You’ve been there. You just settled down to relax. A few minutes after using the bathroom, you hear your toilet still running. You wait another minute hoping it will stop, so you can keep binging the newest season of your favorite show. But the water won’t. Stop. Running. You fix it once, but it happens again and again. Here’s how to fix it and stop the vicious cycle once and for all.
Inside the Tank
First thing’s first, before you start to troubleshoot your toilet trouble it’s a good idea to know what’s inside the tank and basic functionality. There are a few usual suspects when it comes to causing running water issues. Lift up the toilet tank lid and take a look. Here’s what you’ll find:
The fill valve turns the water off and on. After you flush, the fill valve allows water to fill the bowl and the refill tank at the same time.
The fill float is the little device in your toilet refill tank that sits on top of the water. When the water level goes down, like when you flush, the float sinks down with the water level and triggers the fill valve to replace the water level.
The rubber flapper is at the bottom of the tank. When you flush, the rubber flapper opens allowing water to flow down into the bowl.
Flush Lever, handle arm and Chain
The flush lever, a.k.a. the toilet handle, the handle arm and the chain are part of an assembly that starts the chain reaction to flush your toilet. Once you push down the handle, it pulls the chain to lift the rubber flapper at the bottom of the tank and initiates the water flow.
The overflow tube in a toilet is a little bit of flood insurance. This is a tube that stands vertical in the toilet tank. If the water gets too high or a malfunction occurs, the overflow tube will direct water into the bowl instead of spilling out the top of the tank. The refill tube fits down into the overflow tube to help refill the bowl and tank.
Here are a few steps to help troubleshoot what’s causing your toilet water to keep running:
Fix the Toilet Flapper
Since the toilet flapper is made of plastic, it can change shape over time. This will cause the flapper to lose seal, allowing water to drain into the bowl. The fix should be pretty simple, using these instructions:
- Shut off the water supply
- Drain the water out of the tank
- Remove the old flapper, note where the chain and the overflow pins were attached
- Reattach the new flapper to the chain and overflow pins the same as the one you removed
- Turn the water back on and refill the tank
Check the Chain
The chain attached to the flapper and the flush rod could also be a culprit to a running toilet. If the chain is too short, the flapper will not close. If it’s too long, it could get tangled and cause trouble too.
- Measure out the chain, so it just has enough slack for the flapper to stay open when you flush
- Unclasp the chain and reattach it at your marked spot
Fix the Float
Another common cause for a constantly running toilet could be the position of the float. If it’s too high, it might cause water to run into the overflow tube and drain into the bowl. You can lower the float by adjusting the arm attached to it. Here’s how:
- Locate the float arm
- There will be a screw or a clip attached to the float arm that will move the float up or down by loosening or tightening
- Once it’s adjusted, to test flushes until the tank fills to the correct level
Resize the Refill Tube
You might experience constant toilet water flow if your refill tube is too long and doesn’t work right with the overflow tube. This issue can be resolved by shortening the refill tube:
- Locate the refill tube. It will be threaded inside the overflow tube
- Once you have the refill tube pulled out of the overflow tube, prepare to shorten the refill tube by measuring and marking where you’ll cut
- You only need a little more than an inch for it to work properly. Anything longer than that can cause suction and lead to issues with your toilet running
- Insert the refill tube back inside the top of the overflow tube and you should be back to business
Call A Professional Plumber
If you can’t figure it out, don’t sweat it. Call a Paschal Professional to help you out. Call at 479-751-0195 to schedule an appointment or schedule on your own terms online at www.gopaschal.com.