3 Quick Solutions To Fix Your Running Toilet

When our toilet seemingly out of the blue chooses not to stop running after a flush most of us will scratch our heads as to what to do next.

3 Quick Solutions To Fix Your Running Toilet

Some will give the toilet a knock and hope for the best.

Others will open the top of the toilet, see the mechanics of the cistern, and run for the hills. Savvy DIYers will know exactly what to do, and soon, you will too.

To make sure you know exactly what to do in the untimely event of a running toilet, this article is about to serve you with three solutions.

Stopping a toilet from running quickly is key to keeping your water bill from skyrocketing out of control, and these solutions are exactly that, quick.

Pull your socks up, find your rubber gloves, and let’s fix that toilet!

How To Fix Your Running Toilet Quickly

Let’s face it, no amount of banging and tapping your toilet is going to fix its intermittent running issue.

Luckily, each of these quick and simple solutions takes the guesswork out of the equation and gets the job done. 

Lower The Float

The number one cause for a running toilet is its float is too high.

At the back of your toilet, you will locate its cistern and in there you will find the float.

The float of a toilet will dictate its cistern’s water height. When you flush your toilet, the cistern water drops out and cleans your toilet.

It will then be refilled by the water in the pipe. As this happens the float will rise with the water level until they both reach the correct fill level and the water will stop flowing. 

The fill level should never be higher than the overflow tube and the fill valve of your toilet.

If you have a water running issue, this excess water could be the problem.

To set your toilet straight, all you have to do is lower the level of the float.

Lowering the float below the overflow tube and the fill valve will lower your toilet’s water fill level and stop the water running issue in its leaky tracks. 

To lower the float, you will need to tighten its arm. Tightening the arm of the float should bring it down to a lower level.

There could also be the reverse issue where the arm was previously fitted too tight and you will need to loosen it into position.

Either way, the end goal is to lower the float arm by fiddling with its screw, and you will need a screwdriver to do it.

Another potential problem with the float is that it may be cracked. A cracked float won’t be sitting right in the cistern.

This could be a cause for the water level to be too high and, subsequently, running.

Replacing the float, therefore, could very well be the solution you’ve been looking for. 

Replace The Flapper

Another common reason why your toilet is running is an old and crusty flapper.

What is the flapper you ask? That’s a good question. The flapper is a small rubber stopper that is located at the bottom of your toilet’s cistern.

The flapper is used and abused a lot because its job is to allow water to flow into the toilet bowl after a flush. 

The other part of its job is to stop water from escaping into the toilet bowl after the cistern has filled back up.

3 Quick Solutions To Fix Your Running Toilet

If your flapper has been compromised from a hefty work schedule, over time, its seal won’t be able to stop water from leaking out and into your toilet bowl.

To replace the flapper, you will need to drain the cistern and close the water supply off to the toilet.

Once you are certain you have done this, flush your toilet once more to eliminate any leftover water. 

This will give you an easy (and dry) route to the flapper. To remove the old flapper you will need to detach it from its chain.

Once you have done this, remove the flapper from its pins which should be attached to the overflow tube.

Once you have removed the old flapper you will be able to take it down to your local hardware store and get an exact replica.

Bring your new and improved flapper back, attach it to its chain and pins, and away your toilet goes. It really is that simple. 

Shorten The Refill Tube

A refill tube that is too long may be able to suck water from the fill valve and straight into the toilet tank.

The reason a too-long refill tube makes a toilet run is to do with the refill valve.

The refill valve will be able to suck water out from the fill valve and that is not a good thing. 

Rectifying this issue isn’t quite as easy a fix as the first two, but it is still very achievable for most people.

To shorten the refill tube and put an end to your toilet’s running water problem, you will need to take it out of the overflow.

Once you have removed the tube from the overflow, it is time to trim it.

You will want to trim it back to the point where it is just above the overflow.

You should be able to trim it back with a sharp workmen’s knife or a pair of scissors, but a new Stanley knife will work best.

Once it is trimmed back to an acceptable level just about the overflow, clip the tube to the side of the overflow tube and call it day. 


As you can see, fixing your running toilet can be a quick and stress-free affair.

If you inspect your toilet’s float, flapper, and refill tube, and all three seem to be in good working order but your toilet is still running, you may have a more serious issue on your hands.

Though getting a plumber in to have a look is going to cost you, it will cost a lot less than a running toilet. Either way, we hope you fix your toilet.

Adrienne Carrie Hubbard