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How to Repair a Running Toilet?

Written by:
Zahid Adnan

A running toilet can be both an annoyance and a drain on resources, leading to wasted water and potentially higher utility bills. Fortunately, repairing a running toilet is a relatively straightforward task that can be tackled by homeowners with a bit of DIY know-how and the right tools. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to diagnose and fix common issues that cause a toilet to run continuously. And if you find yourself in need of assistance beyond your DIY skills, no worries! JMK Miami Plumbing provides emergency plumbing services to help you tackle any plumbing issue promptly and efficiently. Now, let's delve into the steps to address a running toilet and restore peace to your bathroom.

Understanding the Problem:

Before diving into repairs, it's essential to understand what causes a toilet to run continuously. Typically, there are several culprits:

Flapper Valve: The flapper valve is responsible for sealing the flush valve opening. If it doesn't seal correctly, water will continuously leak into the bowl, causing the toilet to run.

Float: The float regulates the water level in the tank. If it's set too high, water will overflow into the overflow tube, leading to continuous running.

Fill Valve: The fill valve controls the flow of water into the tank. If it's malfunctioning, water may continuously flow into the tank, causing the toilet to run.

Chain: The chain connecting the flush handle to the flapper valve can become tangled or too loose, preventing the flapper from closing properly.

Now that we've identified potential causes let's move on to the steps to repair a running toilet.

Step 1: Shut Off the Water Supply:

Locate the water shut-off valve usually located behind the toilet and turn it clockwise to shut off the water supply. This step prevents water from continuously flowing into the tank during repairs.

Step 2: Remove the Tank Lid:

Carefully lift the tank lid off and set it aside in a safe place to avoid any accidental damage.

Step 3: Check the Flapper Valve:

Inspect the flapper valve for any signs of wear or damage. If it appears worn or doesn't create a proper seal when closed, it will need to be replaced. To remove the flapper valve, unhook it from the flush handle and detach it from the overflow tube.

Step 4: Install a New Flapper Valve:

Install a new flapper valve by attaching it to the overflow tube and connecting it to the flush handle with the chain. Ensure the chain has enough slack to allow the flapper to close fully but not so much that it becomes tangled.

Step 5: Adjust the Float:

Check the float level to ensure it's not set too high. If it is, adjust it by either bending the float arm downwards or adjusting the screw or clip mechanism depending on the type of float assembly your toilet has. The goal is to set the water level about an inch below the overflow tube.

Step 6: Inspect the Fill Valve:

Inspect the fill valve for any signs of damage or malfunction. If it's faulty, you may need to replace it. Before doing so, try cleaning the valve to remove any debris that may be causing it to malfunction.

Step 7: Turn On the Water Supply:

Once you've completed the repairs, turn the water supply back on by turning the shut-off valve counterclockwise. Allow the tank to fill, and then flush the toilet to ensure everything is working correctly.

Step 8: Test for Leaks:

After flushing, check around the base of the toilet and the connections for any signs of leaks. If you notice any leaks, tighten connections as needed or consider replacing faulty parts.


Repairing a running toilet is a manageable task that can be completed with basic tools and a little patience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can diagnose and fix common issues that cause a toilet to run continuously, ultimately saving water and avoiding the frustration of a constantly running fixture. And remember, if you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about making repairs, don't hesitate to reach out to JMK Miami Plumbing for their emergency plumber services. With their expertise, you can quickly resolve any plumbing issue and enjoy a smoothly functioning toilet once again. Take charge of your home's plumbing today and say goodbye to the inconvenience of a running toilet!

By Liliana Alvarez

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