How to Fix a Running Toilet

bathroom toilet

A working toilet requires running water, but when that water runs continuously, it means a bigger water bill and an unnecessary dent in your budget. Taking steps to fix toilet problems like this is something that every homeowner should be able to handle, given the relative ease in dealing with the issue.

Leaks are Usually the Problem

The likely problem with this type of toilet repair is a leaking rubber flapper that seals against plastic at the bottom of the tank, due to hard water that eventually results in the water leaking.

One of the easiest ways to test if any plumbing repairs might be needed in the future is by using dye tablets or food coloring. When you flush the toilet, either drop a dye table or put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and let it fill up. The tank will obviously fill with blue water, but if a leak exists, the water in the bowl will also turn blue.

Fixing the Flapper Issue

If a leak exists, replacing the flapper offers one option with regard to toilet repair, but knowing which one to use can sometimes present a challenge.

After obtaining a flapper, shut off the water and first remove the old flapper by pulling it off the flush valve and then disconnecting the chain from the handle. Then, work in reverse by installing the new flapper and making sure it rests above the flush valve.

The chain is likely already adjusted to the handle, which means that re-connecting it to the flush valve is the next step. The chain’s length should be checked for length and also have some play to it in order to keep it loose.

The foam piece that helps connect the flush valve and handle is the adjustment for how fast the flapper drops, otherwise known as tank to bowl timing. Flushing the toilet, the foam piece floats just enough so that when the flapper closes, the water in the bowl leaves.

Legacy Plumbing Services

Any adjustment can be done by simply pushing the foam piece up for a shorter flush or down if less pressure is sought. To make sure that the flapper has been properly installed, another dye food coloring test should be conducted. If the test is successful, the flapper has been properly installed.

Replacing the Fill Valve

When a new flapper is installed, a new fill valve should also be part of these plumbing repairs. For the latter component, the water should again be shut off, with the amount of turns required on the shut off valve dependent on the specific toilet. Some require only a simple quarter turn, while others need multiple turns, but this task is complete when the water fully stops.

Unhooking the flex line by unscrewing it is next, though precautions should be made to make sure that all the water has been drained out of the toilet tank before any attempt is made. At this point, the fill valve can then be removed, which begins by loosening the nut on the bottom of the valve. This is accomplished by simply pulling it straight up before then removing the fill tube.

The plastic nut on the fill valve should be pushed back, which will allow you to fully adjust the height of the valve. Then, slip the plastic nut back in place to the new height and make sure the rubber washer at the bottom of the valve is still in place. Finally, re-install the fill valve by holding it in place and tightening back up the nut on the bottom of the tank.

The fill tube is then installed by clipping it to outside rim of the flush valve, which allows the water to flow through there into the middle of the fill tube. From there, reconnecting the flex line marks the final step.

Given the havoc that can result when attempting to fix toilet issues, it’s best to double check your work to make sure that water doesn’t spray everywhere. At that point, the water can be turned back on while checking for any leaks.

The Name to Know

When it becomes too complicated to fix toilet issues on your own, it’s best to contact the professionals at Legacy Plumbing. We’ve been handling plumbing repairs for years, so when the time comes for any serious toilet repair, make sure to contact us to guarantee that the job will be done right.

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