A running toilet isn’t just annoying; it also means you’re wasting water and perhaps increasing your utility bills. Fortunately, there are a few simple fixes that can typically resolve the issue without requiring the services of a plumber.
Here’s how to diagnose the issue, troubleshoot your running toilet, and put the repairs in place.
Diagnosing the problem
There are mainly 3 reasons that cause a running toilet. We need to examine each of these components to determine which cause the problem and then get into the running toilet repair process.
1. The flapper
The flapper creates a seal in the bottom of your toilet tank and then lets water flow into the bowl when you flush, which is one common cause of running toilets. The flapper can gradually wear out and leak, at which point it needs to be replaced.
The proprietor of Stellar Plumbing, Duane Miller, shows that there’s an easy way to see if your flapper is leaking water into the toilet bowl. You can tint your toilet tank with a few drops of food coloring and leave it for 30 minutes. During that period, don’t flush the toilet. Examine the toilet bowl after 30 minutes to determine whether any colorful water has seeped in. If this is the case, your flapper will need to be replaced.
2. It floats
If your floating ball isn’t performing or the height has to be altered, water may continue to flow into your toilet, according to Miller. According to Miller, if your float isn’t adjusted appropriately, it can cause your tank’s water level to rise too high.
When the water level in your top tank rises too high, it can seep into your overflow tube. Your overflow tube directs water into the toilet bowl, preventing the tank from overflowing. As a result, the tube will remain to pump that water into the bowl, and your toilet will continue to add water to maintain that excessively high water level.
3. Filling valve
Your fill valve may also be leaking and needs to be replaced. The flow of water entering your tank is controlled by your fill valve, which stays on until your tank is full. A ballcock is another name for it.
Remove the lid from your tank and flush your toilet to determine if your fill valve is working properly. Check to check if any component of the valve is leaking water. If there are no obvious leaks, while the tank is filling, raise up the arm that is attached to your float. The water should be turned off. If it doesn’t, there’s most likely a leak in the fill valve below the surface that you can’t see.
Step-by-step instructions on how to complete the project
Step 1: Put the Flapper to the Test
- When you hear the water running, use a stick to push down on the flapper and wait for it to stop.
- If it comes to a halt, the flapper isn’t fully sealing. It should be replaced.
- Check the length of the fill tubing and cut it back to at least 1/2 inch above the waterline.
- Shut off the water supply valve under the toilet (or the main supply if the valve leaks!) before replacing the flapper.
- After flushing the toilet to remove the majority of the water, remove the old flapper.
- Purchase a new flapper of the same type and install it according to the package’s directions.
- Connect the flapper chain to the flush lever arm to create a loop.
Step 2: Look for a leak in the Fill Valve.
- Look for a fill valve leak after flushing the toilet.
- When the tank is filling, lift up on the toilet float arm to observe whether the water stops.
- When the water level is 1/2- to one inch below the top of the overflow pipe, bend or adjust the toilet float arm so that the tank stops filling.
- Replace the fill valve as described in the next photo if it still leaks.
Step 3: Remove the old toilet fill valve and replace it with a new one.
- Turn off the water, flush the toilet, then sponge away any remaining water in the tank.
- Remove the old fill valve by disconnecting the water supply line, unscrewing the fill valve locknut, and lifting it out.
Step 4: Install The New Fill Valve
- According to the instruction sheet, install the new fill valve in the tank and tighten the locknut a half turn past hand tight.
- If the fill valve is at its maximum height but the overflow pipe is still higher than the critical level mark, use a hacksaw to cut the overflow pipe down to one inch below the fill valve’s critical level mark.
Step 5: Fill the Fill Tube
- Connect one end of the new fill tube to the nipple of the fill valve and the other to the angle adaptor that comes with it (shorten the tube to avoid kinks, if necessary).
- The angle adapter should be clipped onto the overflow pipe.
- Attach the flapper chain to the flush lever as stated above to complete the installation.
- Turn on the water and flush the toilet to see if it’s working.