How to Fix a Running Toilet

Simple Steps and Videos To Diagnose and Fix any Running Toilet

Welcome to Best Home Gear and our DIY guide on How to Fix a Running Toilet. Follow these simple steps along with toilet repair videos – to discover your toilet running problems and the best way to fix each one.

As a homeowner, few things are more frustrating than a Running Toilet. Not only is the sound of running water annoying, but a running toilet will lead to higher water bills and wasted resources. 

Introduction: What is the Best Way to Fix a Toilet?

The Best Way to Fix a Running Toilet is following a simple process of elimination, that can be completed in less than an hour, using a few basic tools and a little know-how.

This article provides a step-by-step guide to diagnosing and fixing a constantly running toilet, along with some common sense tips for avoiding toilet repair mistakes, as well as knowing when to call a plumber!

Why is my Toilet Running Constantly?

We must understand why this might happen before we get into the steps to fix a running toilet. There are a few common reasons why a toilet runs continually – and How to stop a toilet from running:

  • The flapper valve is damaged or worn out
  • The water level in the tank is set too high
  • The fill valve is malfunctioning,
  • The chain connecting the flapper to the flush handle is too long or too short

By understanding these common causes and knowing what each toilet part does (Diagram Below), you can quickly diagnose and fix a toilet running.

Toilet Parts Diagram:

toilet tank diagram - best home gear
Using a Toilet Parts Diagram To Diagnose a Running Toilet:  Besthomegear.com

How Do I “Diagnose” a Running Toilet?

  • Before you can fix a toilet that runs, you need to diagnose the problem. Here are the Three most common issues and the steps to figure out what’s causing your bathroom to run:
  • Listen to the sound of running water. If you hear water running constantly, that’s a good indication that your toilet is running (and not leaking – which is worse)
  • Remove the lid from the toilet tank and check the water level. If the water level is too high, that can be a sign that the fill valve is malfunctioning due to overflow.
  • Check the flapper valve. The toilet flapper must be replaced if it looks damaged or worn out.

How Do I “Fix” a Running Toilet?

Now that you know why your toilet might be running, let’s get into the tools and steps for fixing this problem. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A Replacement Flapper Valve (if necessary- See steps two below)
  • A pair of pliers
  • A screwdriver
  • A towel or rag
  • A Bucket to Catch Water

Next, Read about the 3 Most Common Toilet Running problems and How to Fix each Toilet Problem:

1). How to Adjust the water level

If the water level in the tank is set too high, it can cause the toilet to run constantly. Here’s How to adjust the Water Level in Toilet Tank:

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet by turning the shut-off valve clockwise.
  • Remove the lid from the toilet tank and set it aside.
  • Locate the float, usually a ball or cylinder attached to the fill valve.
  • Adjust the float so it sits at the correct level, usually marked on the side of the tank.
  • Turn the water supply back on and test the toilet to ensure it works properly.

2) How to Replace the Toilet Flapper

Often, a toilet will continue running simply because the toilet flapper is old or damaged. Replacing a toilet flapper is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to fix a running toilet. Follow these Steps to Replace the Toilet Flapper:

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet by turning the shut-off valve clockwise.
  • Remove the lid from the toilet tank and set it aside.
  • Remove the old flapper valve by detaching the chain from the flush handle and unhooking it from the flush valve.
  • Install the new flapper valve by attaching it to the flush valve and hooking the chain back to the flush handle.
  • Turn the water supply back on and test the toilet to ensure it works properly.

3). How to Replace Toilet Flapper (Video)

 

4). How to Fix the Toilet Fill Valve.

If the Fill valve is malfunctioning, it can cause the toilet to run constantly. Here’s how to fix a Toilet Fill Valve:

  • Turn off the water supply to the toilet by turning the shut-off valve clockwise.
  • Remove the lid from the toilet tank and set it aside.
  • Locate the fill valve, which is usually a tall, narrow tube in the center of the tank.
  • Use pliers to tighten any loose connections or replace any worn-out parts. You may have to replace the Fill Valve completely.
  • Turn the water supply back on, test the toilet by flushing it, and check for any leaks.

How To Replace Toilet Fill Valve Video

 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Are Other Causes Of a Running Toilet?

While the flapper valve is the most common culprit behind a running toilet, other possible causes exist, including these Causes:

  • A malfunctioning fill valve
  • A damaged or clogged flush valve
  • A cracked or damaged toilet bowl (leak)
  • An Old or damaged Wax Ring

If you’ve tried replacing the flapper valve and your toilet is still running, it’s possible that one of these other issues is to blame.

What Mistakes Should I Avoid Fixing a Running Toilet?

While fixing a running toilet is usually a simple process, there are some common mistakes that homeowners should avoid. Here are some common errors:

  • Using the wrong parts. Make sure you use the correct replacement parts for your toilet, or you could end up causing more damage.
  • Overtightening connections. Tightening nuts and bolts too much can cause them to crack or break, so be careful not to overtighten them.
  • Forgetting to turn off the water supply. Always turn off the water supply to the toilet before doing any repairs or replacements.
  • Not testing the toilet properly. After making any repairs or replacements, flush the toilet thoroughly to ensure it’s working correctly.

Should I Call a Plumber To Fix a Running Toilet?

While fixing a running toilet is usually a simple process, there are some situations where it’s best to call a professional plumber. These might include:

  • You’re uncomfortable working with plumbing or don’t have the necessary tools.
  • You’ve tried replacing the flapper valve and adjusting the water level, but your toilet is still running.
  • You suspect a more significant problem with your plumbing system is causing the toilet to run.

If unsure whether you need professional help, it’s always better to be safe and call a plumber.

Watch This Video:  How To Change Toilet Tank Parts (This Old House)

 

Conclusion

A running toilet can be a frustrating and annoying problem, but it’s usually a simple fix that can be done with some essential tools and some know-how.

By understanding the common causes of a running toilet and following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to diagnose and fix the problem quickly.

You will change your mantra from “My toilet keeps running” to “I can fix my own toilet.” 🙂

Remember to avoid common mistakes and know when to call a professional plumber.

Additional Reading & Resources:
Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carrollhttps://www.besthomegear.com
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

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Image of Kevin Carroll, author and publisher @ Besthomegear.com
Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Owner, Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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