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
The adjustable float controls the toilet tanks water level. If this float is at the incorrect level it will impact your toilets flush.
Find the fill mark level on the inside back of your toilet tank and mark it on the overflow tube so you can see it easily.
Flush the toilet and see where the water reaches.
If it doesn’t reach the mark, the toilet will keep running. Adjust the toilet tank float up or down as necessary. You can do this by turning the screw or sliding a clip along the rod. Keep adjusting until the water shuts off at the right level.
Step 3 – check the flush handle and flapper chain
There is a lever in your toilet that is connected to the flapper by a chain,
When you flush the lever lifts the chain, which lifts the flapper
If the chain becomes disconnected or loose and too long, the toilet handle won’t work or flush properly.
Tighten the chain and try to flush again!
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.
Turn off the water, remove the flapper and take it with you to a hardware store to find the right replacement.
If you can’t find an exact match, look for a universal model.
Install the new flapper, checking it opens and closes freely.
Test your toilet, if it stops running, voila! Problem solved.
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!