How to Fix a Running Toilet

Hey there! Having a running toilet can be super annoying, right? Well, don’t worry because you’re about to learn how to fix it like a pro.

Did you know that a running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day? Crazy, right? But don’t fret, because with a few simple steps, you’ll have your toilet back to normal in no time.

We’ll walk you through identifying the problem, shutting off the water supply, inspecting and replacing the flapper, checking and adjusting the fill valve, and finally, adjusting or replacing the float.

So grab your tools and let’s get to work on fixing that running toilet of yours!

Identify the Problem

To identify the problem with a running toilet, start by examining the internal components for any visible damage or malfunction. Common causes of a running toilet include a faulty flapper, a stuck flush valve, or a malfunctioning fill valve.

Begin by removing the toilet tank lid and observing the flapper. Check if it’s properly sealing the flush valve. If the flapper is worn or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Next, inspect the flush valve to ensure it isn’t stuck open. If it is, try gently pushing it closed or adjusting the chain connected to the flush handle.

Finally, examine the fill valve for any leaks or malfunctions. Make sure the water level is set correctly and adjust the float if necessary.

Shut off the Water Supply

To shut off the water supply to a running toilet, you’ll need to locate the shut-off valve. This valve is usually located on the wall behind the toilet or beneath the toilet tank. Once you find the shut-off valve, turn it clockwise to close it and stop the water flow to the toilet. This step is important to prevent any further water damage and to allow you to work on fixing the issue without water running.

Common causes of a running toilet can include a faulty flapper valve, a worn-out fill valve, or a problem with the flush handle. Potential solutions for these issues can range from replacing the flapper valve or fill valve to adjusting the chain or replacing the flush handle. However, before proceeding with any repairs, make sure to shut off the water supply using the shut-off valve to ensure a safe and dry environment.

Inspect and Replace the Flapper

To begin inspecting and replacing the flapper, start by lifting the toilet tank lid. The flapper is a rubber valve that controls the flow of water from the tank into the bowl. It can become worn or damaged over time, leading to a running toilet. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you identify if the flapper is faulty:

  1. Check for water leaks around the base of the toilet.
  2. Listen for a constant hissing sound coming from the tank.
  3. Observe if the toilet is constantly running, even when it hasn’t been flushed.

If you notice any of these common signs of a faulty flapper, it’s time to replace it. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1Turn off the water supply to the toilet.
2Flush the toilet to drain the tank.
3Remove the old flapper by disconnecting it from the flush valve chain.
4Install the new flapper by attaching it to the flush valve chain.
5Turn on the water supply and test the toilet for any leaks or running water.

Check and Adjust the Fill Valve

Once you have inspected and replaced the flapper, you can now move on to checking and adjusting the fill valve.

The fill valve is responsible for filling the toilet tank with water after each flush. To adjust the water level, locate the screw or knob on top of the fill valve and turn it clockwise to decrease or counterclockwise to increase the water level. It’s important to find the right water level to prevent overflow or inadequate flushing.

If you’re experiencing an overflow, you can troubleshoot it by adjusting the fill valve. Start by turning off the water supply, then flush the toilet and observe the water level. If it’s too high, adjust the fill valve until the water level is just below the overflow tube.

Turn the water supply back on and test the toilet to ensure it’s functioning properly. if you need any help with running toilet contact us or visit to our website Denver emergency Plumbing

Adjust or Replace the Float

Now, you need to adjust or replace the float to further address the issue of a running toilet. The toilet float is responsible for controlling the water level in the tank. If the float is not adjusted correctly or is damaged, it can cause the toilet to continuously run. Here are some float adjustment techniques and common issues with toilet floats:

Float Adjustment TechniquesCommon Issues with Toilet Floats
Bend the float arm upwards to raise the water levelFloat is stuck in the up or down position
Bend the float arm downwards to lower the water levelFloat is damaged or corroded
Check the float ball for leaks or cracksFloat is not aligned properly
Adjust the float screw or clip to regulate water levelFloat valve is not functioning properly
Replace the float if it is damaged beyond repairFloat is not buoyant enough

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Clean the Inside of the Toilet Bowl?

To clean the inside of your toilet bowl, you’ll need the best cleaning products for toilets. Don’t worry, it’s an easy process. Just follow these steps to get rid of those stubborn toilet bowl stains.

Can I Use Any Type of Flapper to Replace the Old One?

Can you choose any flapper to replace your old one? When it comes to flapper replacement options, it’s important to consider compatibility with your toilet model. Troubleshooting common flapper issues can help you find the right solution.

How Often Should I Check and Adjust the Fill Valve?

To ensure your toilet fill valve is working properly, check and adjust it every 6 months. Signs of a faulty fill valve include constant running, low water levels, and slow tank refills.

Is It Necessary to Shut off the Water Supply Before Inspecting and Replacing the Flapper?

Before inspecting and replacing the flapper, it is necessary to shut off the water supply. Think of it like putting on a seatbelt before driving; it ensures a safe and effective repair.

What Should I Do if Adjusting the Float Doesn’t Fix the Running Toilet Issue?

If adjusting the float doesn’t fix the running toilet issue, there are alternative solutions you can try. You could check the fill valve, inspect the flapper, or even call a professional for help.


Congratulations! You have successfully fixed your running toilet and saved yourself from the frustration of wasted water and high bills.

As you shut off the water supply, replaced the flapper, checked and adjusted the fill valve, and adjusted or replaced the float, you took control of the situation, like a skilled plumber.

Now, as you flush your toilet without any leaks, you can feel a sense of accomplishment and relief wash over you, like a refreshing wave on a hot summer day.


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