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  • Writer's pictureJoseph DeLorme

How to Fix a Running Toilet

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

Toilets are a simple, mundane part of life. They are hardly noticed until they break. As homeowners or business owners, it can be difficult to decide whether you can fix the toilet yourself, or when to call in a professional plumber. Luckily, there are quite a few things that you can do yourself when it comes to DIY toilet repairs. A running toilet is one such problem (most of the time), so we’ve given you a step by step tutorial on how to fix this common plumbing problem.

Step One: Check the Flapper Valve

The flapper is a flexible, rubber valve that is attached to the flushing lever. It is meant to stop water from flowing in, once the toilet is completely filled. Flappers can often be the culprit of a running toilet if they are old, damaged, or allowing more water to flow than necessary. Check the flapper by pushing it down with a stick to see if it stops before the water is done filling.

Replace it by shutting off the water supply and letting the toilet drain. Then unhook the flapper, and install a new one according to the instructions on the package. When you’re done, be sure to hook the flapper chain back onto the flush lever.

Step Two: Check the Flapper Chain

Another common problem is with the flapper chain. This is the metal chain link that connects the flapper to the bottom of the toilet. If the chain is too short, it will pull up on the valve when it is not supposed to, and cause water to constantly drain. If the chain is too long, it will get caught on other gears that will prevent the flapper from sealing correctly.

Step Three: Check the Fill Valve for a Leak

If the problem wasn’t the flapper, it might be the fill valve. You can check this by lifting up the float arm when the tank is filling with water. Stop the water flow by bending the float arm. Check to see if the valve is leaking. If so, turn off the water supply and replace it. The hardware that you choose should come with its own, unique set of instructions to help you install it properly.

If your toilet is still running after inspecting these two common features, it might be time to call a professional. However, it is one of these two issues, you can find the supplies at your local hardware store and install it in a day’s time.

If you have questions about your toilet, or want to know whether you need professional help or not, Contact Jolly Plumbing and Heating for an honest conversation about how we can help you with this common plumbing problem.

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