Did you know that a running toilet could waste over 100 gallons of water per week? Not only does that increase your utility costs, but it could create problems within your home’s plumbing system as well.
Fixing a running toilet can be pretty simple. There are three common issues that may cause this problem: a leaking flapper, a fill valve that has stopped working, or an overflow pipe that is at an incorrect position.
Most of the time, this job can be finished in minutes and requires no plumbing knowledge whatsoever. Here’s what you’ll want to do.
Step #1: Check the Flapper.
The flapper is the round piece that covers the drainage hole in the tank of the toilet. Push down on it with an object, such as a wooden stirring stick, and then check to see if the running has stopped. If it has, then you’ll need to replace it. You’ll also want to check the length of the fill tube to ensure it is at least 0.5 inches above the water line.
Step #2: Check the Fill Valve.
Flush the toilet with the tank cover off. Look for the fill valve to leak. If you lift the float arm as the tank is filling, you’ll be able to see the water stop. If it stops, then you’ll need to adjust the float arm so that it will stop the tank from filling to high so the overflow pipe is engaged. If you do see a leak with the fill valve, you’ll need to replace it.
Step #3: Check the Overflow Pipe.
Over time, the overflow pipe can be damaged. Mold or mildew may interfere with its operation as well. Clean it thoroughly and check to see if there are no cracks in the pipe that could be causing the toilet to run. Patch the cracks as necessary to restore operation to the toilet.
In most cases, these simple fixes will stop the toilet from running. If you do need to replace the fill valve, make sure to turn the water off to the toilet first. Flush it and then remove the water which has remained from the tank. Unscrew the fill valve, then remove it. Install the new one in reverse order.
If these fixes do not solve your running toilet issue, then it may be time to contact a professional plumber for advice.