Toilet repair. Those two words can be intimidating for any homeowner, but they don’t have to be. With the right tools, know-how, and research, most people can repair a toilet that continually leaks or runs.
Before you begin, set aside about a half-day for total repairs and to get the job done right. The worst thing you can do is try to rush or do the job halfway. Ensure you have the right tools, replacement parts, and anything else required before starting the work.
Here’s our advice for tackling a DIY-repair on a running or leaking toilet:
Step One: Look Inside the Tank and Inspect the Float and Inlet Valve
First thing’s first; you must look inside the tank to try and diagnose what the issue is. If you see the water level rising above the overflow tube, your primary problem could be with the float or the inlet valve on the ballcock. The float “communicates” with the inlet valve and tells it when to shut the water off. If it’s broken or installed improperly, the water won’t shut off when it’s supposed to.
If this part needs repair, you’ll know it by the water level continuing to rise in the toilet. It will spill through the overflow tube and into the toilet bowl. Test this out by flushing the toilet and lifting the rod that holds the float inside the toilet tank. If the water stops, the inlet valve is ok, and it’s the float that’s causing the problem.
Step Two: Adjust the Float
You can adjust the float yourself using the screw at the top of the ballcock. By doing this, you can reduce the water level in the tank and stop the water from running into the overflow tube.
If this doesn’t work, however, you might have an issue with the float itself. Inspect the rod and float to ensure there are no holes or problems in their performance. Those are easily replaceable by visiting any local hardware store, and they don’t cost much money.
Step 3: Turn Off the Water
By testing the inlet valve, you should have a good idea of what exactly needs to be repaired or replaced. However, if the water still isn’t stopping, look at the ballcock, and ensure it doesn’t need replacing.
In this case, it’s best to replace the whole assembly. Turn off the water at the shutoff valve behind the toilet, flush the toilet, and hold down the handle to remove most of the water from the tank. You can also remove the remaining water with a towel or sponge.
Step 4: Replace the Assembly
For this step, make sure you have the right tools for the job. Using slip-joint pliers, remove the nut securing the ballcock to the tank. You’ll also have to remove the supply line that connects to the bottom of the ballcock at the base.
Lift out the assembly, and drop the new one into place. Carefully thread on a new nut underneath the tank and tighten with your pliers, but be careful not to tighten too tightly at the risk of cracking the tank.
Turn the water back on and continue testing to ensure you’ve adequately addressed the problem.
What To Do If You Still See Or Hear Water Running?
While a DIY plumbing repair can save you money, it shouldn’t cause a headache. If you’ve tested everything you could and are still scratching your head, we’d love to help you out.
Call Dixie And It’s Done!
At Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air, we can fix your running toilet. Our friendly, experienced plumbers will have you fixed up right away. For coupons and discounts on all the services Dixie has to offer, click here. To schedule a service with us, call 334.328.3570 for Montgomery, or call 334.246.4914 for Auburn. You can also schedule an appointment online.
For emergency service and immediate assistance, please call our 24/7 service line at 334.328.3570.