While some plumbing problems require a professional, many everyday plumbing problems are simple to fix with only basic tools. One of the problems that can cause problems with toilets is when they don’t stop running. While a running toilet can be caused by a handful of different problems, it’s easy to determine the problem in just a few quick minutes.
The first step is to remove the tank lid – generally it lifts straight off, and can be set aside in a safe location where it won’t fall or be stepped on.
First, look at the overflow tube in the middle of the tank. If water is flowing over the top of the tube and into the tank, then the water level is set too high – the toilet never knows that it is full, and never knows to shut off. The actual adjustment depends on the type of float arm – there’s generally a screw near the top to adjust the float.
The next component to test is the flapper. The rubber flapper keeps water in the tank until the toilet is flushed – if it doesn’t seal properly, the toilet will run constantly. If you hear the water running with the lid off, push down on the flapper – if that causes the water to stop running, then the flapper isn’t sealing properly and should be replaced.
Then, look at the chain that pulls the flapper. If the flapper chain appears tight, it’s possible that the short chain is holding the flapper away from the bottom of the tank. If the chain is twisted – untwist it. If there are extra links on the chain, adjust it to be longer so that the flapper can rest against the bottom of the tank.
If the problem is neither the water level nor the flapper, the last likely problem is the fill valve. While the fill valve may have a problem that can be fixed, a brand new fill valve is typically inexpensive enough that it can be replaced more cheaply than it can be repaired. The fill valve is held in place with a single nut on the bottom of the toilet and the water supply hose – turn off the water, flush the toilet to drain the tank, and remove the nut to remove the nut below the tank – the fill valve will lift out (be sure to have a bucket handy to watch the extra water!). You can then reverse the process (insert the new valve, attach the hose, secure with a nut) and hopefully your running toilet issue is resolved.
Hopefully, these three quick steps will help you solve your running toilet, but if not, call your helpful local plumber for assistance.
For more information on plumbing problems call Gold Star Plumbing in Anaheim, CA at 714-624-2546 or visit www.goldstarplumbing.net.
Gold Stat Plumbing also proudly serves Anaheim, Orange County, Santa Ana, Tustin, and surrounding areas.