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How to Fix A Toilet That Keeps Running with 3 Steps

Do you have a running toilet? Learn how to fix a toilet that keeps running with 3 steps by yourself in this guide.

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If you find you have a toilet that keeps running after you flush, you need to fix it as soon as possible. A running toilet changes the course of your day and wastes hundreds of gallons of water per day which increases your water bill. Fortunately, the solutions on how to fix a toilet that keeps running are super simple. Check this guide and fix the annoying toilet problem by yourself.

How to Fix a Toilet That Keeps Running

How Does a Toilet Work?

If you want to fix your toilet, you need to know the toilet tank's anatomy and how it works. Although the toilets may be different, their work principle is the same. You can take off the tank lid, flush the toilet several times and see what happens:

How To Fix A Toilet That Keeps Running

1: When you push down the handle, the chain lifts up the flapper at the bottom of the tank. Then the water flows into the bowl. When you release the handle, the flapper cover this hole, and the tank should be filled back up with water.

2: There is a plastic float resting on the top of the water. This float signals the fill valve to let water in when the water level is low and to stop letting water in once the water level is high.

3: An overflow tube is in the middle of the tank. When the water level is too high, it drains water into the bowl.

How to Fix A Toilet That Keeps Running with 3 Steps

Now you know the main parts and basic functions of your toilet. Let's diagnose why your toilet keeps running and fix the problem easily.

Step 1: Inspect and Replace The Old Flapper to Fix A Toilet That Keeps Running

The flapper is a round rubber seal that stops water from the tank into the toilet bowl. Toilet problems with the flapper are the most common causes of a running toilet. 

Replace The Old Flapper

1: Turn off your water supply and drain the toilet.

2: Remove the toilet tank lid.

3: Remove and inspect the flapper by unhooking the sides from the pins at the bottom of the overflow tube. If the flapper is not smooth, purchase a new one and replace it. 

4: Replace the worn flapper. To attach the new flapper, attach the hooks on the side to the pins on the overflow tube.

5: Turn on the water supply and test the flapper to see that it is working properly and that the toilet isn't running. 

Step 2: Check The Float and Adjust The Water Level

When the flapper isn't the cause of a running toilet, the next common cause is the float and water level. You can see a float on the fill valve. It rises to a certain height that tells the fill valve to stop water from flowing into the tank. When the water level is too high, the water will flow into the overflow tube and toilet bowl. 

1: Check the float. If there is some water in the float, replace it with a new one.

2: If the float has no problem, adjust the water level. You can lower the water level by adjusting the height of the float. The water level should be 1-1.5 inches below the top of the overflow tube. Adjust the screw attaching the float arm to the fill valve or on the top of the fill valve by quarter turns until the water level is right.

Step 3: Replace The Fill Valve to Fix a Running Toilet

If you've tried all these fixes and you still have a toilet that keeps running, replace the fill valve.

Replace The Fill Valve To Fix A Running Toilet

1: Turn off the water supply and empty the tank.

2: Disconnect the water supply line. There is a water supply line running into the tank on the outside of the toilet. To disconnect it, unscrew the locknut securing the line in place. Turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen it.

3: Remove your old fill valve. After disconnecting the supply line, you will see a lock nut connecting the fill valve assembly to the toilet on the outside of the tank. Use an adjustable wrench to turn the lock nut to the left to remove it. Once the locknut is removed, you can pull the old fill valve assembly out of the toilet tank.

4. Install a new water fill valve and connect the water. Fit the new fill valve into the same place in the tank. Hook up the water supply line and tighten the nut in the clockwise direction.

5: Attach the fill tube. Connect the fill tube to the outlet nozzle on top of the fill valve. Attach the fill tube to the clip if there's a clip on the overflow tube.6: Test the fill valve. Turn on the water supply and let the toilet tank fill with water. Check the water level and make sure the fill tube isn't in the water. Adjust the float height if necessary. Flush the toilet and check whether the toilet works properly without water running.

Bottom Line

Even if you don't have any plumbing experience, you can fix a toilet that keeps running easily. Hope you have fixed your running toilet with the 3 steps above. If you have any questions, contact us freely.