How to Fix a Running Toilet

How to Fix a Running Toilet

One of the items in our houses we take for granted the most is the toilet. We use it every day, and usually it works perfectly fine, but when it doesn’t work right, it changes the course of your day.

If you have a toilet that keeps running after you flush, you may have a lot of concerns. Will the toilet overflow? Is it costing me more money? What’s wrong with the toilet?

We’re here to clear this up for you right now.

My Toilet Won’t Stop Running After Flushing, So What?

This can be a minor inconvenience as far as plumbing problems go. But an inconvenience with significant impact on your life nonetheless.

A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day while hiking up your water bill, too.

That’s why you’ll want to fix this problem as soon as possible. You can call your local plumbing expert, like us at Climate Design if you live in Clearwater, Florida, or you can try to fix the problem yourself.

To fix the problem yourself, it first helps to know why your toilet won’t stop running.

Why Does My Toilet Keep Running

There are a few common reasons this is happening to you. The world’s not out to get you, there’s a very logical explanation. Don’t worry. Here are the most common reasons:

  1. Faulty flapper seal/flush valve
  2. Clogged overflow valve
  3. Leaky fill valve
  4. Old toilet handle
  5. Too much water in the tank

How to Fix a Running Toilet

The reason it’s helpful to know the causes for your running toilet is that knowing the cause will help you fix it.

Here are the steps we recommend taking to find the cause and stop your running toilet:

1. Inspect the Flapper for Damage

Remove the flapper by unhooking the sides from the pins at the bottom of the overflow tube. What’s the overflow tube? It’s the open tube in the center of the tank. Inspect the flapper for mineral deposits, warping, discoloration, and other signs of damage.

The bottom of the flapper should be smooth. If it’s not, or if there are signs of damage, you’ll need to replace the flapper. Flappers are fairly inexpensive. You can take your old flapper to the local hardware store to make sure you get the right replacement.

To replace the flapper, fit in into place and attach the hooks on the side to the pins on the overflow tube. Then flush the toilet and see if it still runs after you flush.

2. Check the Water Level

With the water running and the tank full, take a look at the overflow tube. This is an open tube in the middle of the tank that connects the tank and the toilet bowl. Does water keep draining into the tube? If that’s happening, you can adjust the water level by lowering the float.

Water comes into a tank through a fill valve. The fill valve has a float that rises or lowers with the water level. The float height tells the fill valve to shut off when the tank is full. You can lower the water level in the tank by adjusting the height of the float.

A float ball fill valve will have a long arm attached to the fill valve. At the end of the arm there’s a rubber ball-shaped float. Shake the float ball to determine if there’s water inside it. If there is, replace the float.

On top of the fill valve, there will be a screw attaching the float arm to the fill valve. When you turn this screw, you can adjust the height of the float. Turn the screw a quarter turn counterclockwise with a screwdriver to lower the float.

This should address the water level issue.

3. Replace the Fill Valve

If you’ve tried the other two things and your toilet is still running, try replacing the fill valve. First, turn off the water and empty the tank.

Next, disconnect the water supply line by unscrewing the lock nut on the outside of the toilet. Then, remove the old fill valve. Take the old fill valve with you to the hardware store so you can make sure you get the right replacement.

Fit the new fill valve in the old place and screw it in. Then, connect the water supply line.

Attach the fill tube to the water output nozzle at the top of the fill valve, adjust the float, and test.

4. Check the Handle

If for some reason all the other fixes you’ve tried don’t work, give your handle a once-over. Does it stick when you press it? If so, it may be old and you need to replace it.

Contact Us Today for Plumbing Services in Clearwater, Florida

It can be very frustrating to deal with plumbing issues. And while the above steps can help you fix your running toilet problem, you may not want to and prefer to have a professional do it. We’re here to help.

If you’re looking for expert and friendly plumbing service in your Clearwater home, the Climate Design team is here to help.

Contact us today for all of your plumbing, HVAC, AC, and electrical needs in the Tampa area.