Simple DIY Solutions: How To Fix A Running Toilet

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A running toilet can be one of the most irritating sounds in your home. The slight trickle or the constant drip of a running toilet can not only drive you mad but also be costly on your water bill. That’s why it is important to learn how to fix a running toilet so that you can save your wallet and your sanity.

But how do you fix a running toilet? Well, we have a step by step guide to help you do just this. Here, we will cover these steps along with any other problems you might stumble across on the way. Are you ready to upgrade your Do It Yourself skills? Then let’s get started. 

Table of Contents

When Toilets Go Wrong

There are many ways that your toilet can break, but luckily for you, most of these problems can be easily fixed by replacing some parts or tightening loose nuts. Let’s take a look at the main areas where toilets go wrong. 

The Cistern

Inside the cistern holds all the mechanisms and parts that work to flush your toilet. If one of these parts wears out, loosens, or perishes, you will end up with a leak or a running toilet. This can be a simple fix, such as replacing the flush system, tightening up the joints, or replacing seals. 

The Bowl

The bowl is one of the areas of the toilet where there is always water present. This means that if there is a persistent leak, then it might be that it is coming from your toilet bowl. Older bowls can develop cracks over time, which can create leaks. Where the bowl attaches to the cistern and the waste can also be a source of issues. 

How to Fix A Running Toilet

Now that we know where a leak might come from, we need to discuss how to stop that running toilet problem. You see, a running toilet tends to be an issue that is related to the flush mechanism. In order to stop your toilet from running, you need to adjust this mechanism and ensure it is working properly. 

  • Step One

Check your fill tube isn’t blocked. As with all water supplies, there is often debris and sediment that isn’t filtered out before it makes it to your toilet. If your fill tube (or your water supply inlet tube) is blocked with sediment, then you might have an issue with your toilet running slowly rather than promptly emptying it when it’s flushed. 

  • Step Two

Check the hinge of your float or ball cock is operating freely. This hinge can become stiff over time or rust up completely, so it is important to make sure it is working freely. This float is what tells your toilet when it is full or empty, so it is vital that it works to its optimum.

  • Step Three

Make sure your flush is adjusted correctly. This is the chain that connects the flush to the flush rod, and if it is too tight, then it will keep the flush open a tiny bit, which will, in turn, make your toilet run constantly. Make sure that this chain is loose enough that the flapper is able to seal properly after every flush. 

  • Step Four

Check your cistern is tightly attached to the bowl. The mechanism that sits inside your cistern only works properly if it is in the right location. If your cistern isn’t fitted correctly on top of the toilet bowl, then it will cause your mechanism to sit irregularly and not function properly. Ensure that everything is tightly fitted and in the right position. 

Where to Look for Leaks

If you have managed to get your toilet to stop running, but you still have a leak, then you might want to take a look into a few areas. The first place to look is between your cistern and toilet bowl. As we saw earlier, if the cistern and bowl aren’t perfectly aligned, the seal won’t be able to ensure any leaks fully. 

The next place to look is between the waste and the toilet bowl. Again, there is a wax or rubber seal that connects the waste to the bowl, and if this seal has perished or has become dislodged, then you will succumb to a leak. Replace the seal, and you will solve the problem. 

Finally, you can occasionally be really unlucky and develop a crack in your toilet. You could do a patch job on this, but you will need to make sure you empty the system completely and patch it from both the inside and the outside. 

Which Parts Need Replacing?

The parts that often need replacing on a toilet are the seals and the flush mechanism itself. 

The Seals

The seals that you find inside the cistern and connecting the waste are usually made from wax or rubber. This perishes over time and means that you need to replace them in order to maintain that tight seal. This seal prevents leaks and stops waste or water from escaping where it shouldn’t. They. Are. Crucial! 

The flush mechanism

With all moving parts, they wear over time. The more they are used, the more wear and tear they will suffer. So, it’s no surprise that it will need replacing over time. Panic not, this is an easy task, and a new mechanism can be picked up from any hardware store. 

Buying A New Toilet

If you don’t think you can fix your toilet, then the only other option is to buy a new toilet. There are lots of options to choose from, including one-piece toilets, two-piece toilets and wall-hung toilets. We have compiled an article on how to choose the right toilet which you can read HERE.

We really hope you can fix your running toilet and that you don’t have any more problems with your system. Should you find a leak in the future, you can always refer back to this article to help you locate the leak, deal with it, and save yourself a whole lot of cash! 

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