Adjusting a Running Toilet


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Toilet Tank


What you will need


1 - Long nose pliers

2 - Screwdriver


Replacement float

Replacement washer


Steel Wool

Replacement Tank Ball


Float Rod Adjustment.

Lift the float rod above the water level. If the water stops running, gently bend the rod down until the float is at rest when the water level is about 1/2 inch below the top of the overflow pipe.

Leaky Float.

If more than half of the float is underwater, it may have a leak. Turn off the shutoff valve below the tank and flush the toilet to empty it. Unscrew the float and shake it. If you hear water inside, replace it.

Corroded Tank Ball Assembly.

If the tank ball assembly shows signs of corrosion, loosen the screw that holds the assembly and slide the unit up and off the overflow pipe.. Replace the entire unit with a modern plastic one.

Repairing the Intake Valve

1 - If the tailet still runs, empty the tank again and remove the screws that hold the float rod and its attached linkage to the intake valve

2 - Pull the intake valve plunger up and out of the plunger seat. You may need to pry it gently with a screwdriver to get it started.

3 - Replace the washer at the base of the plunger, and the washer or packing that fits in the groove on the plunger body

4 - Grease everything that moves. and replace it.

Main Page
Unclogging Sink Drains
Soldering Copper Pipe
How to Replace a Faucet
How to Repair a Faucet
Fluxing and Soldering
Cutting Copper Pipe
Repairing a Leaky Pipe
How to Replace a Toilet
Electrical Main Page

Inside Home Repairs




The principle behind flush toilets has not changed much since they were first patented in England in 1775. A lever sets off a chain reaction that lets in new water which, in turn, pushes out the old. And while the modern unit is smaller and more efficient, it occasionally requires minor repairs. For example, if your toilet continues to run after the tank has filled with water, try a few adjustments before calling a plumber. Chances are you can fix it yourself.

Many people have never seen the inside of a toilet tank; they would be surprised at how basic the system really is. Like the “handbone-connected-to-the-wrisbone” concept, the handle on the outside of the tank connects to a lever, or lift arm, inside the tank which, in turn, connects to a plunger-type object called a tank ball. When in position, the tank ball seals an opening in the bottom of the tank. Pressing the handle raises the tank ball from its seat, letting water rush from the tank into the toilet bowl below.

As the water level in the tank drops, the float attached to a rod lowers, opening the intake valve and allowing fresh water to enter the tank. Releasing the handle lets the tank ball drop back into its seat, closing off the tank and allowing it to fill again.

However, if the tank ball is worn water will bypass it and leak back into the toilet bowl. This is a common problem and can be fixed simply by emptying the tank, unscrewing the ball, and replacing it. Check the tank ball seat too, as corrosion is another common cause of leaks. If the seat is corroded, lift the tan ball and buff the seat with steel wool. Finally, adjust the tank ball rod so that when the ball drops, it forms a tight seal over the seat.

As the water in the tank reaches the fill level, the float rod rises and closes off the intake valve. Meanwhile, the emptied toilet bowl is partially refilled with fresh water flowing from the refill tube into the overflow tube.

If the toilet runs constantly (that is, if water continues to fill the tank and bowl without automatically shutting off), the problem could be one of several things: a damaged tank ball or corroded tank ball seat as previously mentioned, float rod maladjustment, a leaky float, a faulty intake valve, or a corroded tank ball assembly. Each of these conditions is easy to fix. Replacement parts are sold individually at your local hardware or plumbing supply store.

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