A running toilet can drive you nuts as you are constantly hearing the hissing of water seeping into the toilet bowl. This is frustrating because the noise is extremely unpleasant and you’re wasting water which is making your water bill skyrocket. This can be a daunting task for new homeowners and may cost several hundred dollars for a plumber to fix. You can offset the expensive hourly fees of a plumber by fixing the running toilet yourself for less than $100.
When you can save several hundred dollars you might as well take a shot at fixing the toilet yourself. Chances are you can’t mess things up too bad. You will need to check the seal of the flapper, examine the fill valve for a leak, adjust the water level and replace parts as needed. You should speak with a professional to learn more about the problem and determine if you are able to fix the problem yourself.
The most common cause of a leaky toilet is a problem with the flapper. This could be a compromised seal or a broken component. You will need to find an object to press down on the flapper at the bottom of the tank. Do this when you hear the water running. If the water stops running when you press down on the flapper then the seal is the issue. If it continues to run then this is not your problem.
Turn off the water and flush the toilet to remove the water in the tank. Disconnect the chain and remove the flapper. This will be pretty straight forward. Install the new flapper and make sure to connect the chain. Turn on the water and check to see if the problem is fixed.
If the flapper isn’t the problem, then you need to examine the fill valve looking for a leak. Flush the toilet and as it is filling up watch the fill valve for a leak. Lift the float arm to see if the water stops. When you’ve determined that the fill valve is leaking you must disconnect the water supply line. Detach the old fill valve and replace it with the new one. Reconnect the water supply line and you will be ready to go. When you’re tightening the nuts, you should only tighten them half a turn past hand tight. Do not over tighten the valve or you risk breaking your new component.
When all else fails you can adjust the water level in the tank which will help your toilet flush properly. You begin by shutting off the main water supply so water doesn’t get all over the place. You will be able to adjust your toilet’s float arm with a screw on top of the fill valve.
If your toilet does not have a screw on top of the fill valve you should consider replacing it with a newer model. Some toilets have float cylinders and you will need to adjust them by squeezing the float clip and simply raising or lowering the cylinder. You will be able to control the flow of water in the tank to help your toilet flush better.