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How to Fix a Running Toilet

April 20, 2023
When your toilet is running, not only does the sound drive you crazy, but the extra running water can get costly. Fortunately, it is relatively simple to fix running toilet.

Here is what you will need before you begin:

  • Bucket or pan
  • An old towel
  • Gloves
  • Flashlight

Shut Off the Water

Behind your toilet is a small hose that connects from the bottom of the tank and leads to the wall. Carefully turn the valve at the wall to turn off the water, ensuring you do not over-tighten. You will know it is off when you stop hearing the hissing noises.

Place the Bucket Under the Hose Area

Ensure the bucket is under the area where the hose meets the toilet. Once in place, disconnect the slip joint. Some water will leak into your bucket but should not be spraying. If it is, you must still turn the water off entirely and remove the hose. Next, lift off the lid of the toilet tank and put it in a place where it is safe.

Inspect the Flapper

Upon inspection, you will see a rubber flapper at the tank’s bottom that seals the water flow. Reach into the tank and lift it to check for any cracks or damage. If so, you will need to replace it.

Check the Fill Valve

The fill valve is the piece that controls the water level inside the tank. Disconnect the fill valve by removing the small snap or hook that attaches the screw at the bottom to the valve. 

Lift the Diaphragm Valve

The diaphragm valve is the top piece of the fill valve. Pull it apart, carefully inspect the screw and pin inside and clean it thoroughly.

Inspect for Obstructions 

Use a flashlight to look down the fill valve to see if anything is blocking the area. If you find something, reconnect the hose and slowly turn on the water to release the debris. A towel or your hand covering the site is a good idea in case debris or water leaks after it clears.

Reassemble and Reattach the Diaphragm

Put the diaphragm valve back together, matching the pin back to the center. Turn it back into place and reconnect the snap or the hook. If you are having trouble with the reassembly, you may need a new fill valve. Otherwise, reconnect the hose and turn the water on to determine if the issue is solved. If not, you will need a professional plumber to come and repair the problem.

For information and solutions to all your plumbing needs, contact us at Prushko Plumbing to schedule an online appointment.


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