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How do I stop a toilet from running?

A toilet that runs constantly wastes water and costs money. Fortunately, the causes of a leaky toilet tank are usually straightforward and easy to fix.

  1. If the water level in the tank is too high, water will spill over into the overflow tube. This means that water is constantly being emptied from the tank, so the toilet continues to refill. Try adjusting the adjustment screw, located on the top of the fill valve, to change the float position. It may take a few turns of the screw and a few flushes to get the adjustment right.
  2. If the flapper is not sealing properly around the pipe leading to the bowl, water will continuously leak into the bowl from the tank. Turn off the water supply valve under the toilet, drain the water from the tank, remove the flapper, and take it with you to your local home center to get a replacement. Install the new flapper the same way you removed the old one.
  3. If there’s not enough slack in the chain (or lift rods), it may keep the flapper from sealing completely. Unhook the chain from the handle arm, move the hook up a link or two, and replace it.

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