How to Fix a Toilet That Keeps Running

20 Minutes

Table of Contents

Have you ever flushed a toilet, walked away, come back a few minutes later, and still hear the toilet flushing? Well, here’s how to fix a toilet that keeps running.

Learn how to stop a toilet from running with these few simple steps. Find out what to do if the toilet fill tube keeps running and what the causes may be.

How Does a Toilet Flush Work?

This is what normally happens.

You finish your washroom business. So, you push down on the toilet handle. What happens next?

There are two things that control the release and refill of water in the tank—It starts and completes the flush:

  1. The flapper, and
  2. The Float.

Pushing down on the toilet handle lifts the flapper. Once lifted, the flapper releases tank water into the toilet bowl.

As the tank empties of water, the float begins to drop. Then, it opens the fill valve. Once the tank is near empty, the flapper then drops back into its position.

Once everything is cleared out of the toilet bowl, the opened fill valve refills the empty tank with water.

Finally, as the tank refills, the float rises and shuts off the fill valve.

Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

There’s three main reasons why your toilet keeps running:

  1. Your float height needs adjusting.
  2. Your toilet flapper is leaking.
  3. Or your fill tube is too long.

You’ll want to fix a running toilet right away. Because it’s been said that running water in your toilet wastes 25 times more water than a shower leak. Also, it can increase your water bill by nearly $60 per day. In fact, a running toilet is the most common cause for a high water bill.

So, we’re going to go over how to fix a toilet that keeps running. Because you don’t need those extra bills.

How To Fix a Toilet That Keeps Running



Adjust the Float Height

One common problem of a running toilet is excess water in the tank. The water is too high that it’s constantly flowing into the overflow tube, then down into the toilet bowl. Hence, your toilet constantly running.

You can fix this by lowering the water level or fill height. All you have to do is adjust the height of the float.

Remove the lid from the tank and locate the adjustable float. Loosen or tighten the screw until the float drops to the right level.

The right level is when the water level is lower than the overflow tube.

Fix the Toilet Flapper

Another common problem is a defective flapper. The purpose of the flapper is to seal water in the tank. So, if they don’t seal properly, water will continually pass from the tank into the toilet bowl.

You may need to replace your old flapper with a new one. You can easily purchase one from any hardware store. Or, if you’re like me, Amazon can have one delivered to your door within 48 hours.

If it’s your first time replacing a flapper, try to drain all the water from the tank first before replacing it. Shut off the water supply that feeds your toilet.

Then, flush the toilet to drain the remaining water.

Adjust or Shorten the Refill Tube

The third common cause of a running toilet is the refill tube.

If the refill tube is too long or isn’t positioned correctly, it will continually pump water into the bowl.

To check its position, make sure the small flexible tube is inserted into the fill tube.

To shorten a refill tube, pull the tube out of the overflow and hold it just above the overflow opening. Then, trim it off right there. And clip it to the side of the overflow tube to keep it in place.

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How to Fix a Toilet That Keeps Running

Learn how to fix a toilet that keeps running

Servings 1 fixed toilet

Prep Time 10 minsCook Time 10 mins0 minsTotal Time 20 mins

  • 1 Pliers
  • 1 Pair of rubber gloves

  • 1 piece flapper
  • 1 piece replacement valve

  • Adjust the float height.
  • Replace the flapper.
  • Shorten the refill tube.

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