fixing toilet tank, closeup of hands

What to Do If Your Toilet Keeps Running – A Troubleshooting Guide

A constantly running toilet is a common problem and a major annoyance, not to mention a waste of water.

Luckily, this issue can be resolved with a few simple steps. Here’s what to do if your toilet won’t stop running.


Check the flapper

When you flush the toilet, a chain lifts the flapper and lets water flow from the tank into the bowl. This rubber plug is then lowered back in place to allow the tank to refill. If the flapper or chain malfunctions, water will continue to flow into the bowl and the tank will never finish refilling.

First, check that the chain is properly connected to the flapper and isn’t tangled on other components inside the tank. You should also make sure the flapper is properly aligned over the drain. It’s possible that the rubber has gotten brittle with age and no longer provides a complete seal. In this case, replace it.


Adjust the water level

The toilet float is a device connected to the fill valve that determines the water level in the tank. If it’s positioned too high, water will drain into the overflow tube before it reaches the preset level. This will prevent the tank from overflowing, but it’ll also trigger the fill valve to periodically top up the tank.

To fix this, lower the float on the fill valve. In most newer toilets, this involves sliding a clip down a small metal rod to lower the water level. Flush the toilet and let it refill to make sure the water level is at least a few centimetres below the top of the overflow tube.


Replace the fill valve

If the toilet makes a screeching sound after you flush it or continues to run once you’ve made the adjustments above, a faulty fill valve is likely to blame. During a refill cycle, water flows through the fill valve into the tank. If the valve is broken and doesn’t shut off when the tank is full, water will drain into the overflow tube and the tank will endlessly refill.

It’s possible to replace the fill valve yourself by disconnecting the supply hose and unscrewing the nut at the bottom of the valve. However, it’s best to hire a licensed plumber to ensure the new valve is correctly installed.


Professional Plumbing Services in Edmonton

Modern Air & Water offers various residential and commercial plumbing services to resolve problems that range from a constantly running toilet to a burst pipe. With more than 40 years of experience, we’ve seen it all. To speak with a plumber or schedule an appointment in the Edmonton area, contact us today.