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What to do when your toilet won’t stop running

To understand why your toilet won’t stop running, you need to understand how it works. When you flush the toilet, water fills the tank; this lifts a float that shuts off the water when it reaches a certain level in the tank. Once this level is reached, a lever opens a flapper to cause the flush, falling back into place once the water level drops again.

If your toilet won’t stop running, try this trusty 4-step trick that works to stop the majority of toilet flushing problems.

Step 1 – check the fill tube

Remove the tank lid and find the small flexible tube that runs from the fill valve to the overflow tube. Check that this tube hasn’t fallen off or come loose, if it has the water stream misses the overflow tube, which means your toilet bowl won’t fill up properly. Reattach the tube firmly ensuring it sits approximately 1 inch above the overflow tube. Test by flushing and ensure the water stream goes down into the overflow tube.

Step 2 – check the float and adjust fill height

Step 3 – check the flush handle and flapper chain

Step 4 – replace the flapper

If you’ve tried all of the above steps and your toilet is still running, you likely need to replace the flapper.

Toilet troubles aren’t always an easy fix. If you’ve tried and tested everything you can think of and your toilet won’t stop running, it’s time to call a plumber!