The Isle of Wight Plumbing Guide to Fixing a running toilet
There are a number of different ﬂushing mechanisms that might be in your toilet tank, but they all work the same way. When you push the ﬂush handle, it pulls up a ﬂush valve, also called a ﬂapper, and allows water to rush into the bowl.
When you release the handle, the ﬂush valve closes. Water comes in
through the refill valve, filling the tank while a refill tube pours water into the bowl through an overﬂow tube. As the water ﬂows into the tank, it raises a ﬂoat of some kind. In the two most common configurations, the ﬂoat either travels up the valve body, or the ﬂoat is a ball on an arm. In any case, when the ﬂoat reaches a certain level, it causes a lever to shut off the fill valve.
If the toilet is running continuously, it is usually because water is
pouring into the overﬂow tube because the ﬂoat is set too high. See
“Adjusting the Float”. If the water is trickling into the bowl,
perhaps causing the toilet to ﬂush on its own, it’s likely because the ﬂush valve isn’t sealing. See “Cleaning or Replacing the Flush Valve” .
Sometimes the problem is that the entire fill valve and ﬂoat mechanism is encrusted with minerals that are preventing parts from moving. It’s cheap and easy to replace the whole thing, as described in “Replacing the Fill Valve and Float”.
Adjusting the float with Isle of Wight Plumbing
The ball ﬂoat shown has two adjustments. For large adjustments, you can loosen a plastic wing nut to adjust the angle of the ball arm. Most likely turning the screw at top counterclockwise will be enough. Some older balls don’t have adjustment screws. These have metal arms that you can bend down to adjust the ball.
ADJUSTING A VALVE BODY FLOAT.
If you have a ﬂoat that travels up the valve body, the ﬂoat is likely secured to a metal rod that’s connected to the refll valve lever. Squeeze the clip and move the ﬂoat down 1 in. When the tank flls, the water level should be about 1 in. from the top of the refll tube. If it’s not, repeat the procedure, adjusting the ﬂoat until you get it right. Newer mechanisms often have a knurled knob on top or a different type of clip for adjusting the ﬂoat height.
Cleaning or replacing the flush valve
1. REMOVE THE FLUSH VALVE.
Turn off the water supply to the toilet, and ﬂush to empty the tank.
Pull the ﬂush valve off the pegs on the overﬂow pipe. Instead of
attaching to pegs, some ﬂush valves have a collar that fts over
2. CLEAN OR REPLACE THE VALVE.
Try using a sponge to clean the ﬂapper and its seat. If the valve
still leaks, disconnect its chain or strap from the ﬂush handle
and replace the valve. If your overﬂow pipe has pegs, use scissors to remove the collar from the new ﬂush valve. Put it in place and attach the chain or strap to the handle.