4 Ways to Stop a Toilet From Running Constantly

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Michael Foster
February 01, 2023
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Toilets are something we take for granted nowadays, yet in the past, addressing the call of nature necessitated the use of porcelain pots and primitive outhouses. The modern flushing toilet didn't take off until the first decade of the 20th century. In the past 80+ years, little has changed about the fundamental operation of a toilet. Following a flush, water enters a tank, rising a float that turns the water off once it reaches a set level. When the water level drops, a lever snaps back into position, causing a flapper to open and the flush to occur. Therefore, it should not be surprising that we occasionally still see the same widespread flush issues.

Your water bill will go up if your toilet runs nonstop since it might waste hundreds of extra gallons of water daily. You can fix a running toilet without a plumber's assistance if you want to conserve water and money and prevent water damage to your property.

You may investigate the reason for a persistently running toilet on your own, without the assistance of a skilled plumber, and prevent flowing water from impacting your water bill. Wearing rubber gloves can let you handle the issue of a running toilet on your own. Read on for repair advice from the trained professionals at Home Alliance to stop your running toilet from increasing your water bill.

How Your Toilet Works

The first step in identifying the problem with your running toilet is to grasp how it works. Here is a quick explanation of how your toilet functions.

Parts Of Your Toilet. The tank, which is behind the bowl and houses the flushing mechanisms along with a water reserve for refilling the bowl, and the bowl, which retains water and links to the drain for waste disposal, are the two primary components of your toilet.

Flushing Process. When you flush a toilet, water from the tank rushes through the flush valve and into the bowl. A rubber stopper, known as a tank ball or flapper ball, which is attached to the valve with a short chain, plugs this valve. The flapper is removed from the valve when you pull the lever to flush.

What Causes a Running Toilet

People frequently look blankly at the toilet tank, wondering what the issue is, or wiggle the flush valve to see if it stops the toilet from running after the typical flush cycle. You can do several easy things to repair a running toilet, even though such remedies won't help you. Finding the cause must come first, after which you may take the appropriate action to stop the toilet from running.

You might wonder, "how much water does a running toilet use?"A leaking toilet may waste 200 gallons of water every day on average. For just one leaky toilet, that amounts to more than 6,000 gallons each month! Some toilets may emit an audible sound of flowing water. Some leaks are a little trickle flowing from the rim to the bowl's water.

Identifying The Cause

Lifting the cistern lid and having a thorough look inside will help you identify the source of the issue if your toilet is taking a while to stop flushing. While the lid is removed, flush the toilet while carefully inspecting each part to see if anything stands out right away. In this section, we'll talk about a few items that might be the problem's root cause.

Toilets that won't stop running may have one of the following problems:

  • The float height needs to be adjusted
  • The flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced
  • The refill tube needs to be shortened

Tools and materials you may need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Replacement fill valve
  • Toilet replacement parts
  • Multi-bit screwdriver
  • Cutting pliers

Now that you’re ready, here’s how to stop your toilet from running constantly.

Check the water level

The problem you are experiencing may be the simplest solution for a running toilet intermittently. Verify that the water level in the cistern is indeed at the water line. If it is below the line, ensure the water valve is fully turned on.

Check out your float ball. Shake the float ball to determine whether there is any water within; if there is, you will need to replace it. The float ball height instructs the fill valve to shut off when the tank is full.

If your float ball is empty, find the screw that secures the float ball arm to the fill valve on top and crank it clockwise or counterclockwise using a screwdriver or pair of pliers to increase or decrease the water level.

When you flush the toilet, the water tank should then fill to the correct fill line. If not, make the necessary adjustments, and the water should start to fill the tank.

Shutting the flapper

One of the most frequent reasons for a running toilet is a toilet flapper not sealing and not entirely covering the valve. If so, you typically need to reach inside the tank and shut it yourself; this should resolve the situation.

By releasing the sides from the pins at the overflow tube's base, you may remove the flapper (the open PVC pipe in the middle of the tank).

Check the flapper for any indications of damage, such as warping, mineral stains, discoloration, or other issues. (The flapper's bottom needs to be smooth.)

Pull the broken flapper off and take it to your neighborhood hardware store so you can get the proper replacement. You may replace the flapper by putting it in position and connecting the side hooks to the overflow tube pins.

Lower the float

You should find the float and lower it if the problem persists after the flapper has been corrected or if there was never a problem with this specific region. This will decrease the water level in the cistern and prevent it from increasing excessively, which may be what is causing the running problem because a high water level may cause water to enter the bowl through the overflow pipe. The water level shouldn't be more than an inch below the overflow pipe, so monitor it at all times.

A float cup or a ball float will be installed in your toilet. You can tighten the screw at the opposite end of the arm attached to the ball or bend it down if you have a ball float. If you have a float cup, all you need to do is locate the metal clip that is linked to it, pinch it, and slide it down until it is submerged.

Another issue may be that the flapper's attachment chain has been tangled or twisted, making it impossible for it to close. Use your hand to untangle it if you see that it has been tangled up in something. If the flapper still doesn't shut properly, there could be a problem with the product as a whole; thus, you should consider changing this component.

Naturally, it's always good to glance at the float to ensure it isn't filled with water since this will result in an overflowing problem. If you shake the ball lightly after unscrewing it and hear water splashing within, this tank component has to be replaced.

Check the Fill Tube

Remove the tank lid and look for the fill tube to solve a toilet overflow tube issue. A tiny, flexible tube between the fill valve and the toilet overflow tube. This tube sprays enough water down the toilet's overflow tube to replenish the bowl while the tank is being refilled. The bowl won't fill if this tube breaks if the water stream misses the overflow tube, and your subsequent flush won't create a powerful siphon.

Push the fill tube firmly onto the fill valve to reattach it. Make sure it lands at a 1-inch height. The fill tube empties water into the toilet overflow tube above the overflow tube's rim. Watch the water stream as you flush the toilet to ensure it flows into the overflow tube.

After considering all these potential issues, flush the toilet a few times while leaving the tank’s lid off. Make sure no more water seeps into the basin by giving it some time. If the toilet keeps running after the flush, you might need to repair other internal components like the flapper or flush valve since they may have broken or deteriorated over time. Your toilet is repaired if there is no more trickle of water!

Get Expert Plumbing Repair

Home Alliance has years of experience fixing running toilets, and we can undoubtedly assist you with your project. You may get assistance from our plumbing specialists to assess the problem and determine the cause of your toilet's persistent running. In this manner, our experts can address the underlying issue, guarantee that the work is done correctly, and stop more harm from occurring. We employ top-notch tools and plumbing service to ensure optimal performance.

If your toilet won't stop running or has any other plumbing issues or emergencies, book a service with us, and we'll fix the problem for you immediately.

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