How to Stop the Toilet from Flushing

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Are you disturbed by a running toilet at home? Well, a flushing toilet can not only be annoying, but it can also consume a lot of water that you may need for other things. This can leave you with high water bills to pay because of the wasted water.

Fortunately, there are several ways to stop the toilet from flushing.  Before calling out the plumber, it's worth investing in the problem yourself and identifying the source of the problem. With these tips, you can enjoy leakage-free and money-saving toilets at home. 

Read more on how to move toilet,

Check the Flush Valve

One of the most common reasons toilets flush on their own is a faulty flush valve. The flush valve is located at the bottom of the toilet tank, and it's responsible for controlling the release of water into the toilet bowl. It also closes the flapper when the toilet tank is empty to allow the toilet tank to refill. If this valve is not working correctly, it can lead to a ghost flushing phenomenon.

To check if the flush valve is working correctly, you can lift the tank lid off of your toilet and look inside to see if water is flowing when you press the handle. If it's not, then you'll need to replace or repair the flush valve. To replace the flush, turn off the water to the toilet using the isolation valve located in the water inlet line, then drain the toilet tank by flushing the toilet.

Take out the old flush valve by disconnecting the flapper and removing the tank to bowl bolts. Carefully lift the tank off of the toilet so that you can access the toilet to bowl gasket and loosen the flush valve nut. Install the new flush valve, tighten the flush valve nut and replace the tank with a bowl gasket.

Flush your toilet to test the new flush valve and verify that the toilet stops running with the new part installed by allowing the toilet to fill up. If the water keeps running, then the toilet to bowl gasket or the toilet flapper isn't properly installed.

Replace the Fill Valve

The fill valve controls water flow from the main water supply into the tank. It's designed to continue filling the toilet until the float arm or float reaches its set level. However, a broken fill valve may continue running non stop or may even turn on and off inconsistently. The excess water flows into the overflow tube, preventing the tank from overflowing, but the toilet will keep running.

Replace the Fill Valve
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First, verify if you have a faulty fill valve by removing the top of the toilet tank and checking the set water level and the height of the overflow tube. If the overflow tube is at the appropriate height for the toilet and the water level is set to one inch below the top of the overflow tube, but the water keeps running, you have a film valve problem.

Start replacing the fill valve by turning the water off to the toilet with an isolation valve on the water inlet line, then drain the tank by flushing the toilet. Soak up the excess water with a cloth, towel, or sponge to ensure the tank is dry before removing the water supply line with a set of channel locks.

Take the old fill valve out by unscrewing the locking nut on the bottom of the tank and pulling the fill valve assembly out of the tank. Place your old fill valve in a sink or a bucket to catch excess water. Adjust the height of the new valve to suit the specific toilet tank and the desired water level.

After that, insert the threaded end of the valve into the bottom of the tank. Secure it to the tank with a locking nut to create a watertight seal. Reconnect your water supply, then turn the water back on. If it's successful, the fill valve will immediately begin filling the toilet tank with water and will stop when the float arm or float cup reaches the set level. Check for leaks at the base of the toilet tank to avoid water damage. If you don’t know how to replace the toilet valve, then leave it to the professionals.

Inspect the Toilet Flapper

One common reason why your toilet keeps running after flushing is a worn or damaged flapper. A flapper is the rubber piece that sits at the bottom of your toilet tank, and it controls the flow of water into the bowl. If this part becomes loose, warped, or cracked, it can allow too much water to flow from the tank into the bowl.

To test whether the flapper needs to be replaced, lift the tank lid and add a few drops of food coloring or dye tablets to the water in the toilet tank. Wait for at least 10 minutes, and then check whether any of this color has seeped into the toilet bowl. If it has, then you'll need to replace the flapper. If it is caused by a build of dirt on the flapper, then you'll only need to clean it.

Inspect the Toilet Flapper
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To clean the flapper, you'll need some vinegar and a toothbrush. Fill a bowl up with vinegar and remove the flapper from the tank, unhooking it from the chain and pulling the pegs out from where they attach to the overflow tube. Place your flapper into the bowl of vinegar and soak it for up to an hour. This will make the mineral deposits that have built up loosen.

