The sound of a toilet continually running is enough to drive the most sane person out of there mind. Fixing a running toilet can be simple, water savings can put money back into your pocket once you figure what the root of the problem is and where it lies.
How do you fix a running toilet ? Its as is easy as 1-2-3 , all it takes is approximately 20-30 minutes of your time and patience saving you a phone call to the plumber and keeping a few dollars in your pocket.
Before you begin troubleshooting shake the toilet handle , the stopper can hang up not allowing the toilet tank to refill to its full capacity.
If shaking the handle on the tank does not stop the toilet from running remove the lid placing it aside until your troubleshooting is complete. Begin by turning the water off at the toilet’ shut- off valve located under the toilet tank.
Step 1. Check the chain links or guide rod on the tank stopper, if the chain link is twisted or the guide rod is bent straighten them, occasionally the chain manages to get tangled after many flushes causing the toilet to run constantly. If step 1 does not work continue on to step 2.
Step 2. There is a floating mechanism called the ‘float ball’ located in the tank, lift the ball listening for the water to stop running. Once the annoying noise stops try bending the float arm down, trying to get the right buoyancy. If the ball feels slightly heavy there could be water in the ball, this will tell you that the ball has to be replaced.
Replacing the ball is simple just unscrew from the arm putting a new one in its place there isn’t any need to empty the tank unless you do not care to get your hand and arm wet.
Step 3. If the toilet is still running, the stopper and valve seat may have hard water build-up or corrosion preventing the stopper from closing. The stopper and valve seat are located on the bottom of your tank, identifying the stopper and valve are simple place your hand inside your tank feeling around for a small round stopper lift the flap up and down, you should feel the water drain into the protected opening. feel for any type of objects that could be blocking the stopper from closing properly. Gently feel around the seat and the rim where the stopper inside the tank opens and closes checking for any damage. Use your fingers feeling for rigid or rough areas around the rim, if there appears to be any damage replace the stopper and valve seat.
Step 4. Once you have gone through the first three steps and you find that the toilet is still running, the entire flush valve assembly may have to be completely replaced. Always take the old parts with you when replacing your inside gaskets and assembly to ensure the proper fit. If the shaft of the assembly is cracked, the entire shaft and assembly will need to be replaced. When replacing any parts always take them with you saving time and multiple trips back and forth to your local do-it-yourself store or nearest hardware store.
Looking for a visual guide? Richard Tretheway plumbing and heating contractor of the DIY series (This Old House) has created a video that provides you with a visual step-by-step guide on how to fix a running toilet. The video is approximately three and half minutes long providing visually detailed information on how to identify a flapper , floater, chain link, guide rod ,valve seat and stopper inside your toilet tank.
Once you have resolved your running toilet problem remember to turn your shut-off valve back on which is located underneath the toilet tank and place your lid back on the tank place all old parts in the garbage, although the toilet tank water is clean it is always good to wash your hands after replacing parts or the entire assembly.