A running toilet doesn’t just waste water — it flushes precious money down the drain!
A toilet that doesn’t turn off can waste as much as 200 gallons a day, or 6,000 gallons of fresh water a month. That can result in an additional $100 on the average water bill.
The good news is fixing a running toilet will lower your water bill and provide a stronger flush.
Check the fill tube
It is possible your flow tube is overflowing. Remove the tank lid and locate the fill tube — a small flexible tube that connects the fill valve to the toilet overflow tube. As the tank fills, the fill tube squirts water down the toilet overflow tube, refilling the bowl after a flush. If the tube falls off or the stream flow misses, the bowl won’t fill and the toilet will continue to run and waste water.
You’ll need to reattach the fill tube and reconnect it to the fill valve. It needs to be one inch above the rim of the overflow tube. Make sure the stream of water hits the toilet overflow tube.
Check the flapper
If your toilet continues to run, you may have a worn out flapper. Turn off the water to the toilet. Remove the old flapper and head to the hardware store to find a replacement. Try to find an exact match if possible.
There are many varieties of flappers, and toilet components have changed over the years. You may not be able to find an exact match. If you can’t find the same size flapper, find one as close as possible or look for a universal flapper.
Install the new flapper and make sure it opens and closes freely and makes a tight connection. Flush the toilet. If the toilet continues to run or runs intermittently, the seal isn’t tight enough. You’ll need a different flapper that forms a tighter seal.
Check the fill valve for a leak
Remove the tank lid and flush the toilet. Check the fill valve to see if it is leaking. Lift the tank float arm to see if the water stops. Adjust the toilet float arm so the toilet stops when the water reaches an inch below the top of the overflow pipe.
If the valve still leaks, you will need to hire a professional plumber to remove and replace it.
Know your limits and when it is time to call a professional
Some toilet repairs are easy to fix, if you are somewhat handy with tools. But there is no shame in admitting when a job is over your head. Know when it is time to call a professional plumber. It can save you time, money and headaches.
The sooner you get your toilet fixed, the less water you will waste. Ultimately, you’ll save money by lowering your water bill through a more efficient toilet.
Need help? Call Plumbers 911!
If you need help fixing or replacing a toilet, call Plumbers 911! We are a network of qualified plumbing contractors who can send a professional to your home to fix your toilet. All our qualified plumbers are highly trained and fully vetted, including drug testing. Our plumbers are fully ensured, bonded and licensed.