How to Stop a Toilet from Running


Save water, save money, and stop the annoying sound!

It may be a simple fix. Keep reading for a simple step-by-step checklist with probable solutions to stop your toilet from running.

Remove the cover from the toilet tank

Flush the toilet and watch the process to familiarize yourself with how your toilet works. When the handle is pushed, the lift rod raises the flapper or ball located at the bottom of the water which lets water into your tank when you flush. The float is the part that moves up and down with the level of the water. The overflow pipe keeps the water from entering the bowl when the water refills the tank.

Adjust the Flapper Lift Chain

Jiggle the toilet handle. If this water stops running, then you should adjust the lift chain. Unhook the chain from its slot and move it to the next slot on the arm or lift rod. If this doesn’t work, next check the float.

Adjust the Fill Height | Float

The top of the float should be slightly above the water level. If it’s not, adjust the arm until the water level is about 1/2 inch below the overflow pipe. If your float is a float cup, squeeze the metal clip and slide the clip down so it’s below the water level. If your float is a ball float, either tighten the screw at the end of the arm opposite the float ball or bend the arm downward.

Check the Fill Tube

The fill tube is a small flexible tube that runs from the fill valve to the overflow tube. Check to see it is pushed on securely. If it is brittle or cracked it needs to be replaced.

Check the Flapper

If the ball or flapper is not completely covering the valve, see what is preventing it. The chain or rod that pulls it open might be bent, twisted, or hung up on something. The flapper or ball itself might be damaged or corroded, stopping it from making a solid seal. If it is damaged, you’ll need to replace it.

If the valve appears to be covered but the tank never seems to fill, you will need to check it for a slow leak.

Use a Dye Tablet to Check for Leaks

Put a few drops of dark food coloring in the tank; if you see color in the bowl, it’s time to replace the flapper or ball.

Feel free to call or contact Emory Garland Plumbing if you would like a professional plumbing contractor to repair your toilet or find the cause of your constantly running toilet!