Toilet

Don't call the plumber quite yet

If your toilet won't stop running, you don't have to immediately call a plumber or handyman. First check it out yourself; it might be an easy fix that just takes a few minutes. Follow these tips to stop a running toilet.

Step 1: Check the lift chain

Does your toilet stop running when you jiggle the handle? If so, it's probably just a matter of the chain being wrapped around the lift arm. Lift off the top of the toilet tank and check out the chain. Disconnect the hook from the slot and unwind it if necessary. Try attaching the hook in the next slot and see if that helps the toilet function properly. Also check to make sure that the float or any other parts haven't become disconnected.

Step 2: Use a dye tablet to check for leaks

The easiest way to find out if your tank is leaking is with a special dye tablet. You can buy toilet leak detecting tablets online at Amazon, or from hardware and home improvement stores. They are very simple to use -- you simply drop one in the tank and wait a few seconds. If you see the color of the dye in the toilet bowl, then you'll know that you have a leak. Most of the time if the bowl is leaking, it's because the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank needs to be replaced. They are cheap and easy to switch out.

Step 3: Replace the ballcock assembly

If the flapper isn't leaking and you have checked for other obvious culprits, the whole ballcock flushing assembly of your toilet might need to be replaced. You can buy a new ballcock assembly kit at your local hardware store, Walmart and other retailers. They come with instructions that are very clear and easy to understand. In just a few minutes you can remove the old assembly and replace it with a new one.

Step 4: Make the call

After you've done this, if your toilet is still leaking, then it's best to call the plumber to find out if there is another issue that you haven't been able to locate. If you don't know a reputable plumber, ask friends and family members for a referral. Look for a plumber or handyman that will give you a free estimate on repairs before making a commitment to using his/her services.

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Comments

Comments on "How to stop a running toilet"

Julie May 30, 2012 | 10:37 AM

It is a good idea to learn how to turn the water off to the toilet when an overflow occurs... and teach the kids, too.

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