Trade account
How to stop your toilet running
How to guides

How to stop your toilet running

Posted by Adam Chard in How to guides | 3 years ago 4 min read

Does your current toilet run constantly? If so, you could literally be flushing both water and cash straight down the drain. So, what can you do to fix it?

When you reach out to flush the toilet you rarely give it a second thought, expecting it to wash through with water as you get on with your day. However, just like any other system, it can sometimes be prone to experiencing problems, such as a running toilet. If you are unsure why this happens and want to know how to fix a toilet that keeps running, we explain everything you need to know below.

What is a running toilet?

A running toilet is one that continues to operate and flush through water even when it is not being used. This is usually caused by a faulty part that can be replaced, although it may also create some stress in the meantime. It can lead to a lot of water being wasted as it continues to run and can even lead to higher utility bills if not fixed quickly. The good news is that it can be fixed by those with a good amount of DIY experience or a qualified plumber.

Orchard Wharfe close coupled toilet with soft close seat

Modern designs, like the Wharfe close coupled toilet (pictured above), come with high quality components which help prevent your toilet running

How to stop your toilet running

Got a leaky look? A running toilet is usually caused by 1 of 4 problems:

Faulty chain or flapper

If water is not being held or refilling in the tank there is a good chance there is a problem with the flapper. The flapper is a rubber or plastic cap that works to ensure water remains in the tank and will need to be replaced if this is causing the issue.

In many cases, old flappers become hard and are no longer able to provide an adequate seal, allowing water to continue to pass down into the bowl. If the flapper feels hard, rather than soft, then it won’t be offering the protection needed to create the seal and will need to be replaced. To fix this issue, buy a replacement at a DIY store and then attach it to the chain and pins in the tank.

Water-logged float

There can also be instances where water becomes trapped inside the float. This makes the float heavier so it sits lower in the water, which opens up the float valve, allowing water to constantly run through. Some floats may need to be unscrewed before you can check them and once you have done this shake it to check if any water is inside. If so, the float will need to be replaced with a new one.

Water level is too high

Inside the tank is an overflow tube that stops the tank from taking in too much water. However, if the float is sitting too high it could lead to water seeping into the overflow tube and down into the bowl. This will trigger the fill valve and start the process of filling up the tank, which will then happen on loop.

To resolve this issue lower the float setting on the fill valve. If you have a valve with a metal rod you can adjust the clip and float to a lower position. For systems that feature a rod and ball, slowly bend the middle of the rod and the ball should also lower as a result. Test the new level by flushing the toilet and checking the water level once complete, which should be about an inch away from the top of the tube. If more adjustments are needed, flush and check again.

Refill tube is too long

If the refill tube is too long and hasn’t been positioned correctly in the overflow tube, this could be the reason for the running toilet.

This requires you to shorten the refill tube, which can be done by first taking it out of the overflow. Hold the tube just above the opening and trim off that small section. When putting it back inside, to ensure it remains in place and doesn’t move around, clip it to the side of the overflow tube. This will keep it secure.

Orchard Eden close coupled toilet with soft close toilet seat

Has the time come to replace your constantly running toilet with a brand new model, like the Eden close coupled toilet (pictured above)?

Find solutions to common toilet issues

If you're experiencing issues with your toilet, help is at hand. Take a look through our toilet troubleshooting guide to find solutions to common problems and check out our in-depth tips on unblocking your toilet.

Time to replace your toilet?

Of course, if you’ve had your current toilet for a good many years, a constantly running flush may simply be a sign that the time has come to replace it. But where do you begin?

At Victoria Plum, we offer plenty of advice on the different types of toilet available to you, including our expert toilet buying guide and step-by-step advice on toilet installation.

To browse the full range of stylish and high quality toilets available at Victoria Plum, simply click on the image below.

Shop toilets

Author, Adam Chard

Posted by Adam Chard in How to guides | 3 years ago

A born & raised West Countryman, now living on the Yorkshire Coast, for over 10 years Adam has been bringing home interior ideas to life at Victoria Plum. Adam’s favourite interior styles have been shaped by both urban and natural influences.

Sales Line 0344 264 4141 Track order Design Service Trade account

Looks like you haven't added anything to compare yet

Just look out for the Add to compare around the site and revisit this link

Close and continue

Thank you for using our comparison feature.

You can add as many products as you like, there is no limit. When you’re ready simply visit this page to start comparing your products.

Close and continue

Loading menu. Please wait


Your Shopping list is loading, this shouldn't take long.

Your basket is loading, this shouldn't take long.