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Toilet Running Troubles? Here’s Why and How to Fix It

what to do when you have toilet running
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Experiencing a toilet that won’t stop running is more common than you might think, affecting many households across Sydney. It’s not just a minor annoyance, as a constantly running toilet can lead to significant water wastage and unexpectedly high water bills if not addressed promptly. Understanding why your toilet running is the first step towards solving the problem and preventing future issues.

This guide aims to shed light on the common causes behind a running toilet and offers practical advice on what you can do about it. By keeping an eye on this issue, you can save water, reduce your bills, and maintain a more efficient home. Stay tuned as we dive into the reasons behind your toilet running and how to fix it, ensuring peace of mind and a happier, healthier home.

The Mechanics Behind Your Toilet

Let’s break down how your toilet works in a simple way. Imagine your toilet as a team, where each part has a special job to keep everything running smoothly. When you flush the toilet, you start a process that cleans out the bowl. It’s all about teamwork between a few key parts: the flush button or lever, the flapper, and the float ball.

First up is the flush button or lever you press to start the flush. This action is like the starting whistle for the cleanup process. Then, there’s the flapper. This part sits at the bottom of the tank and is like a door that opens to let the water rush into the toilet bowl when you flush. After the flush, it closes back up so the tank can fill with water again.

Lastly, we have the float ball. Think of it as a water level monitor. It floats up as the water rises in the tank and tells the toilet when it’s time to stop filling up by turning off the water.

By understanding these basic parts – the button or lever, the flapper, and the float ball – you can get why sometimes the toilet running. It might be because the flapper isn’t closing properly or the float ball isn’t in the right position. Knowing this helps you figure out what to check if your toilet doesn’t stop running after a flush.

Why Is My Toilet Continuously Running?

Finding out why your toilet running is key to fixing it. Let’s look at the usual suspects causing this watery headache, without using any confusing terms.

A Worn-Out Flapper

The flapper is like a gatekeeper; it opens to let water flush the toilet and closes to refill the tank. If it’s damaged or old, it might not seal properly. This means water keeps leaking into the bowl, making your toilet run more than it should. It’s like leaving a tap slightly open, where the water never stops dripping.

Float Ball Not Set Right

The float ball tells the toilet when the tank is full, stopping more water from coming in. If it’s not adjusted correctly, it might not do its job right. This can make the tank fill up too much or not enough, leading to a toilet that keeps running. It’s like having a faulty fuel gauge in a car; you never really know how much you have.

Fill Valve Issues

The fill valve controls the water coming into the tank after you flush. If there’s a problem with it, you might find your toilet running non-stop. This could be because it’s old, set up wrongly, or just not working as it should.

By spotting these common issues, you can take a big step towards solving the mystery of a toilet running. With a bit of detective work, you’ll not only save water but also keep your toilet quiet and efficient.

DIY Fixes for Toilet Running

Fixing a toilet running doesn’t always require a plumber. With a few simple tools and a bit of patience, you can tackle the problem yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you stop that annoying trickle and get your toilet running smoothly again.

How to fix your toilet running

Checking the Flapper

Identify the Problem: If your toilet keeps running, the flapper might not be sealing properly. First, listen for a hissing sound, which is a telltale sign.

Inspect the Flapper: Remove the tank lid and take a look at the flapper. A worn-out, warped, or dirty flapper needs attention.

Test the Seal: Press down on the flapper with a stick when the tank is full. If the running stops, you’ve found your culprit.

Replace if Necessary: Flappers are inexpensive and easy to replace. Make sure to get one that matches your toilet model.

Adjusting the Float Ball

Understand Its Role: The float ball stops the water fill by rising with the water level and shutting off the fill valve.

Check the Position: If the float ball is too high, it allows excess water into the tank. Too low, and it doesn’t fill enough.

Make Adjustments: Bend the arm connecting the float ball to the fill valve for minor adjustments. If your toilet has a cup-style float, slide it up or down the rod to adjust.

Inspecting the Fill Valve

Find the Valve: The fill valve is usually on the left side of the tank. It’s responsible for refilling the tank after a flush.

Listen for Noise: A malfunctioning fill valve often makes a constant noise, as it fails to shut off properly.

Check for Leaks: Look around the valve for any signs of leaks or drips.

Adjust or Replace: Some fill valves have an adjustment screw to control the water level. If adjusting doesn’t help, consider replacing the valve.

Remember, tackling these steps can be a satisfying way to fix your running toilet. However, if you’re unsure at any point, it’s wise to call in a professional. This not only ensures the job is done right but also prevents any potential mishaps that could lead to more significant issues.

Seeking Expert Help for Persistent Issues

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a running toilet can signal problems that are just out of our DIY league. It’s crucial to know when to call in the professionals. If you’ve tried the basic fixes and your toilet is still running, or if you encounter issues like leaks in places you can’t easily see or access, it’s time to seek expert help.

Persistent running, unusual noises after flushing, or water on the floor near the toilet are signs that something more serious might be at play. These could indicate issues deep within your plumbing system that require specialised tools and knowledge.

Choosing a licensed and experienced plumber in Sydney is your best bet for such toilet repairs. Professionals not only have the right tools and expertise but also understand local plumbing codes to ensure your repairs are up to standard. Opting for expert assistance can save you time, water, and potentially high repair costs down the line. Remember, it’s about fixing the problem efficiently and preventing future issues.

How to Choose the Best Plumber in Sydney

When your toilet keeps running and DIY fixes don’t cut it, finding the right plumber is crucial. Here’s how to ensure you pick a skilled and reliable professional in Sydney:

Check Licenses: Always choose a plumber with the necessary licenses. This is your assurance they’re qualified to tackle your plumbing issues.

Assess Experience: Look for a plumber with a solid track record. Experience matters, especially for complex problems.

Research Reputation: Read reviews and ask for recommendations. A good reputation in the local community speaks volumes.

Local Knowledge: Opt for someone familiar with Sydney’s plumbing requirements. Local expertise can make a big difference.

At Sydney Essential Plumbing, we tick all these boxes. Our team of licensed professionals is ready to solve your running toilet or any other plumbing concerns. Don’t let a minor problem turn into a major headache. Contact us today for expert service and peace of mind.


In conclusion, promptly fixing a running toilet is essential for saving water and avoiding further inconvenience. For minor issues, our guide offers simple DIY solutions. However, for more complex problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to Sydney Essential Plumbing. Our expert team is always ready to help, ensuring your plumbing runs smoothly.

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