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Why Does My Toilet Keep Running: 6 Reasons & Tips

flushing water in white toilet bowl

The continuous running of a toilet minutes after flushing is enough to drive anyone insane. Apart from the annoying background noise, a toilet that keeps running also raises your water bill. But when jiggling the flush valve doesn’t work, it seems your only hope is to call the plumber. Before you do so, you might want to explore other solutions.

Here are a few reasons why your toilet never stops running and how you can fix it.

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The 6 Reasons Why Your Toilet Keeps Running

1. The Float Is Too High

toilet valve
Image By: _R Dorosh, Shutterstock

The round, ball-like contraption inside the toilet tank is the float. It keeps water from overflowing in the tank by regulating water flow.

The float attaches to a one-way valve and rises with the water level in the tank. When the water level reaches the “fill level,” the float causes the valve to close, stopping water entry into the tank.

When the float is too high, water will continue pouring into the tank even after the water exceeds the “fill level.” You can fix this issue by simply bending the arm that holds the float. If that doesn’t work, consider adjusting it with a screwdriver. For old toilets, the issue might be a cracked float. In such cases, the only solution is to replace the float.

2. The Flapper Is Worn Out

At the bottom of your toilet cistern, you’ll find a small rubber stopper. This is known as the flapper. Its role is to allow water into the toilet bowl and stop water flow when there’s enough water inside.

Every time you flush your toilet, the flapper lifts to allow water into the toilet bowl. After every successful flush, the flapper lowers to stop the water from running. A worn-out flapper won’t close, meaning water will continue running into the bowl. The only solution here is to replace the flapper.

3. The Length of the Flapper Chain Is Too Long

person flushing a toilet
Image Credit: Miriam Alonso, Pexels

Sometimes the problem is not so much with the flapper itself as with the chain that hoists it. When the flapper chain is too long or too short, it’s impossible for the flapper to close and stop the water flow. This means the water will continue running. You’ll be forced to hold the flushing lever for a complete flush.

Thankfully, reducing the length of the chain is as easy as adjusting the chain linkage and cutting away the excess. Only leave about an inch of linkage to compensate for any potential tangles. Try flushing the toilet again and check whether it still runs. If it doesn’t, it’s time to check the refill tube.

4. Long Refill Tube

The refill tube works with the float to control the water level in the tank. A refill tube that is too long will create a suction that removes water from the fill valve. When this happens, your toilet will keep running because the fill valve never closes.

To fix this problem, you’ll have to pull the tube outside the overflow and ensure it’s only a few millimeters above the overflow. Cut away the rest of the tube with a wire cutter, and clip the remaining tube to the overflow. This should solve the problem once and for all.

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Final Thoughts

You don’t have to suffer sleepless nights and pay astronomical water bills because your toilet keeps running. Examine the root cause, and use any of the above solutions for a permanent fix. Sometimes, the problem might be a combination of issues. In this case, you must address them one after the other. But if you’re not too handy with tools, you might need help.

Featured Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels


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