Toilet Troubles

Repair running toilets and save hundreds per year.
Fix a Running Toilet

Fix a Running Toilet

If your toilet is running water nonstop, it’s a must-fix situation or else your water bill will wash you away. So it’s a good idea to get acquainted with what you see when you lift the top of the toilet tank (it’s called the flush valve assembly, by the way). Sometimes the fix is as simple as repositioning a part of the assembly, but if that doesn’t solve your problem, you may need to replace it.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/MilesSherrill

©iStockphoto.com/MilesSherrill

All Sergio and Dawn Garcia had to do to become homeowners was get married. They received a Tudor as a wedding gift. But dealing with some of the home's quirks isn't quite a honeymoon. They've asked home inspector Rick Yerger for help.

Inspector's Notebook

A running toilet is more than just a minor inconvenience. It can waste hundreds of gallons of water a year, flushing your hard-earned money down the drain.

The flush valve assembly in a toilet tank is a fairly simple mechanism. When the toilet is flushed, a rod pulls the attached chain, which opens the flapper. That allows the water to escape the tank and flush the bowl. After the tank empties, the flap closes, the inlet valve begins refilling the tank. The float ball senses when the tank is full and the water stops flowing. If water keeps seeping out after the tank is refilled, here are some ways to put an end to wasted water.

  • First, check the guide rod or chain to make sure it is unobstructed. If the rod is bent or the chain links are twisted just straighten them.
  • Lift the float ball. If that stops the water from running, try to adjust the float arm to get the right buoyancy.
  • Lift and adjust the flapper. Check for any blockages and gently clean the seat and the rim.
  • If the toilet is still leaking water, it may be time to replace the entire mechanism. Easy-to-install kits are available at hardware stores.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Advanced Plumbing Systems: Getting the Most From Plumbing

Using advanced plumbing technology can save the average family of four more than 30,000 gallons of water annually.

Pine and Plumbing Supply Shelving System

Add industrial-chic open storage to a space with plumbing supplies and basic lumber.

Plumbing Maintenance Tips

Spot and resolve small plumbing problems before they become major issues at home.

Plan a Whole-Home AV System

Planning a house-wide audio and video system? This guide will get you started on the path to music and video, everywhere.

Home Theater Audio Systems

Get expert tips and ideas for choosing receivers and speakers for your home theater.

Maximum Home Value Bathroom Projects: Toilet

Sure, it's a toilet, but there are still ways to make it design savvy! Read on for ideas.

Tips for Buying a Toilet

Consider where it will be placed and the size of your bathroom when picking for your remodel

Fire Ants Are Trouble

Biting and stinging red imported fire ants (RIFA) can pose serious risks to people and pets.

Garage Plumbing Basics

Add water and gas lines, and you’ll instantly boost your garage’s multitasking ability.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.