Toilet won’t stop running : Some DIY steps you can take before calling a plumber.
If your toilet continues to make noises for a long time after flushing, don’t just ignore it. Constant running water isn’t just going to show up on your water bill but it could also be a sign of other problems, such as an internal leak. Here are some DIY steps you can take to try to diagnose and remedy the problem.
Getting to Know Your Toilet
This first thing you’ll do is remove the lid from the top of the toilet and familiarize yourself with the different parts and how they work.
When you push the handle (8) it lifts the lift arm or chain (9) which lifts the flapper (6) and the water from the tank drains (12) into the toilet bowl flushing the toilet. Water then comes in through the fill valve inlet tube (2) and fills the tank via the tank refill tube (4). As the tank refills the float (1) lifts with the water and the bowl fills with clean water via the bowl refill tube (5) and overflow tube (7).
It is a beautiful process and one of the marvels of modern sanitation. However, when one-part stops working you can get a toilet that doesn’t stop running. Time to start examining these parts.
A Flapper Issue
One of the first toilet components you should examine is the flapper. If the flapper has hardened it is probably not sealing. There is an easy way to tell if the flapper is leaking. Get a long stick, like a stick used to stir paint, and when you hear the water running push down on the flapper with the stick. If the water stops running, then you know you need to replace the flapper.
Flappers, and most of the parts of the toilet, can be found at the hardware store. To replace the flapper you need to first shut off the water supply to the toilet. Flush the toilet to remove the water and then remove the old flapper. Install the flapper and connect it to the chain.
Speaking of the flapper chain, if the chain is too short then there is too much tension on the flapper and it may not be sealing completely. If the chain is too long it may be getting caught under the flapper preventing a seal. This is easily fixed by adjusting the chain length.
Check For A Leaky Fill Valve
You will need to turn the water back on for this step. Flush the toilet and observe whether water is spraying in from the top of the fill valve area (11). If the fill valve is leaking it will need to be replaced. This is more complicated to fix but can be done by a seasoned do-it-yourselfer. Here are the steps, but if you have any reservations, make sure to call our experienced professionals (219) 322-4906.
- Turn the water supply off and completely drain the toilet. Have a bucket handy! There will be an inch of water still at the bottom of the toilet. With your bucket handy, disconnect the water supply to the toilet.
- Then disconnect the fill valve by unscrewing the valve lock nut at the bottom and lift out the bad fill valve.
- Insert the new fill valve and tighten the locknut (make sure it is tight!).
- When installed, you need to make sure that the overflow pipe isn’t higher than the critical level mark on the new fill valve.
- If the overflow pipe is higher you will need to use a saw to shorten the overflow pipe one inch lower than the critical level mark. If you are having a hard time identifying the critical level mark make sure to refer to the instructions that came with the new fill valve.
- At this point, you will need to connect the fill tube to the fill valve, but also make sure that it is ½ inch above the water line. If it is not you will need to shorten it and then attach it to the overflow pipe with equipment that was included with your new fill valve.
- Make sure to read the instructions that came with the new fill valve. It will provide important installation information particular to your model.
Water Level Is Too High
If the water level is set too high then that means that water keeps flowing into the overflow tube. There are two ways to fix this. What most people do is bend the float arm until the water level is where they want it. However, most toilets have an adjustment screw located at the end of the arm that can be used to adjust the arm. If your toilet has a fill valve without a float then there should also be a screw located on the valve that will allow you to adjust the water level.
Running toilets can usually be fixed at home with the right tools and knowledge. But if none of these steps work or you want to be confident your toilet gets fixed properly, give the trained professionals at Reichelt Plumbing a call at (219) 322-4906. We’ll stop that toilet from running and wasting water.