A running toilet wastes water, costs money and can be an obnoxious distraction. In most instances, repairing a running toilet simply requires a trip to the hardware store and a little know how. Your Dallas area punctual plumber can show you how.
We’ll help you diagnose your running toilet problem and show you the simple steps to fix it. If you make the repairs and your toilet still won’t stop running, or the job is bigger than you expected, call us. One of our certified technicians can step in and get your toilet working properly again.
Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?
If your toilet runs for a long time after you use it, your flapper is probably the problem. Your toilet’s flapper is a rubber stopper inside the tank. It’s often black and connects to the toilet handle via a chain. When you depress the handle, you raise the stopper, which allows water to enter the toilet bowl.
The flapper functions similarly to an O-ring in a faucet. When it wears down, the same thing happens as with a faucet-water begins to leak through. The running toilet sound you hear is the tank of the toilet constantly refilling to replenish the water leaking out through a worn-down flapper.
If the flapper isn’t the problem, you should also check the fill tube, float, and fill valves. Here’s how to make sure each of these parts functions the way they’re supposed to, and what to do if they’re not:
Everything You Need to Stop Toilet from Running
- Replacement flapper
- Pipe-cutting tool
- A replacement fill valve
How To Fix It
- While your toilet is running, push down on the flapper. If the running sound stops immediately, you need to replace your flapper (start at step 2). If you don’t think the flapper is the problem, skip to “Fill Valve” further below.
- Turn off the water to your running toilet. There should be a shutoff valve on the supply pipe behind the toilet.
- Flush the running toilet to drain the remaining water from the running toilet bowl and tank.
- Remove the worn-out flapper by detaching it at the base and from the handle chain. It should be easy to maneuver at the hinge.
- Make sure the replacement flapper you bought is identical in size, shape, and function as the one you’ve removed. Consider taking your old flapper to your hardware store to make sure.
- Follow the installation instructions that come with your replacement flapper. Make sure you add or remove links from the flapper’s chain until it’s taut and the handle raises the flapper completely when you flush.
- If you determine the flapper wasn’t the problem, check the fill tube. The fill tube is a small plastic tube that runs from the main assembly in the tank to the overflow pipe. It’s responsible for refilling the toilet. Check to see where the fill tube ends.
- If the fill tube is under water in your tank, you will need to be replace it. If the fill valve is properly sized, check the float next.
- The float monitors when the tank is full of water. It will look like either a small ball floating in the water itself or a cup attached to the fill tube.
- If the float is set too high, the water might keep filling until it has reached the overflow pipe. The overflow pipe will remove water until the level in the tank is back beneath it, at which point the float will tell the fill tube to activate. The toilet will never stop running!
- This step depends on which type of float you have.
Ball float: A ball float attaches to a metal arm either directly or via a chain. Manually bend the arm down so that the float rests lower in the tank.
Cup float: A cup float attaches to the fill valve. Slide the float further down the tube.
- If you still haven’t solved the problem, you may need to replace your fill valve. Start by draining the tank, the way you would if you were replacing the flapper. Remember to turn the water off before you drain.
- Remove the fill valve from the toilet tank by unscrewing it from the water main supply line and the lock nut outside the tank. Detach it from the refill tube, then lift it out of the tank.
- Either measure the fill valve or take it with you to the store when you get a replacement.
- Attach the new fill valve to the main water supply line, lock nut, and refill valve. Follow the instructions included with your specific replacement valve. Adjust the new valve’s float to make sure it’s in the right position to control the water level.
Expert Toilet Repair for Dallas, Plano and McKinney
Hopefully one of these three simple fixes solved your problem. If the running won’t stop or if your toilet randomly runs now and then, schedule service with a plumber from Ben Franklin. We can repair or replace your toilet to ensure it works properly for many years.