Handyman Tutorial: Step-by-Step Instructions for Fixing a Running Toilet - Handyman Services Durbanville, Brackenfell and Bellville

Handyman Tutorial: Step-by-Step Instructions for Fixing a Running Toilet

Is your toilet constantly running, wasting water, and driving up your water bill? Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional plumber to fix it. With a little bit of know-how and some basic tools, you can easily fix a running toilet yourself. In this handyman tutorial, we will guide you through the process, from identifying the problem to replacing any faulty components. So let’s get started!

Identifying the Problem

The first step in fixing a running toilet is identifying the source of the problem. There are a few common issues that can cause a toilet to continuously run:

  1. Flapper Valve: The flapper valve is a rubber seal that controls the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. If it is worn out or misaligned, it can allow water to constantly leak into the bowl.

  2. Fill Valve: The fill valve is responsible for refilling the tank after each flush. If it is not functioning correctly, water may continuously flow into the tank.

  3. Overflow Tube: The overflow tube prevents water from overflowing the tank. If the water level is set too high or the float is not adjusted properly, water may constantly flow into the overflow tube.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before you start fixing your running toilet, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver (flathead and Phillips)
  • Replacement flapper valve or fill valve (if necessary)
  • Tank-to-bowl gasket (if necessary)
  • Plumber’s tape
  • Rag or towel
  • Bucket

Step by Step Guide

Now that you have everything you need, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of fixing a running toilet:

1. Shut off the Water

Locate the shut-off valve, usually located near the base of the toilet or on the wall behind it. Turn the valve clockwise until the water supply is fully shut off.

2. Drain the Tank

Flush the toilet to remove as much water as possible from the tank. If the water won’t stop flowing, lift the float in the tank to manually shut off the valve.

3. Identify the Problem

Inspect the flapper valve, fill valve, and overflow tube to determine which component is causing the running toilet. Look for any signs of wear, misalignment, or damage.

4. Replace the Flapper Valve (if necessary)

If the flapper valve is worn out or misaligned, it needs to be replaced. Remove the old flapper valve by disconnecting the chain or strap attached to it. Install the new flapper valve by connecting the chain or strap and ensuring a proper seal when closed.

5. Replace the Fill Valve (if necessary)

If the fill valve is faulty and not shutting off the water supply properly, it needs to be replaced. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove the old fill valve and install the new one. Make sure the water supply line connects securely to the fill valve.

6. Adjust the Water Level

If the water level in the tank is set too high, it can cause the toilet to run constantly. To adjust the water level, locate the float and either adjust the screw or bend the rod so that the water shuts off at a lower level.

7. Check and Replace the Tank-to-Bowl Gasket (if necessary)

Leaks between the tank and bowl can also cause a running toilet. Inspect the tank-to-bowl gasket for any signs of damage or wear. If needed, remove the tank and replace the gasket following the manufacturer’s instructions.

8. Turn on the Water Supply

Once you have completed the necessary repairs or replacements, turn on the water supply by rotating the shut-off valve counterclockwise. Allow the tank to fill up, and check for any leaks around the repaired components.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: How can I tell if my flapper valve is worn out?

A1: A worn-out flapper valve may have cracks, discoloration, or a warped shape. Additionally, if the flapper valve doesn’t seal properly and allows water to leak into the bowl, it needs to be replaced.

Q2: How do I adjust the water level in the toilet tank?

A2: To adjust the water level, locate the float, which is usually attached to the fill valve. Adjust the screw or bend the rod connected to the float to raise or lower the water level.

Q3: Why does my toilet keep running even after I flush?

A3: A running toilet after flushing can be caused by various issues, such as a faulty flapper valve, fill valve, or an improperly adjusted float.


Fixing a running toilet doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following this step-by-step handyman tutorial, you can quickly and easily identify and resolve the issues causing your toilet to run continuously. Remember to gather the necessary tools and materials and take the time to inspect and replace any faulty components. With a little effort, you can save water, money, and the frustration of a running toilet.

Handyman Durbanville

Open chat
Looking for a Handyman?
Hi there,

Can I help you with some Handyman tasks?