The Trouble With Toilets

3 Materials
30 Minutes

A toilet that just won't stop running is annoying, for sure. But you can find what you need to fix this and most other problems at your local home improvement store for less than $20. Use the guide below to address your specific toilet issue. Watch the attached video for more details!

Toilet runs constantly without stopping: 

(a) The plug at the bottom of the tank (the "flapper") is stuck in the "up" position. Usually a jiggle of the handle will fix the issue, but for a permanent solution, shorten the chain attached the level to the flapper slightly.

(b) The hinge on the flapper may have broken, or the chain has broken, leaving the flapper in the "up" position.

Toilet runs and stops periodically:

The water is draining out of the toilet just enough to make the pump turn on to refill it. This could be because:

(a) The rubber plug at the bottom of the tank (the "flapper") is wearing out.

(b) The chain attaching the lever to the tank valve might have gotten kinked or caught underneath the flapper, propping it open slightly.

Flush and nothing happens:

The chain or the lever has probably broken.

Toilet empties when flushed, then doesn't refill:

(a) The pump may have broken and needs to be replaced

(b) The water valve behind the toilet has been turned off

To replace parts, turn off the water at the valve behind the toilet, then flush the toilet to empty the tank. Most parts will have installation instructions included.

If your toilet is gurgling then read this how to fix a gurgling toilet guide!

Suggested materials:
  • Toilet Flapper, $10   (Local Home Improvement Store)
  • Tank Lever, $10   (Local Home Improvement Store)
  • Toilet Fill Valve Kit, $10-20   (Local Home Improvement Store)
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