How To Fix a Running Toilet

Simple steps for Fixing a Continuously Running Toilet

By Mark J. Donovan

Question: I have to always shake the toilet handle before the tank fills, why? Is there a way to fix this problem? I just want to flush and walk away, is that asking too much?

Answer: Hmm, It sounds like you may have a flush tank lever and chain assembly that is not operating smoothly, or you have a rubber toilet flapper that is not closing properly on the toilet bowl flush valve seat. When you push down on the toilet tank lever, the lever should pull the toilet tank flapper up so that water can drain from the toilet bowl tank into the toilet bowl, causing the flushing action. When the toilet is not in the process of being flushed, the toilet flapper seals water in the toilet tank.

When you let off of the handle the toilet flapper should close on the toilet tank valve seat. Over time, however, the rubber flapper can decay or become deformed due to chemicals used in the toilet tank to clean the bowl, or due to minerals in the water. In addition, minerals in the water can build up around the toilet tank valve seat preventing the toilet flapper from closing properly.

To fix this type of running toilet problem first turn the water off at the toilet tank inlet valve and flush the toilet to remove the water from the toilet tank.

Then check to make sure the toilet flush lever and chain assembly from the flush handle lever to the toilet flapper is connected and not hindered in anyway. Also wipe around the toilet tank valve seat with a rag to wipe off any mineral build up.

Repairing a toilet flapper.

Turn the water back on and see if your running toilet problem has been resolved.

If the problem persists, again turn off the water to the toilet and flush the tank. Next, remove the old toilet flapper. You can usually do this with just your hands.

Take the old toilet flapper to a home improvement store and find a replacement one.

Simply put on the replacement toilet flapper, turn the water back on and your running toilet problems should be solved. This is a simple and easy DIY plumbing project and it is inexpensive to do.

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