How to Fix a Constantly Running Toilet

The sound of “phantom flushing” isn’t just annoying—it also means water is being wasted. According to the EPA, household leaks waste nearly 10,000 gallons of water every year. Multiply this average across the nation, and that’s one trillion gallons of water down the drain! 

Stop wasting water and save an average of 10 percent on your bills by fixing leaks around the house. If you have a constantly running toilet, here’s how to remedy the problem. 

Test for Toilet Leaks 

The easiest way to determine if water is leaking from the toilet tank to the bowl is with food dye. Squeeze several drops of bright food coloring into the tank. Wait half an hour and check the bowl to see if any color appears there. If so, there’s undoubtedly a leak. 

Fix a Constantly Running Toilet 

Follow these steps to see if you can fix the problem without needing to call a plumber: 

  • Remove the toilet tank lid. Then, flush the toilet and watch what happens. You might notice the chain getting tangled or the flapper failing to seal properly. Sometimes, a quick adjustment while the tank is refilling is all it takes. If the problem persists, move on to the next step. 
  • Turn off the water. You can stick your hands in a toilet tank full of water, but it’s less messy and easier to see what you’re doing if the tank is empty. To accomplish this, reach behind the toilet and turn the silver valve on the wall clockwise until it stops. Flush the toilet one more time to empty the tank, and this time, it won’t refill. 
  • Adjust the chain. If a quick untangle isn’t enough, try shortening or lengthening the chain as needed so it guides the flapper closed without catching on any surrounding components. 
  • Fix or replace the flapper. The chain might not be the problem. Inspect the flapper to see if it’s loose. Readjusting and tightening the bracket pegs at the end of the flush valve may produce a tighter seal. However, if the flapper is cracked or deteriorating, you’ll need to replace it. Unhook the flapper and take it to the hardware store with you to make sure you purchase the correct replacement. Install the new flapper and make sure it seals properly. 

Once your toilet is repaired, turn the water back on and watch the tank refill. The sound of a constantly running toilet should no longer be an issue. 

Know When to Call a Professional 

If your attempts to fix your leaky toilet prove unsuccessful, or you see water accumulating where the toilet meets the floor, don’t wait until there’s structural damage to ask a plumber for help. At Bob Hoegler Plumbing, we can resolve all your plumbing issues. Whether you need toilet repair or other servicesgive us a call at 732-521-0133 for the assistance you need. We have served residents in Monroe Township, NJ for 35 years.