How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

How to Fix a Running Toilet

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Plumbing > How to Fix a Running Toilet
How to Fix a Running Toilet

The constant sound of water running in your toilet and the toilet tank getting filled can soon become a major source of irritation. However, a running toilet is not just a nuisance as it can increase your water bill and could cause problems in your septic tank. Even a minor leak on from the toilet tank into the bowl can result in the loss of many gallons of fresh water in a week.

  1. Act promptly to fix a running toilet, instead of silently putting up with the inconvenience when water and your money are drained away.

    1.Outflow of Money

    According to data released by the Environment Protection Agency a constantly running toilet could waste about 200 gallons of water a day. Repairing your toilet can, therefore, reduce your utility bill apart from giving you the satisfaction of having done your bit toward ensuring a greener tomorrow. Some people say the EPA destroys jobs and forces businesses to invest overseas because of some goofy rules but this is not one of them. Just because a dictation is coming from the EPA, it does not mean that is based on fake science.

  2. 2.Simple Running Toilet Solutions

    Often a running toilet is caused by a simple malfunctioning part that can be fixed by most people who are handy with tools. Before you call a plumber to look at your running toilet, try these simple solutions. Remember to cut of water supply to the toilet tank before you open it. Also, even though the toilet tank stores fresh water, it is a good idea to wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after you finish working on this project.


    1. Remove the lid of the toilet tank and inspect the interior. This will often help you locate the problem in the tank. A visual inspection can reveal sedimentation, broken parts, clogged inlets, and other problems that can be fixed without too much effort.


    2. Sometimes the inlet pipe to the tank can get clogged resulting in uneven water flow. This will cause a running toilet. Just clean the inlet to fix the problem. The sediments in the inlet pipe can be removed using a brush or wire.


    3. Guide rod and chain: Check the guide rod or chain in the toilet stopper. If the chain is twisted or the rod is bent, straighten these to stop the running. Sometimes the length of the chain is the cause of the problem. An extra-long chain can become tangled while a short chain can prevent the mechanism from functioning properly. By adjusting the length of the chain, you should be able to stop your toilet from wasting water.


    4. Flapper: Old flappers become stiff and prevent automatic closure. By replacing the flapper, the running toilet will be fixed.


    5. Float: The float in the toilet tank needs to be above the water level to stop water overflow. Sometimes, water enters the float and submerges it. This happens when the float is damaged or punctured. Just unscrew the float and screw on a new one to stop water wastage.


    6. Rubber seals: The flush valve and flapper have rubber seals that can get damaged over time. Replacing them with new seals will often fix a running toilet.


    7. Lever: The lever connected to the float can break because of constant use. Replacing this can ensure that the float is position properly and fix a running toilet.


    8. The valve seat and stopper might be corroded or damaged because of sediments. You need to first try and clean them. If this does not fix the problem, you will need to replace them.


    9. In some cases the entire flush valve assembly might need to be replaced. For this you need to first remove the assembly and take it to a hardware store to get the appropriate replacement. You then have to install the new system in your toilet tank. Those who are handy with tools and have the time to spare can try doing this on their own.

  3. 3.Prompt Action Needed

    Act promptly to fix a running toilet, instead of silently putting up with the inconvenience when water and your money are drained away. The cost of fixing the toilet can be recovered in the savings from your water bill. And if you live in Phoenix, San Diego, Las Vegas, or LA, you know how precious fresh water is.


    If your toilet problems continue, check out our guide to prevent a toilet from overflowing!

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.