Why does my toilet keep running?

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A running toilet is essentially a water leak. While there are some cases where you can fix the problem yourself, don’t ignore the issue and call a professional for help if necessary. You could end up wasting hundreds of gallons of water if you leave the issue unaddressed, running up your water bill and causing potential issues in your plumbing. 

3 Reasons Why Your Toilet Keeps Running

1. The Flapper Needs Replacing

Modern toilets are designed with a flapper that’s meant to seal the water tank and stop water from flowing constantly. When you flush your toilet, the arm in the tank lifts, pulling the chain and raising the flapper to allow water into the toilet bowl. Then, once the toilet flushes, the flapper goes back down to seal the water.


If the flapper is old and worn or otherwise damaged, it can’t create a proper seal, allowing water to continually flow into your toilet bowl. Fortunately, you can easily fix this problem yourself by picking up a replacement flapper from your local hardware store. Start by shutting off the water supply to your toilet, then flushing the toilet to drain the water from the tank. You’ll then be able to replace the flapper. 


If you’re uncomfortable handling this repair, or handling any other plumbing fixture repair, you can always trust a professional plumber with the task.

2. The Chain Needs Adjusting

In some cases, the chain length may be preventing the flapper from closing properly. This fortunately means that nothing is broken or needs replacing. You just need to adjust the length of the chain by moving the hook of the arm in the tank to a different chain link. Be sure not to make the chain too long or too short, since the flapper won’t operate properly in either case.

3. The Float Arm or Float Ball Needs Moving

The float arm and float ball are what lets the toilet know when it needs to stop filling. If they are at the wrong level in the toilet, it can cause your toilet to constantly run. Thankfully, this is usually a pretty simple fix that only takes a couple of minutes.


To test if this is the source of the problem, lift the float arm. If the running stops, then it means the float ball isn’t held high enough—either because the ball is rubbing the side of the tank or it may be broken. Bend the float arm so the float ball isn’t touching the side of the tank. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, then the float ball likely needs replacing.

Work with CroppMetcalfe’s 24-Hour Plumbing Experts

If you need help with any type of plumbing repair or service—from water heater replacement to sump pump repair and more—don’t hesitate to contact our expert team at CroppMetcalfe. Our experienced, licensed technicians can help keep your plumbing in the best condition possible to give you peace of mind and help prevent major issues. Call or request plumbing service online today.



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