How to Fix a Running Toilet

Is there anyone anywhere who
hasn’t heard a running toilet? The water keeps running, running, running—distracting the homeowner with thoughts of their water bill going through the roof. The most common short-term solution is always to go into the bathroom and jiggle the flush lever on the toilet. This may quiet things down for a moment (or not), but it’s no real answer. 

There are two common causes of a running toilet. One is easy to fix and the other one is more complicated. 

The Flapper

If you’ve ever looked inside the tank of a toilet, you’ve probably noticed the rubber flapper at the bottom of the tank. The flapper covers the drain (called the flush valve opening) through which the tank water will enter the toilet bowl. It’s attached to a chain that is pulled when you push down on the flush lever. 

The purpose of the flapper is to act as a plug so the water only drains out when you want it to. But flappers only last a few years so if you live in a home for several years, you can expect to need to replace the flapper every few years. 

This is a simple repair. It’s pretty much a matter of unhooking the flapper from the clips that hold it in place and the chain that attaches it to the flush lever. Then put a new one in place. It’s smart to take the flapper with you to the home improvement store so you can get the exact right one for your toilet. 

The Fill Valve

This is a more complicated repair. Let’s look first at how a fill valve works. 

The fill valve is the mechanism that controls the flow of water into the tank. It relies on some type of float to indicate when the water level has fallen below a set level. This will either be a big float ball on a long lever (the float rod) or a cylindrical float (a float cup) that rises and falls on a column. Older toilets generally have a float ball and newer ones usually have a float cup. 

Either way, the water level in the tank lifts the float as the tank refills. When the water level reaches the right level, the fill valve shuts off the flow of water. 

If you have water leaking out of the toilet from a bad flapper or some other type of leak, the fill valve will continue to try to fill the tank to the level that was specified when the toilet was installed. Also, if the fill valve itself is worn out or broken, you’re going to get a toilet that runs nonstop. 

It’s not usually worth the trouble to try to repair a broken fill valve even though the part itself is relatively inexpensive. Replacing it is somewhat complicated because it must be adjusted for your specific toilet. 

That’s when you call a reliable plumber like Rocketman Plumbing in Albuquerque. We’d be happy to send a technician out to your home or business to stop the expensive drain of water out of your toilet. Just give us a call at (505) 243-1227