How to Fix a Running Toilet

Running toilet: leaky flapper, bad fill valve, or overflow pipe at the wrong height

A running toilet can drive anyone insane, plus it’s a huge drain on the environment.  Whether you hear water running constantly or cycling on an off, it is time to stop the leak.

Test the flapper
First shut off the water supply valve under the toilet. Flush the toilet to drain out most of the water and unhook the old flapper. Buy a new flapper of the same type from your local hardware store, and install it according to the instructions. Hook the flapper chain onto the flush lever arm so there is a slight slack when the flapper is closed. If the flapper doesn’t leak and the water is still running, check the fill tup connected to the overflow pipe. The end should be above the water line. If the end is under the water, cut it back.

Next, inspect the fill valve for visible signs of ear and test the float. If it is improperly adjusted, the water level can rise above the overflow pipe and drain into it. Replace the old film valve if it doesn’t shut off or papers the floor-arm operation. Install a new floatcup-style fill valve. Adjust the float according the the instructions. Attach the flapper chain to the flush lever with slight slack, turn on water and test flush.

If you’re still having issues, call Northern Edge Pluming and we’ll make a quick run out to repair your running toilet. We have the necessary tools and parts to get your toilet running correctly right away!

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Do-It-Yourself Tips for Frozen Pipe Repair

Unfortunately, frozen pipes is a common issue in Minnesota.  And even though you may only see the pipes within your home, they definitely travel through your home and under your flooring, often being exposed to colder temperatures.  If these areas reach freezing temps, the water inside can freeze and lead to broken pipes or back-ups, and result in flooding. Ideally, you should have your pipes inspected in the fall and have then properly insulated where necessary.  However, if an issue is already at hand, follow the tips below.  Please note: We strongly recommend hiring a professional as some of these issues can be dangerous for yourself or your property. The safety of you, your family and your property are #1 priority.  Please do not attempt repairs unless you have the correct and qualified skills and tools to do so. Always use extreme caution.

If your pipes have already burst:

  • Shut off the main water valve right away.  This will minimize the flooding.
  • Clear the area near the leak or burst pipe to prevent further damage to your property.
  • Safely unplug and remove any electronics and appliances that the water might reach. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so unplug anything within questionable reach of the water.

If you can identify where the frozen spot is, try dipping a towel in hot water and wrapping it around the area to thaw the pipe.  If this isn’t effective, use an extension cord to carefully use a hair dryer to apply heat indirectly near the area.  In extreme cases, a blowtorch can be carefully used for solidly frozen pipes.  Do not get too close to the piping in order to avoid any damage to the pipe.

Prevention is best and we hope you’ll never experience burst or frozen pipe repair issues.  However, in Minnesota this can sometimes be a hard issue to avoid.  So if you ever find yourself in this situation and would feel more comfortable placing the safety of your property in the hands of a professional, call in Northern Edge Plumbing for 24-hour service. We have the skills, tools and experience to handle any plumbing emergency and will respect that your situation needs to be handled fast.