How to Fix a Running Toilet

Bathroom Plumbing Tips

In the bathroom, one of the main sources of trouble is the toilet. If your toilet is running constantly or flushing randomly when no one is around, check the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank to make sure there is a good seal. Chances are that the seal is inadequate and water is constantly leaking from the tank into the bowl. This valve is quite easy to replace and you will be surprised how much water you can save by doing so.

Adjust the Lift Chain

Start by jiggling the toilet handle. If this stops the running adjust the lift chain inside the tank. The chain “may” be wrapped around the lift arm and you may need to move the position of the chain on the arm.

Simply disconnect the hook from its slot and reconnect at the next slot on the float arm, and if this doesn’t work check to see if the float has become disconnected. The top of the float should be slightly above the water’s level. If it’s not adjust the arm on the float until the float rests where the water level is about 1/2″ below the top of the overflow pipe.

Check for Leaks with a Dye Tablet

If the toilet is flowing freely, try using a dye tablet (available at hardware of plumbing supply stores). Simply flush and as the water in the tank begins to fill, drop in the tablet. If your tank is leaking you’ll begin to see the water in the bowl turn the color of the tablet. Plain old food coloring also works for an ‘old school’ do-it-yourselfer!

Sometimes the flapper valve is the culprit and doesn’t seal the tank properly. This should be easy to fix. Turn off the shut-off valve below the tank and flush the toilet to “empty” it. Remove the flapper and replace it with a new one. If the flapper valve seat is cracked, you’ll have to replace the whole unit, which Duncan Plumbing Solutions can help you install. We are happy to replace your flapper valve.

Check the Ball-Cock Assembly

If the flapper valve and seat seem to be in good working order and your toilet is still running, the ball-cock assembly may need replacing. First empty the tank and then replace using a ball-cock assembly kit. Duncan Plumbing Solutions is happy to replace your leaky float ball or replace your faulty ballcock.

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