Why is My Toilet Randomly Running? How to Fix a Running Toilet
Toilet constantly running? We don’t give our toilets very much thought these days, but there was a day in age when nature’s calling involved crude houses and porcelain pots. Our modern toilet didn’t actually come around until the 1900’s.
Since then, the technology of the modern day toilet hasn’t changed much. Water still fills the tank after you flush, lifting the float and shutting off the water. A level is still used to open up the flapper, causing the flush and falls back into place when the water level drops. If you understand the basics, average do-it-yourselfers can very well tackle a toilet that is constantly running.
Tools and Materials
- Replacement flapper
- Replacement ball float
- Replacement fill valve
Steps to Fixing a Running Toilet
A toilet that is constantly running is not only a nuisance but also a huge waste of water. There are typically two reasons why your toilet randomly runs, both of which are easy fixes. Here’s how to repair your toilet and finally fix a toilet that runs every few minutes.
Replace the Flapper
The most common cause of a toilet that runs on and off is a defective flapper. The rubber stopper located in the tank is called the flapper. This lifts when flushed releasing water into your bowl. The flapper can deteriorate over time, allowing water to trickle through the once-tight seal. To test the flapper’s integrity push down on it, if the toilet stops running immediately the issue has been identified.
Here’s how to replace:
- Start by shutting off the water to the toilet (the valve should be located directly beneath the tank).
- Drain all of the remaining water out of the bowl and the tank by flushing the toilet.
- Remove the flapper. As you remove note the way that it is attached to the tank. Flappers come in several different sizes and types. Be sure to take the old one with you for an identical replacement.
Your replacement flapper should come with detailed installation instructions. The most important step is removing or adding links for establish the appropriate length.
Check the Fill Tube
If your toilet is still running after the flapper integrity test, the cause of your running toilet could derive from the fill tube. This is the small plastic tube that runs from the tank’s main assembly to the overflow pipe. The fill tube drains the excess water out if your fill tank gets too high.
- If the fill tube is underwater, turn the screw at the top of the valve to adjust. This may not have been adjusted in years. If it doesn’t turn with your hand, use a wrench.
- Flush to adjust the water level. If your toilet runs every few minutes, move on to the next step.
Check the Float
When it comes to toilet floats, there are basically two kinds: a cup float (common in older toilets) and a ball float. A ball float that is placed at a level that is too high, will force the water to rise up and over the overflow pipe. As a result of your toilet constantly draining, the toilet runs every few minutes.
- A ball float can be fixed by simply bending its arm.
- To adjust a cup float, simply locate the pinching mechanism and sliding the float down the central tube.
Replace the Fill Valve
If you are still struggling with a toilet that runs on and off after you’ve replaced the flapper, fill tube, and the ball float, then it’s probably time to replace the toilet’s fill valve. This is the last and final step to resolve a toilet constantly running once and for all!
- If you haven’t already shut off your water and drained the tank and the bowl, do that now (details above).
- Remove the valve from its place by unscrewing lock nut on the outside of the tank and the water supply line.
- When you go shopping, bring the old valve with you for an exact replacement.
- Secure the new valve in place.
- Adjust your float to the desired water level – 1” from the top of the tank is recommended.
- Enjoy a quiet toilet that doesn’t run!
How Great Pros Can Help
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