Toilets–having stayed the same for almost eight decades–run on a few simple components: the tank, lever, float, and flapper. As such, similar problems arise just as they always have. Fortunately, solving these issues involves similar strategies. If your toilet keeps running, consider trying these steps at home before calling a professional.
Check Fill Tube
For this step, remove the fill lid and find the small, bendable tube that runs from the valve to the toilet overflow tube. As the tank refills, this tube supplies the right amount of water for filling the bowl after a flush. Without perfect placement and aim, the bowl won’t fill sufficiently, weakening subsequent flushes. If it has come loose, reattach it, ensuring it sits about an inch above the overflow tube.
Adjust Fill Height
An adjustable float controls the tank’s water level. If it’s set too low or high, excess water spills into the overflow tube, generating a fill valve that runs. For this step, look for the mark on the inside of the tank and make a notch (at the same level) on the overflow tube for easier viewing. Then, flush the toilet and see where the water stops. If the water misses the mark and keeps running, move the float up or down. Older toilets might require bending the brass rod that connects the float ball, but newer models only require turning a screw or clip along a rod. Keep flushing and adjusting until the water reaches the appropriate mark.
Adjust Flapper Chain or Flush Handle
If the chain inside the tank gets stuck or tangled, water will leak into the bowl, causing the fill valve to continually refill the tank. Other times, the chain will be too long. When any issue with the chain happens, adjust links in the chain to leave only a little slack when the top is closed.
If none of the steps above solve your problem, it could be a malfunctioning flapper. In this case, turn off the water before removing the flapper, then take it to the hardware store for a match. If you can’t find an exact replacement, look for one that says “universal” or the closest match (flappers aren’t expensive). After installing the new one, flush to make sure the toilet fills and runs correctly.
In most cases, one of these steps will fix your issue, but if problems persist, remember to call a trusted professional at Five Star Plumbing: 361-400-0244 in Corpus Christi and 210-446-4570 in San Antonio.