Troubleshooting: Stopping A Toilet From Continually Running

Troubleshooting: Stopping A Toilet From Continually Running

A continually running toilet is enough to drive anyone mad. But follow our DIY advice to stop you toilet from constantly flushing, saving both your water and your sanity.

Step 1: The flapper Valve

The most common cause of a continually running toilet is a worn flapper valve. This is the rubber seal at the bottom of the tank. When the handle is pulled, the valve is lifted to release the water into the bowl, once the water has drained from the tank the flapper valve should seal it shut. Over time it will wear down and dissolve, continually leaking water into the bowl.

Pull the siphon out and run your fingers around the valve. If you can feel grit and limescale it will need cleaning. If it feels distorted or damaged it will need replacing.

Step 2: The chain

You might find that the chain or wire link connecting the arm lever to the rubber flapper valve is too short and so the valve will always be a little bit open letting water leak through. All you have to do is replace the chain with a longer one.

Step 3: Float ball

Check the float ball - the big plastic ball in the cistern. If this is positioned too high it will allow water to conitually spill into the overflow pipe. You can easily reposition it be gently bending the arm. Also, make sure it is not touching the side of the tank, or is bent too low. If the float ball is damaged and letting in water, it will need replacing.

Step 4: Ball cock

If the float ball is positioned correctly but the water level seems too high then the problem is with the ballcock. Check the ballcock washer as this may be worn. If so, lift it out and replace - or if necessary replace the entire ballcock mechanism.

Hopefully one of these tips will resolve your problem but if you are still stumped, our best advice is to call a plumber to sort it.