How to Fix a Running Toilet

A running toilet can drive anyone mad after enough time. While calling a professional plumber to fix a running toilet is an excellent option, it is not always necessary. If you have the correct knowledge and tools, you may be able to stop your toilet from running.

Are you wondering how to fix a running toilet in your home? Follow the 5 steps below to pinpoint and resolve the issues with your running toilet. These tips may not work in every case, but they’re an ideal starting point.

Fixing a Toilet That Keeps Running

1. Locate Your Leak

At first glance, finding a toilet leak may seem very straightforward. However, if you’re unable to isolate a leak and know where the issue is coming from, you’re not going to be able to fix it, even if you’re an experienced plumber.

Roll up your sleeves and start searching. In many cases, the parts listed below in points two through five are the ones causing the issues.

2. Check for a Broken Fill Valve

Your toilet gets refilled every time you flush it through a valve that lets water in. You can usually recognize a broken fill valve by a constantly running toilet and a stopper that stays submerged. Here’s how to fix a running toilet:

  • Shut off the water supply hose and remove the toilet lid. Place a bucket below the water supply valve to catch excess water.
  • Unscrew the lock nut at the bottom of the tank that holds the valve in place. Remove the entire tank valve in one piece.
  • Install the new valve in the right place – typically where the top hits about one-inch below the top of the tank. Finish by replacing the lock nut you removed.

3. How’s that Flapper?

If the fill valve is working properly, you may be wondering how to fix your toilet that keeps running. The next step is to inspect the flapper in the toilet to ensure it is operating properly. This is a rubber cap that is designed to hold the water in the tank. Now that you know its name, you can check to see if it’s the cause of your running toilet. Here’s how:

  • Ensure that the chain from the handle mechanism is connected to the flapper. Also, ensure that the chain is the correct length. A chain that’s too long can get stuck underneath the flapper, causing a toilet running issue. Also, a chain that’s too short won’t allow the flapper to fully close either.
  • Flush the toilet and evaluate the flapper. Does it work as intended?
  • Adjust the flapper so it sits squarely over the drain. In many cases, an edge gets caught, preventing proper function and causing a continuously running toilet.
  • Replace the flapper if the above steps don’t work. Most hardware stores and plumbing supply stores will have what you need.

4. Evaluate Water Levels

Inside every toilet fixture there’s a round bulb or cup that floats – well, at least it should float. If yours isn’t floating, this may cause a running toilet issue or a water level problem. Here’s how to check and fix it:

  • Check to see if the bulb or cup is floating in a buoyant manner. You’ll also want to make sure the float hasn’t become filled with water.
  • Loosen the screw at the end of the float arm to adjust the bulb. Newer toilets may require you to make an adjustment to two screws near the fill valve.
  • Lower the float. This will work in many cases, but not all.

5. Clear Mineral Deposits

If the bulb in the toilet is floating, you may be researching ways to fix a running toilet. If all of the parts and components in the toilet are in good condition, mineral deposits may be responsible for toilet running problems. Here’s how to check your toilet for them:

  • Take the tank lid off and check for white mineral buildup.
  • Call a residential plumber if you see buildup. Flushing buildup is not a DIY job for homeowners.

A running toilet is a nuisance, but it doesn’t have to ruin your week. If you are unable to diagnose and fix your toilet, give our team a call by phone at (904) 724-2455 or schedule an appointment online. We offer toilet repair and installation services to homes in Jacksonville and other areas of Florida. We also offer other residential plumbing services such as repiping, water heater repair, and sewer line installation. We are able to help with small to large plumbing issues in your home.