How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

Got a running toilet? You can fix it yourself with these helpful tips.

Step 1: Inspect the Float and Inlet Valve

The water level, inside the tank, should be below the overflow tube. If not, flush the toilet and, as the water rises, slowly lift the rod that holds the float until the water stops. If the water stops, the problem is not caused by the inlet valve but the float.

Step 2: Adjust the Float

Adjust the level to which the water rises in the tank by adjusting the screw at the top of the ballcock.

screw on ballcock float.jpeg
Adjust the float

If the adjustment fails to stop water from running into the overflow tube, the problem may be with the float itself. If there is a hole in the float, replace the rod and the float.

Step 3: Turn Off the Water

If the water still doesn’t stop, the problem is with the ballcock itself. In that case, replace the whole assembly.

First, turn off the water at the shutoff valve, then flush the toilet and hold down the handle to remove the water from the tank.

Step 4: Replace the Assembly

Remove the supply line at the base of the tank.

remove assembly.jpeg
Remove the assembly

 

Pushing up from the bottom, lift out the assembly.

  • Drop the new ballcock assembly into place. Thread on a new nut from underneath the tank and tighten with slip-joint pliers. Reattach the supply line.
  • Inside the tank, clip the new refill tube in place.
  • Turn the water on at the shutoff.

Step 5: Test the Flapper

If the water level in the tank is not rising above the overflow tube but you still see water leak into the bowl, the second possible source of the leak is around the flapper.

Then turn off the water supply and wait to see whether the level in the tank drops. If so, the problem could be a flapper chain that’s too tight or a leak in the flapper.

Step 6: Replace the Flapper

First drain the tank by turning off the water, flushing the toilet and holding down the handle. Check if the flapper is damaged or worn. If so, just pull it and replace it.

If it still does not resolved the issue, call a professional plumber.

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