Use the toothbrush to rub all the dirt away from the flapper. Wipe your flapper and then fix it back into place before testing if it works. If you're trying to replace the flapper yourself, note that they come in different sizes, and you'll need to measure yours to ensure it fits the right size.

After removing it, clip the new flapper into place by hooking it onto the lift chain and clipping the pegs onto the overflow tube. Before turning the water back, check if the seal is firmly closing when you pull the flush handle. Turn your water back and check for leaks around the flapper connection.

If your toilet is still flushing, there could be a bigger problem with your plumbing. You may need to call a professional plumber to take a look at your system and fix any underlying issues.

Examine the Toilet Tank, Float Ball, and Float Arm

Another problem area that could be behind your toilet flushing is the float ball and arm. This is what controls the water level in your tank, so if it becomes worn or damaged, it may not be able to shut off the water level properly.

To check if this is happening in your tank, turn off all of the water supply valves for your toilet. Next, flush the toilet and hold down the handle to keep the water from refilling the tank. Once the tank is empty, take a look at the float ball. If it's sitting lower than it should be, that could be why your toilet is still flushing.

Examine the Toilet Tank, Float Ball, and Float Arm
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To fix this, you can move the arm slightly to pull the ball away from the tank wall. If the ball is not touching the side of the wall, you might have a cracked float ball, stopping it from floating to the top. If the ball is cracked, it will get filled up with water and get weighed down, resulting in it not being able to perform its function.

Check the Water Level in the Tank

Another possible cause of a toilet that keeps flushing is if there isn't enough water in the tank. When the tank doesn't have enough water, it will start siphoning from the bowl and continually refill itself until there's enough water to complete the flush. This can be a problem because you might use up all the clean water in the tank and be left with dirty water.

If the water level in the tank is low, you can try to adjust the float ball so that it's higher up. This will allow more water to enter the tank and hopefully solve the problem. If you cannot easily adjust the float ball by the arm, then there might be a problem with the screw where the ball float arm attaches. In this case, use a screwdriver to loosen the arm and allow it to lower. Hopefully, this will resolve the issue of your running toilet.

Adjust the Flapper Chain

Another potential problem is that the flapper chain might be too short. If the chain is too short, it won't allow the flapper to close completely and will cause the toilet to keep running. To fix this, simply adjust the chain so that it's a bit longer. You might need to experiment a bit to find the right length, but it should start to work right away.

To avoid low water in the toilet bowl and problems like weak flush, adjust the linkage in the chain to leave only a slight bit of slack when the flapper is closed. Cut off the excess chain at the brass rod to leave only an inch extra to reduce the potential for tangles. Then, put the tank lid back on and make sure the flush rod doesn't strike the lid when you press the lever. If it does, bend it down slightly and readjust the chain.

FAQs on How to Stop a Running Toilet

How to get toilet to stop flushing?

There are so many ways of stopping your toilet from running. Once you've identified the root cause, you can take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue. Some of the common causes include a broken flapper, an obstruction in the sink, or a faulty fill valve. Additionally, you may need to adjust the flush rod and check for leaks in the tank. To stop a running toilet for good, you should also regularly maintain it by cleaning out any debris that may be clogging the pipes. Also, make sure you invest in some of the best flushing toilets to avoid future issues.

Why did my toilet stop flushing?

If your toilet has suddenly stopped flushing, it is likely due to a clog in the pipes. Toilet paper and other debris can build up over time, causing a blockage. If this is the case, you will need to clear the obstruction before your toilet will flush properly again.

Final Thought on How to Stop a Running Toilet

Fixing a flushing toilet is a straightforward process that just requires a few basic tools and some physical effort. Once you have identified the cause of your toilet's flushing issues, whether it is a clog or damaged parts, you will be able to stop the toilet from running and restore its proper functioning. By regularly maintaining your toilet and taking steps to prevent future clogs, you can keep your toilet flush with little effort.


Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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