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What to Do if Toilet Keeps Running

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An image of a hand reaching into a toilet tank, adjusting the float valve to stop water flow

If your toilet keeps running, it can be frustrating and wasteful. But fear not, because in this article, we will guide you through the steps to fix this problem.

By identifying the cause and taking action, you can put an end to the constant running and save water. Whether it’s adjusting the flapper valve, fixing a faulty fill valve, or replacing the float ball or cup, we’ve got you covered.

So let’s dive in and get your toilet back to its normal, non-running state!

Key Takeaways

  • Troubleshoot common toilet issues to pinpoint the exact problem.
  • Regularly clean the flapper valve and flush valve seat.
  • Adjust or replace the float ball or cup to control the water level.
  • Seek professional help if the issue persists.

Identifying the Cause of a Running Toilet

If your toilet keeps running, the first step is to identify the cause of the problem. Troubleshooting common toilet issues can help you pinpoint the exact issue and save you from unnecessary expenses.

Start by checking the flapper valve, which is responsible for regulating water flow. A worn-out or improperly aligned flapper valve can cause continuous water flow, leading to a running toilet.

Another common problem is a faulty fill valve. If the fill valve doesn’t shut off properly, it can result in an overflowing tank and a constantly running toilet.

Understanding the importance of toilet maintenance is crucial in preventing these issues. Regularly inspecting and replacing worn-out parts, cleaning the toilet tank, and ensuring proper water pressure can help maintain a well-functioning toilet and avoid running toilet problems in the future.

Checking and Adjusting the Flapper Valve

To stop the toilet from continuously running, check and adjust the flapper valve. The flapper valve is responsible for sealing the water inside the tank and preventing it from constantly flowing into the bowl. If the flapper is worn out or misaligned, it can cause water to leak out and keep the toilet running. Here are some troubleshooting tips and maintenance tips to help you fix the issue:

Steps Troubleshooting Leaks Maintenance Tips
1 Check the flapper for any signs of wear or damage. Clean the flapper and the flush valve seat to ensure a proper seal.
2 Adjust the chain length connecting the flapper to the flush handle. Replace the flapper if necessary.
3 Test the flush handle and ensure it is not sticking. Regularly inspect and clean the flapper valve to prevent debris buildup.

Fixing a Faulty Fill Valve

The first step in fixing a faulty fill valve is to shut off the water supply to the toilet. This will prevent any water from flowing while you work on the valve. Once the water supply is turned off, you can proceed with the following steps:

  • Remove the old fill valve by unscrewing it from the bottom of the toilet tank.
  • Install the new fill valve by screwing it into place and making sure it is securely attached.
  • Turn the water supply back on and check for any leaks around the fill valve.
  • If the water supply line is old or damaged, consider replacing it to ensure proper functioning of the toilet.

If the problem persists even after replacing the fill valve, you may need to troubleshoot the pressure regulator. Check for any blockages or malfunctions in the regulator and make necessary adjustments or repairs.

Adjusting or Replacing the Float Ball or Cup

You can adjust or replace the float ball or cup to stop the toilet from running constantly. The float ball or cup is responsible for controlling the water level in the toilet tank. If it is not functioning properly, it can lead to a continuous flow of water, causing the toilet to run.

To adjust the water level, locate the float ball or cup and adjust the screw or clip attached to it. Lowering the float will reduce the water level, while raising it will increase the level.

If adjusting the float does not solve the issue, you may need to replace it. Troubleshooting common issues with the float ball or cup can help resolve running toilet problems and save water in the process.

Seeking Professional Help if the Issue Persists

If the problem persists, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance. Troubleshooting common toilet issues is important, but sometimes the problem requires expert intervention. Here are some reasons why professional help may be needed:

  • Complex internal mechanisms: Sometimes, the cause of a running toilet is not easily identifiable. A professional plumber has the knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix complex issues.

  • Hidden leaks: A running toilet can be a sign of a hidden leak, which can cause water damage if left untreated. Professionals can use specialized tools to detect leaks and prevent further damage.

  • Structural damage: In some cases, a running toilet may be caused by structural damage to the plumbing system. Professionals can assess the situation and make necessary repairs.

  • Ensuring proper maintenance: Seeking professional help ensures that your toilet receives regular maintenance, preventing future issues and prolonging its lifespan.

Understanding the importance of regular toilet maintenance is crucial for avoiding costly repairs. While troubleshooting can solve many toilet problems, don’t hesitate to call in the experts if the issue persists.


In conclusion, if your toilet keeps running, it is important to identify the cause and fix it promptly. By checking and adjusting the flapper valve, fixing a faulty fill valve, or adjusting/replacing the float ball or cup, you can usually resolve the issue yourself.

However, if the problem persists, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Although it may seem costly, hiring a plumber can ensure the problem is fixed correctly and prevent further damage to your plumbing system.

Remember, it’s better to address the issue early on to avoid wasting water and money.