A running toilet is more than just a minor annoyance; it’s a silent water waster that can significantly increase your water bill. Understanding the mechanics behind a toilet and the common causes of it running incessantly can empower homeowners to tackle the issue head-on.

Cartoon of an outhouse overflowing with water from a running toilet

How Do Toilets Work?

At its core, a toilet operates on a simple mechanism. When you flush, water from the tank rushes into the bowl, clearing its contents. Post-flush, the tank refills, preparing for the next use. Any disruption in this cycle can lead to a constantly running toilet.

Common Causes of Running Toilets

  • Faulty Flapper: The flapper is a rubber component that seals water in the tank. Over time, it can wear out or become misaligned, causing leaks.

  • Fill Valve Issues: The fill valve controls the water refill post-flush. A malfunctioning fill valve can lead to overfilling or continuous water flow.

  • Water Supply Problems: Issues with the water supply line can also cause a toilet to run continuously.

Diagnosing a Running Toilet

Before diving into repairs, it’s essential to diagnose the root cause. Listen for the sound of running water or check for water movement in the bowl. These signs can provide clues about the underlying issue.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Running Toilet

Step 1: Turn off the water supply Locate the shutoff valve, typically found behind the toilet, and turn it off.

Step 2: Determine the cause of the running toilet Inspect the flapper, fill valve, and water supply to identify the problem source.

Step 3: Fixing a faulty flapper If the flapper is the culprit, remove it and replace it with a new one. Ensure it’s properly aligned and seals the tank’s water.

Step 4: Troubleshooting fill valve problems If the fill valve is malfunctioning, consider adjusting its height or replacing it entirely.

Step 5: Checking and addressing water supply issues Inspect the water supply line for any visible damage or kinks. If necessary, replace the line.

Step 6: Testing the repaired toilet Turn the water supply back on and flush the toilet. Monitor for any signs of running water.

When to Call a Professional

While many running toilet issues can be addressed with DIY solutions, certain situations warrant professional intervention:

  • Persistent running even after multiple repair attempts.
  • Inability to identify the root cause.
  • Concerns about potential water damage or mold growth. If you’re in Brooklyn and facing persistent toilet issues, consider reaching out to CID Plumbing. Their team of experts can provide swift and effective solutions, ensuring peace of mind.


A running toilet might seem like a minor issue, but it can lead to significant water wastage and higher utility bills. By understanding the common causes and following a step-by-step approach, homeowners can effectively address this problem. However, when in doubt, it’s always best to call in the professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Why does my toilet keep running even after I’ve fixed it?
    • It’s possible that the initial repair didn’t address the root cause, or a new issue has arisen. It’s essential to diagnose the problem accurately.
  • Can a running toilet cause any other problems in the plumbing system?
    • Yes, a continuously running toilet can lead to increased water bills, potential water damage, and even mold growth if not addressed promptly.
  • How much water does a running toilet waste?
    • A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, leading to significant wastage over time.
  • Is it always necessary to call a professional for a running toilet?
    • While many issues can be addressed with DIY solutions, persistent or complex problems may require professional expertise. If you’re in Brooklyn, CID Plumbing is a trusted choice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *