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My toilet is always running. What do I do?

Toilet tank and flapper valveIf your toilet is running, then the water is leaking out of the toilet’s tank from somewhere, meaning that your toilet is constantly refilling itself. This can be very costly in the long term, increasing your water bills if left unchecked. Luckily, this problem is simple to identify and manage. You just need to know what to look for to troubleshoot toilet leaks.

If you hear water consistently running from your toilet long after you flush, and perhaps even nonstop, this is a sign that there’s a leak in your tank. First, check the flapper, which is the rubber or plastic valve sitting at the bottom of the tank. Make sure it fully closes when you’re not flushing, as this could be the source of the leak.

Next, check the chain to the flapper. If it’s tangled, this could restrict the flapper’s flexibility, preventing it from closing. Adjust the length of the chain as needed, then try flushing.

If the toilet still runs after checking the flapper valve and the chain, try adjusting the float inside the toilet tank. The float is spherical, and rests at the end of a metal rod. Adjusting the float regulates the water level within the tank. Make sure it rests within an inch of the top of the overflow tube.

If none of these tips solve the problem, you may have a leaky or brittle fill valve that’s causing water to trickle into the tank. This is a relatively simple fix, though you’ll have to shut off the water to that toilet before replacing the fill valve.

None of these problems is too concerning, as flapper and fill valves should be replaced every few years, regardless of whether or not you suspect a leak.

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