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How to Stop a Running Toilet

top view of a toilet with an open lidAfter a toilet flushes, you’ll hear it running as it fills up the tank. This takes less than a minute in most cases, and then it shuts off. If you hear the toilet continuing to run for longer, something is wrong. Sometimes you can jiggle the flush handle to stop it, but if it continues each time the toilet flushes or it doesn’t respond to moving the handle, you’ll have to look into other methods. In some cases, it will take a professional plumber in skokie, IL to fix the problem.

And we want you to know that this is a problem. If you choose to just “live with” the toilet making the refilling noise, you’ll end up wasting enormous amounts of water that will raise your bills. Let’s see what you (or we) can do to stop a running toilet.

Check the flapper and the chain

This is a basic check you can make on the toilet that may fix the problem quickly. Lift off the tank lid and look into the tank to see if the chain to the flapper is caught or tangled. If it is, it will keep the flapper partially open, allowing water to escape down into the bowl and keeping the tank from filling up completely. The flapper may also have deteriorated, making it leak around the edges and allowing water to escape from the tank, leading to the same problem. A tangled chain is a simple issue, but flappers come in different types and not all will work. You can trust a plumber to help you replace a damaged flapper. 

Adjust the height of the float

An adjustable float controls how high the water level will rise in the toilet. The one in your toilet should be set at a standard height to allow for a strong enough flush without forcing the toilet to fill up too much and send water down the overflow tube. If the float is too high like this, the toilet will continue to run. You can adjust the height of the float using a clip on the side of the float to move it up and down. If adjusting the float level doesn’t fix the problem, you probably have a defective float and will need to have it replaced. You can rely on a plumber to take care of this job fast.

Shut off the feed valve

This is the simplest way to stop a running toilet—although it will also prevent you from using the toilet! But it is an effective way to prevent water waste until you can have the toilet repaired. The feed valve is located on the feed line behind the toilet, where the line is attached to the wall. Turn the valve and fresh water will no longer flow to the toilet. We recommend you do this before you call for a plumber. If you have an older toilet that doesn’t have a feed valve, you’ll have to open up the tank and rig up the float to stop the flow of water to the tank. 

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

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