There’s nothing quite like the sound of a running toilet in the middle of the night to wake you up and tell you that your day is about to get a lot more complicated. But, before you go breaking out your Yellow Pages, keep in mind that fixing a running toilet isn’t necessarily difficult or expensive—and it might not even require calling a plumber. In fact, here are six easy ways to fix that leaky loo without having to hand over your hard-earned cash (or beg your neighbor for help):
Check Your Flapper
A flapper valve is a simple mechanism that allows water to flow into and out of the bowl. When you flush, the flapper rises and allows water to enter the bowl. Once it’s filled, it drops back down and blocks off any additional water from entering.
If you have a leaky toilet, it could be due to several different things, such as an old or worn flapper valve, which needs replacing; corrosion on your pipes; or even cracks in your bowl itself. However, before rushing out for parts and supplies, try checking for leaks first by following these steps:
Lift up your lid and look at the underside of your tank – if there are any black marks on this area (indicating mineral deposits), wipe them away with warm soapy water using a sponge or cloth. Once dry scrub gently with an abrasive cleaner like Comet until shiny again – rinse well afterward before replacing the lid again.* Gently lift up float ball inside the tank – is visible through the gap underneath float shaft remove from the shaft & replace with a new one.* Take off decorative cap underneath tank lid & look inside – watch out as there may still be some water left here which could spill over onto floor when removed if not careful! If no leaks are visible then check the rubber seal around the edges where the lid meets the rim too.* Replace lid carefully ensuring all gaskets fit snugly around edges & tighten screws firmly but not too tight else risk damaging them when tightening further screws next time round (also take care not to lose any bits while doing so).
Make Sure the Chain Isn’t Too Long or Too Short
- Check the chain is long enough to lift the flapper.
Check your toilet’s chain mechanism and make sure it is not too short or too long for this purpose. If it is, replace it with one that will work better.
- Make sure the chain isn’t too long and that it lifts the flapper before your next flush occurs (causing water to run into your bowl).
- Make sure the chain isn’t too short so that it doesn’t lift the flapper before your next flush occurs (causing water to run out of your bowl).
Check and Clean the Fill Tube
The next step is to check and clean the fill tube. This is a small pipe that allows water to enter the tank when you flush the toilet but can become blocked or cracked over time.
You can do this by removing the tank lid, which should be held in place with clips on either side of it. Once you’ve removed it, there will be a small white plastic float inside (called a flapper) that controls how high or low your water level is kept in relation to its overflow tube going up through the top of your toilet bowl. Check this part for damage and replace it if necessary by unscrewing two screws at each end of it with an adjustable wrench (you may also need pliers). Next turn off power at the breaker box before fixing or replacing the fill tube because doing otherwise could result in electrical shock or fire hazard due to broken wires located behind the wall near floor level near the back wall behind the toilet bowl area which houses hidden wires running along baseboard near the back corner where they snake around while exiting the building through the bottom corner where they exit underground via large metal conduit pipe leading outside from underneath house out towards street curb where city maintenance crew usually comes by once every couple months checking sewage lines on the street side only rarely making trips down the alleyway between houses checking service lines running behind walls for clogs since these tend not to happen often enough due keep track regularly enough during routine checks performed annually if at all
Adjust the Float
If you want to fix your toilet yourself, but don’t want to spend money on a plumber, there are some basic things you can do. The most common way to do this is by adjusting the float.
To adjust your float:
- Check that it is not stuck. If it’s stuck, the water level will be too high or too low (depending on where it’s stuck).
- If you need to raise the water level in your toilet tank, shorten the chain on the floating part of your ballcock valve so that it dips lower into the water when it floats up due to pressure from the incoming water flow inside of your toilet tank. This may require removing some screws or bolts and moving parts around until they fit together correctly again.
Replace the Overflow Pipe
- If the water level in your toilet bowl is higher than usual, you may have a problem with the overflow pipe. The overflow pipe is an important part of your toilet system that allows excess water to escape when it fills up. If this pipe becomes blocked or clogged, it will cause a backup in your toilet and make it difficult to flush properly.
To check if your overflow pipe is faulty:
- Check for debris or other blockages at the bottom of your tank using tongs or other tools (a rag will also do). If there are visible blockages, try removing them with pliers or by flushing repeatedly until they come out on their own.
- If no blockages are found and there still seems to be too much water coming out of your tank after emptying it completely, try replacing your old overflow tube with an updated one made out of plastic instead of rubber (there are many replacement parts available online).
Or Replace All of Those at Once With a Toilet Repair Kit
- To install the toilet repair kit, you’ll need to remove the tank lid and take out the old flapper. You can then insert the new flapper into place, reattach it to the chain, and snap open your new float ball.
- The float ball is what allows water to enter or leave your toilet bowl. If yours is broken or missing altogether, it’s easy enough to replace—just make sure you buy a float ball that matches your existing style (ball-style or plunger-style).
- A good way to get rid of all those old parts? Recycle them! There are many places around town that accept different types of household items for recycling—just be sure they aren’t hazardous before dropping them off.
Some Toilet Problems Are Easy to Fix Without Calling a Plumber
Before you call the plumber, there are some simple things you can do to fix a running toilet.
- Remove the lid and check for obstructions like hair or debris that has fallen in.
- Make sure the water level is set at its highest point.
- If possible, try flushing with less water by opening the stopcock between your tank and bowl (located under your toilet seat).
- Try adjusting the float arm on top of your tank; this controls how much water fills it. You may need to push down slightly on the float arm until you hear it click into place. Then turn off all faucets in your bathroom and fill up both tanks completely with cold water before flushing again—this will help prevent any leaks inside them from adding more pressure to already-full pipes elsewhere in your home’s plumbing system
Now you’re ready to take on the world of DIY plumbing! We hope this guide has helped you feel more confident about taking care of your running toilet and other household plumbing issues. From checking or changing your float ball to replacing the flapper chain, there are plenty of small fixes that can keep your bathroom in tip-top shape for years to come.
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