A lot of people look at a running toilet as a minor nuisance, not a major problem for their larger plumbing system. Yet this is not necessarily the case. Your toilet could be running because the fill tube is letting too much water into the tank and triggering the overflow tube. However, your toilet may also be running because water is leaking from the tank into the bowl. The good news is that if you know the basic components of a toilet, you can often take care of this issue all on your home, without purchasing any additional tools or equipment. Keep reading to learn how to fix a running toilet in four easy steps, and make sure to contact AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric for all your other plumbing needs.
4 Steps to Take If Your Toilet Is Running
- Fix the Flapper: The flapper is the plastic cup located in the bottom of your toilet tank. The flapper rises every time you flush your toilet, letting water out of the tank and into the bowl. If the flapper does not achieve proper suction, water may run from the tank non-stop, so your toilet drains and refills constantly and you keep hearing that rush of water. Loose flappers are the most common cause of running toilets but fortunately, if your flapper is not working properly, you can often just take it out, clean it, and put it back over the hole in the bottom of your tank so that it fits as tightly as possible. If you notice your flapper has a hole in it, you will have to replace it.
- Move the Flapper Chain: The flapper chain, as you may have guessed, is what connects your toilet’s flapper to its handle, lifting it up so that water can flow from the tank to the bowl. If the chain is not the right length, it could prevent the flapper from doing its job and end up causing leaks. The good news is that all you have to do to correct this problem is watch what happens when you flush your toilet. If the chain does not raise the flapper enough, it is too short. If it is getting caught under the flapper when you flush, it is too long. You can lengthen the chain by moving the hook attached to your toilet handle up a few links, or take a few links off to shorten it. If the chain is corroded or too short altogether, you may need to replace it.
- Check the Float: Your toilet float is made up of either a ball or cup mechanism that isattached to the fill valve. Every time you flush your toilet, the fill valve adds water, causing this component to live up to its namesake. The fill valve is designed so that when it does not have to hold the float up, it no longer adds water. However, if the float is not in the right, place, the fill valve may add too much water, causing the overflow tube to drain the excess water over and over again. Check inside the tank to see if this is happening to your toilet, and if necessary, adjust the float. You can do this by finding the adjustment screw that is connected to the fill valve arm, taking a pliers, and turning the screw clockwise to raise the float, or counterclockwise to lower it.
- Adjust the Fill Tube: The little, curved plastic tube connecting your toilet’s fill valve to its overflow pipe, your fill tube prevents your toilet tank from overflowing by moving water to the bowl. No matter how full your toilet tank is, the fill tube should always be above water, and if it is not, it may cause your toilet to run. You should be able to adjust the fill tube by bending it so it sticks up over the water, though if it is too long, you may have to get a scissors and manually trim it down.
Call Our Toilet Experts at AAA
Once again, it is important to note that if any of the above parts are damaged, you will need to replace them for your toilet to function properly. Fortunately, our expert plumbers offer toilet repair and replacement to fit every homeowner’s needs. Remember, a running toilet can lead to extremely high water bills, so do not wait to address this issue, and if you cannot take care of it on your own, just call our pros at AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric.