Does your toilet sound like it’s constantly running or refilling? This kind of sound can occur intermittently or as frequently as every minute and usually means your toilet is losing water.
If you are experiencing a running toilet, you may have an internal/external leak or an issue with the flapper. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to find a solution that works for you. Let’s get started.
Check Your Intermittently Running Toilet for Leaks
- Begin by marking the water level of your tank with a pencil.
- Turn your water supply off at the wall by twisting the angle valve clockwise. Wait for a minimum of 2 hours. If your water level drops below the pencil mark, you have a leak in your tank. A leak indicates a faulty flapper or flush valve. If you have no leak, the fill valve is the culprit.
- Leave the water off for a couple hours and see where the water level drops to.
3 Solutions for a Toilet Running Intermittently
The problem is going to be found in one of the following 3 areas: your toilet’s flush valve, flapper, or fill valve. But when in doubt, we recommend you either swap out all 3 (toilet rebuild kids are only about $20 at Lowes). Or you can install a brand new toilet. Though this would be a more expensive solution, it will definitely solve the problem.
- If the water level drops to the flapper but not below, your flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced. See the diagram and “Related Resources” below for instructions.
- If your tank drains completely, your flush valve needs to be replaced. See “Related Resources” below for instructions.
- If your tank is not leaking and your toilet is constantly running or water is rising into flush valve overflow tube, your fill valve is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced or serviced. See “Related Resources” below for instructions.
PRO TIP: Before replacing damaged parts, shut off the water to your toilet by locating the angle valve in the wall behind it and turning it clockwise. Flush the toilet and remove the part. Then take it with you to the store to ensure you buy an exact match.
If you’ve discovered and fixed the problem with your toilet running intermittently, then the annoying sound of running water is now a thing of the past. Congratulations, a bonus reward — a lower water bill — should arrive in the mail soon!
- Stop your toilet tank from sweating (condensation)
- How to replace a fill valve
- How to replace a flapper valve
- Here’s how to replace a toilet handle
- How to fix a leaking toilet tank
- Here’s how to fix a wobbly toilet
- How to replace a toilet wax ring (gasket)
- Is your toilet leaking from the tank’s bolts or gaskets?
- Toilet troubleshooting
1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.