How to Fix a Running Toilet While You Wait for the Plumber

Some things around the house call for a professional plumber: broken sewer pipes, leaks behind the wall, septic tank maintenance, etc. Others, however, can be fixed by the homeowner; everyday issues like leaky faucets and running toilets are not too difficult to fix and can even save you a service call.

Below are a few steps to follow if your toilet just won't stop running. While there's no guarantee that this will fix the problem, if you notice that the issue isn't isolated to just one toilet, then you might have an issue with your sewer line, which does necessitate a phone call to your local plumber.

Check the Flapper

After you open up the lid, you'll be presented with an array of plumbing materials for you to inspect. The first thing you look at though should be the flapper, which is the little piece of plastic that is located at the bottom of the chain. This device opens to release water back into the bowl and closes when the tank becomes full. Sometimes, the flapper is either defective or simply doesn't close all the way, so make sure it's not just in the wrong position before you hire plumbing services.

Check the Float

Depending on what style of toilet you have, you'll either see a ball float or a cup float. Ball floats are much more common in newer homes and are identified by a ball at the end of a long stem. The ball moves up whenever the water level reaches a certain point, but occasionally, the cutoff position is just a little too high for the water level to reach. Adjust it if necessary, and raise the stem manually to see if that fixes the issue. If not, call a plumber to investigate.

Check the Fill Valve

If the float and the flapper aren't too blame, then the other solution is to replace the fill valve entirely. These can be pretty inexpensive from your local hardware store and can be replaced in less than an hour. Make sure you drain the water completely and disconnect the water from the house before attempting it though, or else you'll have a mess on your hands. Follow the instructions on the packet to fix the problem, or if necessary, call a plumber to come and install it for you. If replacing the fill valve doesn't solve the problem, then it's time to hire professional plumbing services. The issue is probably bigger than just the one toilet.