Top Reasons Why You Need a Plumber

How to Quickly Stop a Running Toilet

The sound of a running toilet is not only annoying, but it is also expensive. Did you know that a running toilet, if left unattended, can inflate your water bill by hundreds of dollars a month? A running toilet is one of the most common household plumbing problems in America, but it is also easy to fix.

Understanding how to fix a leaky toilet will save you hundreds of dollars by not having to call a plumber and will save you hundreds if not thousands more off your annual water bill. The first thing is to determine if you leak or not. You can use a toilet dye tablet purchased at any hardware store, or you can use plain old food coloring.

Test for a leaking toilet

  • Remove the top off the tank.
  • Make sure there is water in the tank its filled and not running
  • Next, put the food coloring or dye tablet into the tank and replace the cover.
  • Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Next, check the toilet bowl. If the water in the toilet bowl has turned the same color as the dye or food coloring you used, you have a leak.

Once you have confirmed that you have a leak, you can begin to fix it. In a toilet, there are three central components which can cause a leak. The first is the fill float. This mechanism is responsible for opening and closing the fill valve that fills the tank with water each time a toilet is flushed.

Second is the dump valve. It is usually a small rubber flap that covers the opening in the bottom of tank and is attached by a chain to the discharge handle.

Third is the overflow pipe, which prevents the tank from overflowing by allowing excess water from the tank to drain into the container.

Failure or defect in any combination of these three components can result in a faulty or leaking toilet. This guide will show you how to check each part individually:


  • First, turn off the water line that runs to your toilet and remove the tank lid.
  • Flush the toilet so water drains out of the tank and no new water should fill into the tank if step one was completed successfully.
  • Examine the rod and chain connecting the flush handle to the valve. The chain should be long enough to reach from the rod’s tip to the valve, with just a little slack. If the chain is too short, the dump valve may not completely cover the opening, causing a slow leak.
  • If the chain is too long, it may come in between the flap and the bottom of the toilet tank preventing it from sealing tightly and cause a leaking toilet.
  • If the chain and rod are okay, try moving the handle to slightly tighten the flush valve. If operation stops, that indicates that the valve is not making a tight enough seal with the opening and may need to be replaced.
  • If the valve is okay and the toilet is still working, open the water line and watch the water fill your tank. If the water flows into the overflow pipe, then you will need to; you will need to adjust the fill float. Ideally, the water should fill no more than an inch below the pipe.

Once you have identified and removed the faulty part, you can call the manufacturer for a replacement or take it to any local hardware store, to see if they have a similar part. Be sure to check the manuals for both your toilet and the part in question, or if neither is available, you can check the manufacturer’s website for information.

Leaky toilets are surprisingly easy to fix. They are often caused by defects in the three parts, the fill valve, the discharge valve, and the overflow pipe. Each part is easy to find and replace, and once you know how to fix them; you will never have to suffer from a leaky toilet again.


As always its always polite to clean your mess when you are done. These small bags that are designed for pups but make great mini trash bags are cost efficient and easy to store in any tool bag.