Everything You Need to Know About How to Fix a Running Toilet

Your handy guide.

how to fix a running toilet
Getty Images

There always comes a time in a homeowner's life when you come across a plumbing problem, and let's face it—most of us aren't nearly up to the tasks of professional plumbers. But, fixing a running toilet is one of those things that if you put your mind to it, you can do it all on your own (without professional help).

Here's everything you need to know about fixing a running toilet.

How do I know if my toilet is running?

It's pretty simple to figure out if you've got a running toilet, because you'll be able to hear it. Basically if your toilet sounds like it's constantly flushing, then that means it's running.

What's the first step to fixing a running toilet?

"You check and see if the flush valve is running," said Louis Malvasi, owner of Lane Mechanical Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Inc. The flush valve will be located in the middle of the tank and includes the overflow tube, the hole where water enters the bowl when you flush, and the flapper (sometimes a rubber ball) that covers the hole when the tank is full.

"Then, you see if the flapper section is allowing water to pass," Malvasi continued. "That's the part that goes up and down when you flush. If those are the issues, which usually they are, you replace the filling device and the flapper."

Basically, you'll see that the water from the back tank if emptying into the bowl without being flushed.

What do I do next to fix my running toilet?

Once you've confirmed that it's running, you'll remove the filling device from the bottom of the tank. "Then, you'll need to install a new one," Malvasi explains. "The flapper comes in different sizes, so you find the right size and install it on the flapper portion of the fill valve."

And voilà! You've fixed it all by yourself.

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.



More From DIY Projects