How ToHow to Fix a Running Toilet

How to Fix a Running Toilet


A running toilet is not only a nuisance but can also lead to wasted water and higher utility bills. Fortunately, fixing a running toilet is a relatively simple task that you can tackle on your own. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to fix a running toilet and restore its proper functionality.

Understanding the Problem

A running toilet is typically caused by a faulty mechanism within the toilet tank. The most common culprits are a malfunctioning flapper valve or an improperly adjusted fill valve. By identifying the root cause of the problem, you can take the necessary steps to fix it.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before getting started, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement flapper valve (if needed)
  • Replacement fill valve assembly (if needed)

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these step-by-step instructions to fix a running toilet:

1. Shut off the Water Supply

Locate the water shut-off valve near the base of the toilet and turn it clockwise to shut off the water supply. This will prevent water from flowing into the tank while you work on the repairs.

2. Remove the Tank Lid

Carefully remove the tank lid and set it aside in a safe place. Be cautious as the lid may be heavy and fragile.

3. Check the Flapper Valve

Inspect the flapper valve, which is located at the bottom of the tank. Ensure that it is properly sealing the flush valve opening. If the flapper appears worn, damaged, or doesn’t create a tight seal, it may need to be replaced.

4. Adjust the Chain or Flapper Position

Check the chain or strap that connects the flapper to the flush handle. Adjust the chain or strap to ensure it has enough slack to allow the flapper to close completely when the toilet is not in use.

5. Check the Fill Valve and Float

Examine the fill valve, which is usually located on the left side of the tank. Ensure that the float is functioning properly and moving freely. If the float is damaged or not rising and falling with the water level, it may need adjustment or replacement.

6. Adjust the Fill Valve or Replace the Fill Valve Assembly

If the fill valve is causing the issue, you can try adjusting it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the fill valve height. If adjustment doesn’t resolve the problem, you may need to replace the fill valve assembly.

7. Check for Leaks

After making the necessary adjustments or replacements, turn on the water supply and let the tank fill. Check for any leaks around the flapper valve, fill valve, or water supply connections. Tighten any loose connections if needed.

8. Turn on the Water Supply

Once you have ensured that everything is properly adjusted and there are no leaks, turn on the water supply by turning the shut-off valve counterclockwise. Allow the tank to fill completely, and then flush the toilet to check if the issue has been resolved.

Additional Tips and Troubleshooting

  • If you continue to experience problems with a running toilet after attempting the above steps, it may be best to consult a professional plumber.
  • Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific adjustments or replacements.
  • If the water in the tank is continuously overflowing into the bowl, you may need to adjust the float or the water level in the tank.


A running toilet is a common household issue that can be easily fixed with a bit of troubleshooting and some basic repairs. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can successfully diagnose and resolve the problem, restoring your toilet to its proper functioning state. Remember to exercise caution and turn off the water supply before making any repairs. With a properly functioning toilet, you can avoid water waste and enjoy a more efficient bathroom experience.

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