How to Fix a Running Toilet?

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Michael Foster
June 18, 2024
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In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps on how to fix a toilet that keeps running. From simple adjustments to replacing faulty parts, you'll soon be equipped with the knowledge to tackle this annoying issue head-on. Get ready to bid farewell to that incessant sound and regain your bathroom serenity!

Why Is the Toilet Running?

When a toilet keeps running, it's usually due to a malfunctioning or misadjusted component inside the tank. The most common culprit is the flapper valve, which is responsible for sealing the tank and allowing water to flow into the bowl during a flush. When the flapper is not functioning correctly or is broken, water will continuously leak from the toilet tank into the bowl. This can cause the toilet to run constantly.
Other potential causes include a faulty fill valve or a defective float. A fill valve regulates the water level in the tank, while the float controls when the valve should open and close. If either of these components is malfunctioning, it can lead to a running toilet. Understanding the root cause of the problem is essential for effective troubleshooting and fixing the issue.

What can happen if your toilet keeps running?

A running toilet can lead to various problems if left unattended. Here are the potential consequences:
  • Water wastage, resulting in higher water bills and environmental impact.
  • The annoying and persistent sound of running water causes disturbance and inconvenience.
  • Increased risk of damage to the toilet's internal components, such as the flapper, fill valve or float.
  • Potential leaks and water damage to the surrounding area if the issue is not resolved promptly.
  • Possible deterioration of the toilet's overall performance and functionality over time.

Tools Need to Fix a Running Toilet

To fix a running toilet, you'll need a few essential tools to help you with the repairs. Here are the tools commonly required:
  1. Adjustable Wrench: An adjustable wrench is useful for loosening and tightening nuts and bolts in the toilet tank. It allows you to secure or remove different components during the repair process.
  2. Screwdriver: A screwdriver, both flathead and Phillips, is necessary for removing screws that hold certain parts in place. It enables you to access and work on different components of the toilet.
  3. Pliers: Pliers come in handy for gripping and maneuvering small parts like bolts and nuts. They provide a firm grip and make it easier to tighten or loosen connections.
  4. Toilet Repair Kit: A toilet repair kit is a comprehensive solution that includes various replacement parts, such as a flapper valve, fill valve and other necessary components. It can be purchased at a hardware or plumbing supply store.
  5. Plumber's Tape: Plumber's tape, also known as Teflon tape, is a thin white tape that is wrapped around threaded connections to create a watertight seal. It helps prevent leaks in areas like the fill valve and water supply line connections.
  6. Bucket and Towels: It's always a good idea to have a bucket and towels handy to catch any excess water that may spill during the repair process. They help prevent messes and protect your bathroom floor.
These tools will assist you in resolving the most common issues causing a running toilet. However, depending on the specific problem, you may require additional tools or specialized parts. It's advisable to consult the specific repair guide or instructions for your particular toilet model to determine if any additional tools or parts are needed.

Steps on How to Fix a Running Toilet

Are you tired of the constant annoyance and wastage caused by a running toilet? Fear not, as we have a solution for you. Here are clear and detailed steps to help you fix that running toilet and restore peace and efficiency to your bathroom.
  1. Remove the Tank Lid: Lift the lid of the toilet tank and set it aside in a safe place.
  2. Check the Flapper: Inspect the flapper valve positioned at the base of the tank. If it appears to be damaged or misaligned, or if it fails to create a tight seal, you should replace it. Before doing so, turn off the toilet's water supply valve located near the floor, and flush the toilet to empty the tank.
  3. Replace the Flapper: Disconnect the old flapper from the flush valve chain or arms. Install the new flapper according to the manufacturer's instructions, ensuring it creates a tight seal when closed.
  4. Adjust the Chain: If the chain connecting the flapper to the flush handle is too loose or too tight, adjust its length. It should have a slight slack, allowing the flapper to close fully but not overly taut to prevent it from closing properly.
  5. Check the Fill Valve: Inspect the fill valve (ballcock assembly) located on the left side of the tank. Ensure it is functioning correctly and shutting off the water flow when the tank is full. If it is faulty, replace the fill valve using a repair kit.
  6. Adjust the Water Level: The water level in the tank should be set to the recommended level marked on the inside of the tank. Adjust it by turning the adjustment screw or float mechanism on the fill valve. The water level should be below the overflow tube.
  7. Check for Leaks: Turn on the water supply valve and let the tank fill. Observe any leaks around the flapper, fill valve or other connections. Make any necessary adjustments or tighten any loose fittings.
  8. Test the Toilet: Flush the toilet a few times to ensure it fills and flushes correctly. Listen for any sounds of running water or leaks. If the issue persists, recheck the flapper, fill valve, and other components for proper installation and functionality.
Following these steps will help you solve a running toilet issue effectively. Remember to exercise caution and consult professional help if you encounter complex issues or if you're unsure about any aspect of the repair process.

Who should I call for plumbing repair near me?

Don't let plumbing problems ruin your day. When it comes to repairing a running toilet and tackling any plumbing issue, Home Alliance is your reliable solution. From water heater replacement and water line services to clogged drain and gas leak detection, our skilled plumbers have got you covered.
Experience our team's friendly attitude, top-notch plumbing service quality, and affordable pricing. Say goodbye to plumbing headaches and hello to peace of mind. Contact us today, and let us handle all your plumbing needs with expertise and care.