replacement. Fill valve is the part which controls the flow of water inside the toilet tank.

To check the fill valve, remove the tank cover. Then flush the toilet and see if water is leaking from any part of the valve. If there is no visible leak, then detach the arm that is connected to the float while the tank is filling.

The water should stop going into the tank. If the water still runs, this means your valve needs replacement.

To replace the fill valve first turn off the water supply and then flush the toilet to empty the tank. Now remove the tank top cover and reach the fill valve. There is a bolt underneath the fill valve. Unscrew that bolt and lift up the fill valve.

The new fill valve will come with an instruction manual. Follow the steps mentioned in the manual according to the model and size of the fill valve.  Turn on the water supply and check if you have installed the fill valve properly.

Concluding Comments

The float, the flapper or the fill valve could be the very common reasons for a running toilet. All of these are very easy to locate inside the tank.

The replacement and installation process of these three parts is also very easy and you can easily do it yourself. However if you cannot fix the problem by replacing the above parts, then it is time to call the plumber.

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