Do you have a toilet that won’t stop running? Typically there are two reasons a toilet won’t stop running. Either water is leaking from the tank into the bowl, or the fill tube is refilling too much water into the tank and triggering the overflow tube. The good news is the problem can be easily fixed by adjusting the flapper, float, or tubes. This article will go over the steps on how to fix a running toilet.
Adjust the Flapper
Your toilet’s flapper is the plastic cup at the bottom of the tank. When you flush the toilet, the flapper rises and allows water from the tank to enter the bowl. If the flapper isn’t flush with the bottom of the tank, then water can get past it and into the bowl until you fix it. When that happens, the tank will drain until the refill tube has to fil it, and it will keep repeating.
Flapper issues are the most common cause of running toilets. To fix the problem quickly, turn off the toilet water, remove the flapper, and wash and scrub the flapper. Put the flapper back when you’re done cleaning it and try to fit it over the hole as snug as possible. If the flapper still leaks, then it will need to be replaced.
Adjust the Flapper Chain
The flapper chain connects to both the flapper and the toilet handle. When you press the toilet handle, you’re raising the chain. Raising the chain lifts the flapper, allowing water to flow into the bowl. If the chain is too long or too short, it may interfere with how the flapper sits in the tank and create leaks. Adjusting the chain is easy.
First, remove the tank’s cover and flush the toilet. Watch how the chain behaves. If it barely raises the flapper, it’s too short. If it’s long enough to get under the flapper, then it’s too long. Either way, the fix is simple. If the chain is too short, move the hook attaching the chain to the handle up a few links. If the chain is too long, try cutting a few links off the top of the chain.
Adjust the Float
The toilet’s float is suspended and attached to the fill valve. After a flush, the fill valve adds water until the float starts floating in the tank. When the fill valve no longer has to hold up the float, it stops adding water. If the float is incorrectly positioned, the fill valve can add too much water. This forces the overflow tube to drain the excess water repeatedly, which keeps the toilet running.
You can manually adjust where the float is suspended within the tank by using the adjustment screw connected to the fill valve arm. Use pliers to turn the screw counterclockwise to lower the float and clockwise to raise it.
Check the Fill Tube
The fill tube is the small plastic tube that connects the main fill valve to the overflow pipe (what your flapper is connected to). It will look like a small, flexible, curving plastic tube. While the fill valve refills the tank, the fill tube is in charge of the bowl. The fill tube should always be above the water line in the tank, even when the tank is full.
If your fill tube is underwater when the tank is full, then it could the cause of your running toilet. This is likely the cause if your toilet runs intermittently even when full. To fix this problem, either manually bend the tube up out of the water, or trim it to cut down on its length. As long as the tube can reach between the fill and refill valves and remain above the water level, it should work correctly.
Need Professional Help Repairing a Running Toilet?
Top of the Line Plumbing provides plumbing services to Duval County, St. Johns County, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, and the surrounding areas. There isn’t a plumbing job too big or too small for our team to handle. From repairs and repiping to hydro jetting and water filtration, Top of the Line has the experts to get the job done.