Once you get tired of jiggling the handle, you might want to know how to fix a running toilet. A leaking toilet can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water a month, which adds up to a lot of wasted water and money. Since there are only a couple of things that can go wrong with a toilet, you should be able to fix a running toilet yourself, saving lots of water and money, not to mention restoring peace and quiet to your household.
To fix a running toilet, follow these simple steps:
- Remove the lid on the tank at the back of the toilet.
- Check the fill setting. You may have water running into the toilet from the fill inlet valve. There is a tube standing up in your toilet. The water in the toilet should be about an inch below the bottom of this tube. If water is running over the edge of this tube, you need to adjust the fill setting. Try just holding up the float ball. If the water stops running into the tube, you need to adjust the height of the ball. Raise the float ball to adjust the level of the water in the tank and this should fix your running toilet.
- Check the chain length from the handle that controls the flapper. The flapper is the part that covers the hole in the bottom of the tank that releases the water from the tank to the toilet bowl. Push the handle down a couple of times and watch the chain and flapper to make sure the chain is operating cleanly. If not, you may need to adjust the length of the chain.
- The most common cause of running toilets is the flapper itself. These can get old and stiff and not fit correctly over the opening in the bottom of the toilet. First run your hand around the opening below the flapper to see if there is any mineral buildup which may be impeding the flapper from closing well over the opening. If not, a trip to the hardware store is in order to purchase a replacement flapper. Taking a the flapper with you is the best way to make sure you get the right replacement part.
- Check to make sure you have fixed the leak by putting a couple of drops of food color in the tank. If you all parts are sealing well, the color should not leak into the toilet bowl. If you see the color in the bowl, your flapper is not properly seated or the water level needs further adjustment.
By following these steps you should be able to fix a running toilet with very little time and expense.