If your toilet is running it means that it’s constantly releasing water from the tank into the bowl. A running toilet is a problem that you should try to fix as soon as you can. It can waste gallons of water a day, which is not good for the environment or your pocket. And needless to say, it’s also not very hygienic.
But you don’t necessary need to hire a plumber to solve the problem. Some faulty elements can be fairly easy to identify and simple to fix. And don’t panic – none of these solutions involves putting your hands down the toilet bowl.
Read on to find out 3 easy ways to fix your running toilet without calling a plumber.
1. Check the flapper chain
When you flush your toilet, this pulls up a rubber cap, known as a flapper. The flapper normally covers the pipe between the toilet tank and the toilet bowl, keeping water in the tank and out of the bowl. When the flapper’s pulled up it lets the water out of the tank and into the bowl, allowing the toilet to flush.
The flush lever and the flapper are connected with a chain. If this chain is too short it’ll stop the flapper closing properly, which means water will continuously run from the tank to the bowl instead of collecting in the tank. If it’s too long, this might also interfere with the flapper closing.
If you think the chain is the source of the problem, it’s easy to fix. If the chain’s too long, you can simply shorten it. Or if it’s too short, you can easily buy a replacement chain either online or on the high street for very little money. Just make sure you work out how long the chain needs to be before you buy one.
2. Have a look at the flapper
If the chain’s not the problem, it might be the flapper. Have a look at your flapper and check that it’s not broken, warped or dirty. If the flapper has warped or developed cracks this may cause it to leak. So instead of the water staying in the tank until you press the flush lever, it will run continuously into the bowl.
A dirty flapper can also cause problems. If it gets covered in mineral deposits, this can stop it closing properly and also cause the tank to leak.
A dirty or broken flapper is also easy to sort out. If you think mineral deposits are the problem, simply remove the flapper, give it a clean and replace it. If the flapper’s broken, you can easily buy a new one and replace it.
3. Make sure the float’s in the right place
If you think both the chain and the flapper are ok, try checking the float. The float is a plastic balloon that sits on the surface of the water in the tank. It’s connected to the water pump in your toilet and its position tells the pump when to start and stop. So if the water level in the tank is low, the float also sits low and signals to the pump to turn on. When the tank is full, the float sits higher and tells the pump to stop.
One reason why your toilet might be running is because the tank is filling too high. If the pump takes in too much water, this will run into the top of an overflow pipe and down into the toilet boil. If the pump does this, it’s probably because the float is at the wrong angle and isn’t telling the pump to stop at the right time.
To solve this problem, try bending the rod connecting the float and the pump, so that the float sits lower and will tell the pump to stop sooner.
So now you know 3 easy ways to fix your running toilet without having to call in a plumber.
Fixing your toilet yourself is a great way to save money, time and learn new skills. However, there are some jobs that are best left to an expert. If these 3 techniques haven’t worked for you and you need professional help, fill in our online form. We’ll connect you with up to 4 qualified plumbers in your local area.