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How To Make a Toilet Stop Running

Sometimes having a toilet that won’t stop running is worse than having a toilet that won’t flush at all. When you discover that your toilet just keeps on flushing, it indicates that there is a problem inside your toilet tank, an issue with items such as the float ball, fill valve, overflow tube, flush valve, fill tube, or the infamous toilet flapper and flapper chain that’s attached to the toilet handle. There are only a few things inside the tank that could be causing the toilet to malfunction and stay running, and sometimes it can be an easy fix, and other times it may be more involved for the homeowner who is not as confident with toilet repair or replacing items to make the toilets work correctly, where calling a licensed plumber may be the best solution. However, for the DIY minded, a trip to the hardware store for a new flapper can be as rewarding as fixing a clogged toilet bowl.

A constantly running toilet is characterized by the loss of water and the tell-tale noise of the toilet tank refilling. The first thing you want to do when this happens is take off the lid of the toilet tank and look inside. You should notice a flapper chain lifting a flapper when you pull the toilet handle to perform a toilet flush, a plastic float connected to a valve, and an overflow tube. Once you have observed these elements, you are ready to make the necessary fixes to common problems that keep your toilet running like an open faucet.

Steps To Fix a Running Toilet

  1. Reach into the tank and close the flapper with your hand. You may notice that the chain is catching on things or is wedged open. If so, fix what might be preventing the old flapper from closing completely and making a good seal.
  2. Examine to see if what water in the tank is at the water line. If it is not, turn on the water supply line shutoff valve all of the way.
  3. Adjust the valve and float by pulling up the float with your hand until the water stops. After you turn off the toilet fill valve and once the remaining water has reached around an inch below the overflow tube or overflow pipe, you can adjust the ball to float up or down so the correct amount of gallons of water fill the tank to the correct water level.
  4. Clean and replace the flapper or flush valve. The constant running may be due to a small leak in the tank. You can check by putting dye tablets in the tank and waiting to see if the color leaks into the bowl. If you determine this is happening, you will need to clean or replace the flapper completely. Remember to turn off the water to the toilet and flush excess water when you replace this part.

Most of the concerns that make a toilet run were covered above, but there are other things that may be causing a toilet problem. If you cannot find the cause, you always have the friendly and professional team at A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc. come and take a look!