There are two common reasons a toilet won’t stop running. Fortunately, both of them are easy to fix.
So, here’s how to go about repairing a toilet to keep it from running.
Replace a Running Toilet’s Tank Flapper
If the rubber flapper at the bottom of the toilet tank is warped or damaged, water will seep out around it, causing the toilet to continue to run.
So, to replace a defective flapper, follow these steps:
- Turn off the water to the toilet.
- Flush the toilet.
- Disconnect the chain from the flapper.
- Remove the flapper.
- Replace the flapper.
- Reconnect and adjust the chain to the flapper.
- Finally, turn the water back on.Tip: There are many products out there that make flapper replacement easy. For instance, Fluidmaster’s 502 PerforMAX Water-Saving, Adjustable Flapper offers a customized flush. To use it, you just have to turn the dial left for more water per flush, or right for less, depending on your needs.
Adjust a Running Toilet’s Tank Water Level
If water is constantly running into the overflow tube in the toilet tank, the fill valve in the tank needs to be adjusted. So, to adjust the water level in the tank, just follow these steps:
- Turn the screw on top of the fill valve* to adjust the float in the tank so the toilet stops filling approximately 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube.
- Finally, flush the toilet and check to see that the fill level is correct.
*Note: Some tanks have other methods of adjusting the height of the float.
Watch this video to find out how.
- How to Repair a Toilet (video/article)
- How to Replace a Toilet Flapper Valve (video)
- How to Repair a Running Toilet(video)
- Household Plumbing Inspection Checklist (article)
- How to Keep Up on Your Bathroom Maintenance(article)
A constantly running toilet means that the flapper isn’t sealing correctly or the fill valve is improperly adjusted.
So, if the flapper is warped or damaged, turn off the water supply and empty the tank, then disconnect the flapper from the flush chain and unsnap it from the flush tower.
Finally, snap on a new flapper and reconnect the chain before turning back on the water.
If water is constantly running down the overflow tube, the fill valve needs to be adjusted.
So, just turn the adjustment screw on the valve in one direction to raise the water level and the other direction to lower it.
The ideal level for a toilet tank is about an inch below the top of the overflow tube.