Emergency Services

How to Fix a Running Toilet

How to Fix a Running Toilet Fixing a running toilet is usually a straightforward process that you can complete on your own without having plumbing experience. It is important to be prepared and know what to do, as a running toilet can waste a significant amount of water over time.

The most common cause of a running toilet that you should be aware of is a faulty flapper valve. The valve is used to control the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. If this part is damaged or worn out, it can cause unnecessary water to leak into the bowl. There are other causes why your toilet might be running and our guide is here to help you determine when and how to fix it. 

Why Your Toilet Might Be Running

There could be several reasons why your toilet might be running. It is important that you identify the cause of the problem right away to avoid larger issues later down the road. Here are a few signs why your toilet could be running:

Faulty Flapper Valve

As we had mentioned earlier, this is the most common cause of a running toilet. The rubber valve is what controls the flow of water from the tank into the toilet bowl. When it becomes damaged, you may need a replacement to control water from leaking into the bowl.

Faulty Fill Valve

The purpose of a fill valve is to fill the tank with water once the toilet has been flushed. That is why it is important to make sure it is always running properly.

Tangled or Disconnected Chain

Sometimes the chain that is connected to the flush lever can disconnect or become tangled. This can cause the flapper valve from sealing properly and cause the toilet to run.

High Water Level

When the water level in a tank becomes too high, it can cause water to overflow into the overflow tube, causing the toilet to run.

Mineral Buildup

When mineral buildup takes place in the tank or around the flapper valve, then the valve cannot seal up the way it is supposed to. It is important to clean up the toilet tank when needed.

Faulty Flush Handle

A loose or disconnected flush handle can prevent the toilet from flushing properly. Here are some things to look out for that can cause the flush handle to stop working:

  • Corrosion: A metal flush handle can corrode due to water exposure, causing it to become weak.
  • Loose Connections: Overtime, the handle can loosen or disconnect from constantly being used.
  • Incorrect Installation: If the handle was installed improperly, it can eventually disconnect.

Some easy ways to fix the flush handle is to tighten its connections or replace it if needed. It may just need a quick adjustment.

How to Fix a Running Toilet

How to Fix a Running Toilet on Your Own

Now that you are more familiar with the reason behind your running toilet, there is a step-by-step process to fixing it yourself. Follow this guide before contacting your local plumber:

  • Step 1: Turn off your toilet’s water supply. To shut it off, turn it clockwise. The valve is located behind the toilet or on the wall near the toilet. 
  • Step 2: Remove the lid of the tank and inspect the flapper valve that is located at the bottom. It is connected to the flush handle by a chain. Determine whether or not the flapper valve is in need of a replacement. If you notice mineral buildup, simply clean it with a soft brush.
  • Step 3: If in need of a replacement, disconnect the chain from the old flapper valve and remove any clips. Attach the chain and clips to the new valve.
  • Step 4: Observe the fill valve at the left side of the tank. If the water does not stop running, the fill valve may need a replacement. Drain the tank before replacing it. Remove the old fill valve by unscrewing the nut and disconnecting it to the water supply lines. Install a new fill valve and secure it into place. Reconnect the water supply lines.
  • Step 5: Look for the chain that connects the flush handle to the flapper valve. Check to make sure it is not too loose or tangled. If needed, you can tighten the chain or replace it with a shorter one.
  • Step 6: Make sure the water level in the tank is 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube. You can adjust the water level by adjusting the float cup or bending the float arm.
  • Step 7: Turn the water supply back on to test the toilet. Flush the toilet to see if the water stops running once the tank has filled up. 

If the toilet is still running and you are unable to fix it, there may be other issues. Contact your plumber for assistance if needed. 

How to Fix a Running Toilet

Contact Shamrock Plumbing in Salt Lake City

Shamrock Plumbing is here for all your plumbing needs! We offer a wide variety of plumbing services for both residential and commercial properties. If you are experiencing an issue with your Utah plumbing, contact us today.

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