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How Do I Stop My Toilet From Running?

There are several reasons to fix a running toilet – namely the fact that one can easily waste gallons and gallons of water over time, noticeably increasing your water. But how does one go about fixing it?The answer to that question depends on the root cause of the problem.

Problem #1: A tangled or malfunctioning chain.

When you flush a toilet, you push down a lever. That lever raises a chain that lifts a seal, allowing water to flow into the toilet bowl, thereby flushing the toilet. Sometimes this chain tangles or malfunctions though, and the flapper doesn’t reseal. This results in a running toilet. To fix this problem, simply reposition the chain in such a way that it allows the flapper to reseal. This often can be accomplished by jiggling the handle or by opening the tank lid and physically repositioning the chain itself.

Problem #2: A non-sealing flapper.

In certain cases, the chain isn’t why the flapper won’t reseal. The flapper itself might be damaged or it might be settling down into the wrong position. To correct a non-sealing flapper, try pushing it down into the correct position and then flush the toilet. If it seals, problem solved! On the other hand, if it keeps setting down into the wrong position, replace it. If it settles in the right position but still doesn’t seal, buy a replacement flapper.

Problem #3: A float that doesn’t float at the right level.

Sometimes a float isn’t floating at the correct level. This could happen for a couple different reasons, one of which is water is leaking into the float, weighing it down. In such cases, you’ll want to get a new float. In other cases, all you have to do is readjust the float. Move the float up and down until the water level stops rising at the right point. Too little water and you’ll have a weak flush. Too much water and you’ll have a fill valve that never shuts off, resulting in a running toilet.

Problem #4: A fill valve that won’t shut off.

The key sign that you have a fill valve won’t shut off is the observation of constant water flowing down the overflow tube. That’s not natural. If you open the tank lid and see this happening, try adjusting the float level. If that doesn’t work, replace the fill valve and/or float. One or both could be faulty. Replacing a fill valve is a bit more complicated of a process, so you might want to take a look at the instructions for your specific toilet.

If none of these seem to be the problem, consider replacing all the inner workings of your toilet or call a plumber for assistance.

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