There are some simple plumbing problems that every homeowner should learn how to fix, and a running toilet is one of them. If your toilet keeps running, meaning it’s constantly draining, follow these troubleshooting steps to find the cause and repair it.
Start With the Flapper
The most common cause of a running toilet is an ineffective flapper, which will fail to seal the water inside the tank. If you’ve ever looked inside your toilet tank, you’ll recognize the flapper as the rubber stopper with an attached chain. To replace the flapper simply buy an identical one at the store and follow the installation instructions.
The most important part of the process is to remove or add chain links as needed to get the right length. If it’s too long, the toilet won’t respond correctly when you try to flush. If it’s too short, the flapper won’t be able to rise fully, leading to short flushes.
Check the Fill Tube
If pressing down on the flapper to check its seal didn’t stop the running water, the fill tube is your next likely source of the problem. The fill tube runs from the fill valve to the overflow pipe, which drains excessive water from the tank and prevents the water level from rising too high. If the tube is underwater, cut it back so it sits above the water level.
Look at the Float
If the above solutions don’t work, take a look at the float, which will appear as either a cup shape or a ball. If the float is set too high, it will allow the water level to constantly rise too high and drain down the overflow pipe, wasting water needlessly. To fix this with a ball float, simply bend the metal arm down. On a cup float, there should be a mechanism for you to pinch that lets you slide the float down on the central tube as needed.
Replace the Fill Valve
You’ll need to replace the fill valve if the toilet is still running. Drain the tank and unscrew the water supply line, then unscrew the fill valve and replace it with an identical one.
If none of these solutions work or you aren’t comfortable fixing it yourself, contact the bathroom plumbing experts at Parker & Sons Plumbing for toilet repair. Start a service request today or contact us for more information.