How to Fix a Running Toilet

Sep 27, 2018

A running toilet isn’t only annoying; it’s also a waste of water and money! Luckily, fixing the problem isn’t too difficult if you’d like to take a stab at it before contacting your plumber. The steps provided below should solve your running toilet problem and save you from throwing money down the drain.

But, first…before you get started, turn off the water running to your toilet. To do so, locate the silver knob, which is usually on the wall behind your toilet, and turn it until you’re certain the water supply is shut off. 

All set? Okay, let’s get started…

The Flapper

The flapper is a rubber cap that stops the water in the toilet’s tank from seeping out. After years of use, the flapper can warp or become brittle, thus causing the seal to become ineffective. If your tank never seems to fill-up, a worn flapper is most likely the issue.

To check the condition of the flapper, flush the toilet and allow the tank to fully drain. Once it’s empty, unhook the flapper and examine it. The rubber should be smooth with no irregularities. If you see cracks, discoloration, or warping, the flapper is faulty and needs replacing. We suggest bringing your current flapper with you to the hardware store. This way, you’ll have no problem matching the old flapper with a new one. After you have installed the new flapper, your toilet should no longer run.

The Chain

The chain that runs from the flush lever to the flapper is another likely culprit. If the chain is too short, it can stop the flapper from sealing the flush valve properly. On the other hand, if the chain is too long it can get caught between the flapper and the flush valve, thus causing an incomplete seal.

You cannot adjust a chain that is too short; in other words, you will need to buy a new chain to replace the old one. However, you can tighten a long chain by moving the clip that attaches the chain to the flush handle further down. Once you’ve gotten the chain set to the correct length, remove the excess chain with wire cutters.

When to Call a Plumber

If the flapper isn’t the problem and the chain length is correct, the time to enlist a plumber is now. Choosing to ignore your toilet troubles can lead to further complications and an outrageously high water bill. To schedule an appointment, please contact us today so that we can help fix the issue.