If your toilet is running randomly on its own, you’ll incur huge water loss. Consequently, your water bill will start going up. Thus, you need to fix this problem soonest possible.

Servicing your running toilet will assist in lowering the water bills. Moreover, a randomly running toilet creates annoying sounds, especially when trying to catch some sleep at night. Thus, servicing it will also stop all the annoying sounds.

toilet water running problems


There are several issues that can make your toilet run randomly. You need to know the cause of the problem to solve it. In most cases, a randomly running toilet is as a result of a malfunctioning component within the toilet tank. Thus, start with inspecting the toilet tank components to determine the cause of the problem.

Quick cleaning or minor adjustments might solve the problem. In case you come across a defective component, then you should replace it. Most toilet tank components are readily available and inexpensive.

You can also do most toilet repairs yourself and save the money you’d have spent on hiring a plumber. Here’s how to fix a randomly running toilet:


Step 1

First, remove the lid covering the toilet tank to expose the toilet tank components.


Step 2

You might find it necessary to lengthen the toilet flapper lift chain. This chain is typically attached to the handle on one end and the flapper on the other end.

The flapper is lifted by the chain upon initiating the toilet handle to flush the toilet. Once it’s lifted, it allows water to flow into the bowl.

Once the flush is complete, the flapper seals the opening and the tank refills. In case the flapper lift chain is extremely tight, the toilet flapper won’t seal the opening completely.

Allow the chain to have a slack of ½ inch at the midpoint for the best performance. You can adjust it by unhooking its end from the toilet handle and re-hooking it to a higher link.


Step 3

If the toilet tank float ball is leaking, then you’ll need to replace it. The ball works by regulating the water level by closing the refill valve once the volume of water in the toilet tank rises to the set level.

It’s usually made of rubber or metal. In case the ball is leaking, it’ll go to a lower and allow the fill valve to open up. Consequently, the toilet will run.

You can remove the ball by turning it counterclockwise until it gets detached. Attach the replacement ball and tighten it.


Step 4

You may also need to adjust the height of the float. In case the float doesn’t rise to a level high enough, the fill valve won’t shut off and the tank will run continuously.

For newer float models that rise along a metallic tubing, compress the clip you’ll find near the float. Then slip it upward or downward as needed. Doing so will adjust the float’s height.

If you’re working with older float models that have a rubber float ball attached to a metallic arm, you’ll bend the float arm manually if it doesn’t have a set screw. In case the arm has a set screw, then adjust the screw.


Step 5

You can remove sediment deposits or burs, if any, from the toilet tank valve seat by simply cleaning it. Some toilets, especially older models, come with a metallic valve seat at the bottom of the toilet tank.

A rubber stop with a triangular shape fits within the toilet valve seat opening, thereby sealing it. In case the seal isn’t tight enough, the toilet may run upon a single use and fail to run thereafter.

In this case, shut off the toilet tank water supply valve near the wall. Then flush the tank to drain it. Lift the stopper from the valve and use a thin emery board to remove any deposits and burs across around the seat.

Reinsert the stop upon cleaning. You can now turn on your toilet water supply and use the toilet.


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