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leaking toilet

How to fix a running toilet.

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Posted 2012-09-07T14:22:03+0000  by malom44 malom44

Hello malom44.  Welcome to the Community!


By running toilet I assume you mean that the toilet has water running inside the toilet and that there are no leaks on the floor or between the tank and the bowl to the floor.  If this is the case then there are 2 possible reasons for a condition like this.


First and most common is that the flapper has worn out, or is misaligned so it no longer seals the tank.

Replace Flapper.PNG

If you notice water running continuously, check the flush handle and chain for misalignment and adjust this first.  There should be a slight amount of slack in the chain when the flapper is down and it should be centered over its drain.  You can adjust the location of the chain on the handle, its length, and sometimes bend the handle if necessary to let the flapper seal properly.


Minerals in your water and tank tablets containing chlorine can erode your flapper over time. If your toilet sometimes fills without being flushed, replacing the flapper may solve the problem.  Here's how to replace the flapper:


1.  Turn off the water supply at the shutoff valve and flush the toilet.


2.  Remove the old flapper.  If you don't already know what kind of flapper you need, you can take your old flapper to The Home Depot and get help selecting a replacement.


3.  Install the new flapper and adjust the chain attached to the handle lift wire to ensure the flapper is flush with the valve seat.


The second possibility is that the fill valve float is set too high, so that water constantly empties down the overflow drain tube.  Adjusting the tank water level is done by changing the float height on the fill valve.


Tank Fill Valves.PNG

If your toilet has a float arm, use the adjustment screw on top of the fill valve to raise or lower the float arm. Older float arms may not have an adjustment screw and should probably be replaced with a newer, more modern, fill valve.


To adjust the water level on toilets with float cylinders, squeeze the float clip to release the float cylinder and slide up or down to adjust the water level in the toilet tank.  Other float cylinder valves may have a screw type fine adjuster that you can turn either by hand or with a screwdriver.  You can see one like this below:

Screw Adjust Fill Valve.jpg

You want to set the tank water lever no higher than 1/2" below the drain overflow tube.  Lower settings will use less water per flush, but may or may not provide enough water to flush solids completely.


I hope this helps,





Posted 2012-09-07T18:18:05+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI

Thanks, that is so helpful. Good for HomeDepot!

Posted 2013-04-12T04:26:52+0000  by docc
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