How To Stop A Running Toilet

How To Stop A Running Toilet

When you’re searching for “how to stop a running toilet” there are many times that you can fix it yourself.  There are some issues that will require a plumber, but most times you won’t need special skills or even tools.

Today toilets are all of our offices, homes, and public venues compared to the old days where there was just a hole and an outhouse.  The flushing indoor toilet wasn’t really common until the early 1900’s.  While just about everything else has had major technological advances the toilet has changed very little.  It’s this simplicity that makes it possible for regular people to repair running toilets.

Stopping The Running Toilet

That means for the average homeowner it is possible to stop a running toilet. It’s not just annoying to hear the toileting running, it is wasteful.  A lot of states are experiencing draught so water conservation is a priority.  It will also save you money on your water bill.

Toilet Flappers

The most common reason toilets run is the flapper.  When the toilet is flushed it is the flapper which is lifted to release water into the toilet bowl.  It is a rubber flap with a cone that fits down into the hole in the toilet tank.  Like all rubber products with use and time they deteriorate and allow water to seep past.  If water is trickling past the flapper it will cause your toilet to just keep on running.

To test the flapper you should remove the toilet tank cover and push down on the flapper.  If this stops the toilet from running, you’ve found your problem.

Replacing The Toilet Flapper

If you’ve identified this as the problem the next step is replacing the flapper.  To start you will need to turn off the water to the toilet, usually behind the toilet.  Flush your toilet once the water is off to empty the toilet tank.  Now you can easily remove the flapper from the bottom of the toilet tank.  Pay close attention to how the flapper attaches to the toilet so you choose the right replacement.   Head to your local hardware store and find the replacement you need.

New flappers come with installation instructions but the key is removing links in the chain to get the right length to hook to the flush arm.  If the chain is too short it won’t be able to rise correctly and you’ll get short flushes.  Long chains lead to the dreaded jiggling toilet handle.  A good way to get this right is to start by measuring the length of the old chain and giving that a try.

Look At The Fill Tube

If it wasn’t the flapper the issue with your running toilet may be the fill tube.  It is the small plastic tube which connects the fill valve to the overflow pipe.  The overflow allows for the disposal of water should the tank get too full. If you noticed that the fill tube is under water you should shorten it so that the top of the tube clears the level of the water.

Look At The Float

All toilets have a float which controls the water level in the tank.  There are two types of floats, a cup float and ball float.  When a float is set too high it makes the water level rise over the overflow pipe.  This will cause the tank to never stop draining and run forever.  To fix a ball float all it takes is bending the float arm.  Cup floats are repaired by adjusting the slide down the central tube it is attached by.  This usually involved a pinching mechanism which must be loosened for it to move.

Replacing The Fill Valve

If it wasn’t the float or flapper there is a good chance it is you toilet fill valve.  To replace your toilet fill valve you need to drain the tank by turning off the water and flushing the toilet. With the tank empty you will need to unscrew the fill valve from the water supply line and remove the lock nut from outside your toilet’s tank.  It is critical to get the right replacement and there are a lot of designs.  Take the old hardware with you to get the right replacement.  After you’ve returned home with the right replacement simply replace the lock nut and screws.  Then adjust the float for your preference for water level and you’re done.

Phoenix Valley Toilet Repair

If you don’t have the time, tools, or desire to fix your toilet a professional toilet repair company or plumber should be called.  They will fix the problem fast and many times will already have the replacement parts in their truck.  That means your toilet repair will take very little time and is typically very affordable.  If you need or want help getting your toilet to stop running in the Phoenix Valley, One Call Plumbing Services is here to help.  To ask a question or schedule an appointment for help with your toilets or any other plumbing problem please give us a call.

Call Today For Help With Your Running Toilet 480-ONE-CALL (663-2255)


  • […] We’ve all experienced restrooms where the toilets are already running when we enter and don’t stop after we leave.  This is bad for water conservation and runs up water bills at home or the office.  Some of the fixes are fairly easy DIY projects, while others require the hiring of a plumber. Use these steps to stop toilets from running. […]

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