Share useful tips on home improvement.

How  to Fix a Running Toilet

How to Fix a Running Toilet

A running toilet can be the cause of extreme wastage of water and an ill-kept bathroom. Calling on the services of a plumber when you can mend it yourself for free seems illogical. This article tells you how to do it like a pro.
Rimlee Bhuyan
Before you attempt to fix a running toilet, you should know the mechanism that the flush works on and the exact reason why it broke down. Lift open the lid of the toilet and take a look. You will notice that inside the tank there is a valve, float, fill tube, overflow tube, and flapper. The toilet flushing system works on elementary mechanics. Ideally, when you push the handle of the flush, the chain lifts the flapper, letting a tankful of water gush in through the opening which is at the bottom, into the toilet bowl.

As the water level slowly drops, the flapper which works like a valve, closes. The plastic float drops as the water drains into the toilet bowl. The float is linked to a valve which allows the water to flow into the tank when the float is down and stops the flow of water when the float moves up. There is also an overflow tube that drains out excess water into the toilet bowl if the water level gets too high in the tank.

Push the flush button and if water is not getting filled up in the tank, there might be a high probability that the flapper is stuck open. In such a case, simply close the flapper. If you are not able to close the flapper, it might be stuck due to being wedged on its hinge or might just be misaligned. In such a case, you might need to replace the flapper so that it works smoothly. You can also try running your fingers around the periphery of the flapper to check if there is any buildup of dirt or minerals which might be preventing the flapper from working.

Even after adjusting the flapper, if the water continues running into the toilet bowl, you need to adjust the valve and the float. To do this, pinch the metal clip that is linked to the float and slide the float along the wire. You can also try to adjust the small screws present on top of the valve. Sometimes the leakage might be due to the occasional wear and tear of the fill valve. The fill tube, which is linked to the overflow pipe, should be above the water line. If the float has water inside it, you need to replace it by unscrewing it from the arm. Sometimes, any of the non-rubber components, such as the lever connected to the float of the toilet mechanism, might be damaged . In such a case, you can temporarily fix it with the help of super glue.

Here are some other things that you should remember.
  • Flush the toilet a couple of times and watch carefully inside the tank to diagnose the exact problem.
  • Wash and clean the flapper thoroughly to dislodge any buildup of minerals and dirt.
  • To determine if you have any leakage in the pipe use a dye like a food coloring or a dye tablet in the tank.
  • You can also insert the flapper chain into a plastic soda straw to prevent the chain from tangling.
Remember to seek professional help if you are unable to fix it yourself.