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Fixing a Running Toilet Step-by-Step

If a running toilet is driving you crazy, don’t despair – it’s actually an easy fix! Follow this step-by-step guide on how to repair your running toilet, and you can get back to a quiet and peaceful bathroom in no time

Running Toilet Repair San Diego CA

If you hear running water in the toilet, it is probably because there is a problem with the float, valve, or flapper. These items are used to measure how much water is in the tank and let water into the tank when the water level drops. If any of these parts malfunction, then water will leave the tank, drop the water level, and cause the water line to run. That is a running toilet. Toilets use this method of emptying the water and using the water in the tank to flush.

How to Fix a Running Toilet

Check the Handle Extension Rod and Mechanism

running toilet- San Diego CA - Black Mountain Plumbing Inc

Begin by checking the handle extension rod to ensure that it is properly connected to the flapper in the back of your toilet tank. Check for bends and kinks, as these may prevent the flush valve from closing correctly. Additionally, check for any warping or looseness in the lift chain connecting the handle to the flapper. Make sure that it’s tight and working correctly – if there’s an issue, gently shake or straighten out any bends. Finally, inspect both the internal mechanism attached to the handle and the outside of the tank – make sure both are securely fastened in place.

Santee, CA - Black Mountain PlumbingShut Off the Water Supply

Before fixing a running toilet, be sure to shut off the water supply to prevent flooding. Locate your toilet shutoff valve – typically behind or next to the toilet near the wall – and slowly turn the valve clockwise until it is completely closed. With the water supply secured, empty all remaining water from your tank by flushing it down the drain.
Now that the water is shut off, you are ready to identify and fix the issue. If a toilet continues to run even after flushing, it could be a sign of worn-out flush components. You may need to replace or repair your fill valve, flush valve, or flapper depending on what part is causing the problem. Alternatively, it might just be a leaky wax seal underneath your toilet that needs to be re-seated. By following these instructions and properly inspecting & replacing parts as needed, you’ll quickly have your running toilet fixed in no time.

Inspect the Flapper or Other Flush Valve Parts if You Have a Running Toilet

The flapper is the rubber stopper at the bottom of the tank that seals the gap between the toilet and drain, so it needs to be in good condition for a proper flush. Inspect the inside of your tank for any visible deterioration and check if the flapper properly fits onto its seat. If it is not sealing correctly, try removing any buildup on its surface with a damp cloth. If that doesn’t work, replace it with a new one.
Other flush valve parts can also be causes of a running toilet. If the lift chain is too tight, it won’t let the flapper drop into place and create a proper seal. If you suspect this is the case, loosen the chain slightly until it hangs loosely but still lifts the flapper fully when pulled. Also check to make sure that the fill tube isn’t higher than the overflow tube, or else water will continually run through it, preventing a good seal. Finally, inspecting and adjusting lift arms and float valves can help fix a running toilet as well.

Clean out the Waste Pipe and Vent Stack

running toilet -San Diego CA - Black Mountain PlumbingIf you’ve inspected the flapper and it appears to be working correctly but you still have a running toilet, then it’s time to check out the waste pipe and vent stack. To get started, pour some water into the tank and flush – if the level of water in the tank rises too quickly after flushing it may indicate a blockage in these pipes. With a flashlight, inspect both pipes for signs of clogs or debris, then use a pipe cleaner or any other suitable tool to remove them.
Additionally, it’s important to inspect the vent stack for any signs of damage. If you notice any cracks or holes in the pipe, then it should be replaced as soon as possible. Finally, check that the pipe is properly sealed so that air can circulate freely through the pipes. This will help prevent further issues with your toilet system and keep it running smoothly for years to come.
Make Adjustments to the Float Cup or Ballcock Assembly If Necessary

The float cup or ballcock assembly regulates the amount of water in the tank. To fix a running toilet you’ll need to make sure it is adjusted correctly. With the lid off the tank, note your findings – Is the water rising too high and overflowing? Is it draining too quickly? Maybe you can see signs of leaking. All these are indications that adjustments need to be made to the float cup or ballcock assembly. In order to stop this constant running toilet, make small adjustments gently until there is just enough water in the tank for another flush without having an overflow.

Toilet Installation - san Diego CA - Black Mountain Plumbing IncIs a Running Toilet a Plumbing Emergency?

The problem is not that your toilet is clogged, it is that water is overflowing into the toilet bowl. Even if the toilet is clogged, turn off the water valve on the supply line and just wait for a plumber to come during normal business hours. A running toilet is a common plumbing problem that a regular plumber would know how to fix.

When a toilet is working properly, it uses the water from its tank and pumps it into the bowl. After that, it refills the basin with water from the supply line. When a toilet is running, it wastes water and it can drive up your water bill. To avoid this, you should get a running toilet fixed as soon as you can.

A running toilet is not a disaster, but it’s not a non-issue. You should know how to spot a running toilet and how to fix it.

Do I Need to Call a Plumber?

The plumber will either come and fix the toilet and can provide you with guidance on how to fix the toilet yourself the next time this occurs. In the end, getting professional guidance will save you from wasting your time and money.

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