How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet – Get a stronger trash can and a lower water bill. Find out how to fix things if your toilet keeps running.

Introduction Learn the simple four-step strategy that solves 95 percent of toilet problems. Prevent the water from constantly flowing, reinforce dirty waste and solve other common problems quickly and easily.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

The basics of how a toilet works haven’t changed much in the last 80+ years. After flowing, water fills a tank, raising a float that shuts off the water when it reaches a certain level. A lever continues to open a valve to cause the flush, which falls back into place as the water level drops.

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So it should come as no surprise that we still deal with the same common streaming issues from time to time. Sometimes the flush is not powerful enough, sometimes the toilet keeps running and sometimes the bowl is not refilled.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

The good news is that most of these problems are easy to fix without having to replace the toilet. You can complete the first three steps in five minutes. That solves most problems. The fourth step is also usually easy, but not always. More on this later. These steps will work for most toilets, but not models with pressure relief. Here’s what to do if your toilet won’t stop working.

For a toilet overflow pipe problem, remove the tank lid and locate the fill line. It is a small flexible pipe that runs from the fill valve to the toilet’s overflow pipe. As the tank refills, this pipe sprays enough water through the toilet’s overflow pipe to refill the bowl after the flush is complete. If this tube falls off or the water stream misses the overflow tube, the bowl won’t fill up and your next rinse will be dirty (i.e., there won’t be a strong siphon).

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

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Take the fill tube and push it firmly onto the fill valve. Make sure it sits about 1 inch. over the edge of the overflow pipe and that the fill pipe sends water into the toilet’s overflow pipe. Flush the toilet and watch the water flow to make sure it is flowing through the toilet’s overflow pipe.

The water level in the tank is controlled by an adjustable float. A float that is too low produces a faint red; if it is too high, water will flow into the toilet overflow pipe and the fill valve will not close. The toilet still works. To learn how to fix a toilet that won’t flush, look for the full level mark on the inside back of the tank and mark it on the toilet’s overflow pipe so it’s easier to see. If you can’t find it, measure about 1 inch. on the overflow tube and make a mark.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

Then flush the toilet and see if the water reaches that mark and stops. If not and the toilet is still running, adjust the toilet tank float up or down. If you have an old toilet, you’ll need to bend the brass rod connected to the float ball to make adjustments. But on newer toilets, you usually turn a screw or slide a clip along a rod. Flush the toilet after each adjustment. Continue adjusting the float until the water closes at the correct level.

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Also, make sure the water level is at least an inch below the C-L (critical level) marked on the fill valve. You can adjust the height of many valves to raise or lower the C-L. Sometimes the fill valve just won’t close, which means it’s faulty. Then shut off the water supply at the closure under the tank. Buy a replacement valve. You don’t have to fit in with the old; many, like the one shown, fit most toilets. It’s a 15 minute change.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

A chain that is too short or tangled will prevent the valve from closing and water will continue to leak into the bowl. This will turn the fill valve on and off to refill the tank. A chain that is too long or a flush rod hitting the tank lid will not open the valve far enough to stay open for a full flush. You will find that you have to hold the handle to make a good red.

To avoid low water in the toilet and other problems, adjust the link in the chain to leave a little slack when the valve is closed. Trim the excess chain at the bar to leave only about an inch to reduce the chance of tangles. Then replace the tank lid, making sure that the dipstick does not touch the lid when you squeeze the handle. If so, bend it slightly and readjust the chain.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

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If you’ve completed the first three steps and your toilet is still running, you may have a worn valve. To learn how to prevent a toilet from overflowing, turn off the water, remove the old valve and take it to the store to find a good replacement. (Hardware stores often carry a wide variety.) Most flaps snap over the ears onto the overflow tube. Others have a ring that slides over the tube.

Now here’s the catch. You may not find an exact match. The range of valve styles has increased over the last 15 years and you can find 15 to 20 valve options on the store shelf. Some packages contain make and model specific information (so make a note of yours before you leave home). Others are labeled “universal flap”. If you can’t find an exact replacement, try the nearest one and also choose a universal type. They’re cheap, and the extra can save you a second trip to the store! (Avoid the “adjustable” types unless you’re replacing an adjustable one.)

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

Install the new valve and make sure it opens and closes freely. Then try it. If the toilet continues to run or runs intermittently, you are not getting a good seal. Try a different valve if the toilet won’t stop working.

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If you just can’t find a valve that seals, consider replacing the entire toilet overflow pipe/valve. For most toilets (two-piece), this means removing the tank. It’s not difficult and you don’t need any special tools. It will take you about an hour and you will avoid that expensive call from the plumber.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

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Does your toilet run all the time or at odd times? Here’s how to fix the problem. brian bennett/

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

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Sometimes toilets play a role. A common problem that your trusty throne can develop is that it always rotates. This constant flow of water is a noisy nuisance – and it’s also a waste of money that you’ll end up paying for on your next utility bill.

Fortunately, it’s usually a fairly easy problem to fix. In this guide, I’ll outline the most likely causes of why toilets keep running, and I’ll also explain the first steps you need to take to troubleshoot and fix the problem. Once you’ve successfully solved it, you’ll not only save some money, but you’ll also have acquired the skills to deal with running toilets wherever and whenever you encounter them.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

The first step is to shut off the water supply to your toilet. Usually it is a small handle on the wall to the right of the toilet that sits close to the floor. Turn the knob all the way to the right (clockwise) to close the valve and shut off the water supply. Doing the opposite will turn the water back on.

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Carefully remove the ceramic lid from the top of the water tank. It is fragile, so be sure to lower it gently onto a safe resting place, such as a bath towel. Look around now. Inside the tank, you should see all the major parts responsible for your toilet’s water control. These are the flush valve, the fill valve and the fill tube.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

Here’s a look at a toilet’s water control system. On the left is the fill valve. On the right side is the fill tube, valve and flush valve. brian bennett/

The fill tube is a hollow plastic cylinder mounted vertically on the bottom of the tank. One end of the tube is above the waterline of the tank. At the other end of the fill tube in the bottom of the tank is the valve, the rubber or silicone seal around the drain that pops up every time you flush.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

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The purpose of the fill line is to receive water from the fill valve to refill the water tank after each toilet. It also acts as an overflow pipe to prevent water from overflowing the tank.

As the water level in the tank drops, so does the float in the fill valve. A lowered float opens the fill valve and allows water to refill the tank. Then, when the float moves back up, the water stops flowing once it reaches a predetermined level.

How To Stop A Constantly Running Toilet

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