A running toilet is not only annoying but can also lead to significant water wastage and inflated utility bills. As a leading plumbing service in Johannesburg, South Africa, we understand the importance of addressing plumbing issues promptly and efficiently. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to fix your running toilet, helping you save water and money in the process.
Step 1: Diagnose the Problem
Before diving into any repairs, it’s essential to identify the root cause of the running toilet. Typically, a running toilet is caused by a faulty flapper, a damaged float or fill valve, or a misaligned chain. Start by lifting the toilet tank lid and observing the components inside. Check if the water level rises above the overflow tube or if water is continuously flowing into the bowl. Once you’ve pinpointed the issue, you can proceed with the necessary repair.
Step 2: Adjust the Water Level
If you notice that the water level is rising above the overflow tube, it might be due to an improperly adjusted fill valve. To fix this, locate the adjustment screw on the fill valve, usually positioned on top of the float. Turn the screw clockwise to lower the water level and counterclockwise to increase it. Aim to set the water level around 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube.
Step 3: Check and Clean the Flapper
The flapper is a rubber stopper that controls the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. If the flapper is worn out or has accumulated debris, it can lead to water continuously leaking into the bowl. To inspect the flapper, flush the toilet and observe whether it forms a complete seal after the tank empties. If it doesn’t, consider cleaning it or replacing it altogether.
To clean the flapper, detach it from its chain and soak it in a bowl of vinegar for a few hours. Gently scrub away any buildup, and once cleaned, reattach it to the chain and make sure it forms a tight seal when the toilet is flushed.
Step 4: Adjust or Replace the Float
A damaged or misaligned float can also cause a running toilet. The float is responsible for regulating the water level in the tank. If it’s set too high, the water will continue flowing into the bowl, leading to constant running. To adjust the float, locate the adjustment screw or clip on the fill valve. Lower the float by gently bending the rod or by adjusting the clip to achieve the desired water level.
If the float is damaged or doesn’t function correctly, consider replacing it with a new one that matches the make and model of your toilet.
Step 5: Inspect the Fill Valve
The fill valve is responsible for refilling the tank after each flush. A faulty fill valve can cause the toilet to run continuously. Inspect the fill valve for signs of damage, such as cracks or mineral deposits. If you notice any issues, it’s best to replace the fill valve entirely.
Step 6: Check the Chain
A misaligned or tangled chain can prevent the flapper from forming a proper seal, leading to a running toilet. Ensure that the chain has enough slack to allow the flapper to close completely after each flush. Adjust the chain length as needed, and make sure it doesn’t interfere with the flapper’s movement.
Step 7: Verify for Silent Leaks
In some cases, your toilet may have a silent leak, a subtle but continuous water leak that is difficult to detect. To check for silent leaks, add a few drops of food colouring to the water in the tank and wait for about 30 minutes without flushing. If you notice the coloured water seeping into the bowl, you have a silent leak. Silent leaks are often caused by a faulty flapper and can be fixed by cleaning or replacing it.
Fixing a running toilet doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can easily diagnose and repair the most common issues causing your toilet to run continuously. As a responsible homeowner in South Africa, addressing plumbing problems promptly can save water, reduce utility bills, and help conserve our precious natural resources. However, if you encounter more complex plumbing issues or require professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Plumbers Jhb, your trusted plumbing service in Johannesburg. Our team of skilled plumbers is always ready to provide expert solutions to all your plumbing needs. Happy fixing!