How to Fix a Running Toilet

Posted: 11/15/2011

Running ToiletIs your toilet running constantly? This can be a nuisance for homeowners due to the constant noise of rushing water, and through the expense of wasted water. But before you call a plumber, learn how to fix the problem with a few simple steps.

Remove the tank lid from your toilet. Keep in mind the water in the tank is clean but the tank will likely be discolored from rust. Inside is the "ball cock" which will have some type of float that attaches to a valve on a vertical piece of tubing, as well as a plastic hose going from the valve to another vertical tube with an open top. This is an overflow tube. Check to make sure your water level is below the top of the overflow tube. If it is not or is right at the top, it is necessary to adjust the float. This is accomplished in different ways depending on the style of ball cock in your toilet.

If the water level is adequate, check the plastic hose that runs from the valve to the overflow tube. If it is too far down inside the overflow tube, water can siphon into the tube, causing the problem. Make sure the open end of this hose is above the waterline. If this appears fine, check the flapper drain plug at the bottom of the tank. Ensure it is seated properly, is in good repair, and has enough chain from the handle to close fully.

If none of the above work for you, it might be time to replace your ball cock. This is not difficult and replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to find at local hardware stores. The instructions on replacing the ball cock are also simple and should not require any outside assistance.

Feel free to check out this video for a visual tutorial on how to fix a running toilet