Why Does My Toilet Keep Running?

Running Toilet

When a toilet seems to be running and doesn’t stop after the typical flushing cycle, people often become puzzled, wondering what the problem is. Many people try jiggling the flush valve to see if that makes it stop running, or they will try to flush the toilet a second time. While neither of those solutions will likely fix the plumbing issue, there are a few simple steps you can take to fix a toilet that won’t stop running. The very first step is to determine the cause of the continuous running, then you will be able to make better judgment for the next steps in the repair process

Top 3 Reasons Your Toilet Keeps Running

The three main reasons your toilet keeps running are that the float height inside the tank needs to be adjusted, the flapper is leaking and needs to be either repaired or replaced, or the refill tube needs to be shortened.

Tools You May Need

The tools and materials you may need to fix your constantly running toilet include but are not limited to, rubber gloves, replacement fill valve, toilet replacement parts, toilet replacement parts, multi-bit screwdriver, and cutting pliers.

We strongly advise that you contact an expert plumber to inspect the plumbing problem in your home or business as there could be underlying issues with your toilet that need professional care or maintenance. However, this does not mean that you can’t inspect your toilet yourself. Here are a few things you could do to address your running toilet issues in the meantime.

1: The Float Needs to be Lowered/Adjusted

Some of the most common issues that cause a toilet to run nonstop is overflow water leaking down into the bowl from the tank through the overflow tube. This occurs when there is too much water in the tank and you can then adjust the water level by lowering the height of the float.

In order to lower the water in a toilet with a functioning float arm, simply loosen or tighten the screw until the float arm lowers. To lower the water level in a toilet with a column float attached to the fill valve, loosen the screw or clip, push down the float to the appropriate height, and tighten everything back up to hold it in place. 

2: The Flapper is Leaking an Needs to be Repaired or Replaced

Perhaps the most common reason why a toilet does not stop running is a worn out flapper that needs to be replaced. When flappers get too old, they don’t create a tight enough seal, allowing water to constantly pass through from the toilet tank and into the bowl.

To replace the flapper, start by removing the old one and replacing it with a new one from your local hardware store. Remove the old flapper by detaching the chain and carefully removing it off the pins beside the overflow tube. To attach the new flapper, simply connect the chain and attach the sides to their respective pins. 

A few professional tips to keep in mind are to drain the water from the tank before replacing the flapper. Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush the toilet to drain the water. Also, if the chain is too long on the new flapper, you will need to shorten it. If the chain is long enough to get caught underneath the flapper, you will not get a good seal, causing the toilet to keep running.

3: The Refill Tube Needs to be Shortened

Another common cause of running toilets is that the refill tube could be continuously pumping water into the bowl because the tube is too long and isn’t positioned correctly in the overflow tube. 

In order to shorten a refill tube, you must pull the tube out of the overflow and position it just above the opening of the overflow, trim it off there and secure it to the side of the overflow tube to keep it in place. The reason this causes the toilet to run without stopping is that the refill valve will develop a suction effect that pulls water out of the fill valve.

Middle Tennessee’s Most-Trusted Plumbers for Toilet Repair Near You

FiveStar Plumbing and HVAC in the greater Nashville area has been repairing running toilets for decades and we are standing by to help you with your next plumbing issue too! Our certified team of experienced plumbers can assess the situation and determine the exact reason your toilet won’t stop running. This way, our plumbing experts address and repair the root of the problem, to ensure that the job is done correctly the first time to prevent further unexpected issues and damage down the road. FiveStar Plumbing & HVAC is committed to using industry-preferred equipment and toilet repair parts, as well as  providing high-quality customer service to homes and businesses throughout Middle Tennessee. 

If you are experiencing a running toilet or any other plumbing issues or emergencies in Nashville, Tennessee, don’t hesitate to give FiveStar Plumbing & HVAC a call at (615) 382-8130 for same-day service to fix your plumbing problems today!