How to Fix Toilets that Won’t Shut Off

How to Fix Toilets that Won’t Shut Off


Photo by CC user dirtyboxface on Flickr.

Leaking toilets waste water and cost homeowners money that could have been better spent. If your toilet won’t shut off and is constantly releasing water into the toilet bowl, you’re actually watching your money go down the toilet, so you need to fix it promptly by contacting a local plumber or try to fix it yourself.

This is a basic job that most people can take care of themselves, though if it’s a case of the toilet being old and beyond salvageable, or you can’t diagnose the source of problem, it’s time to call a good local plumber.

Identify the Parts

Start by identifying the parts of the toilet so that you can easily follow the instructions that you’ve accessed.

These are:

• Toilet flush lever (flushes the toilet)
• Fill tube (releases water into the overflow valve)
• Overflow valve (sets the high-water level)
• Float (raises and lowers the water level)
• Rubber flapper (prevents tank water from entering the bowl)
• Pump (refills the tank after the toilet is flushed)

Once you’ve identified the parts of the toilet, you can start checking the toilet to identify the cause of the problem.

Check the Fill Tube

Once you’ve removed the lid on the cistern you’ll be able to see the fill tube, which is a flexible tube running to the overflow tube from the fill valve which releases water down the overflow tube and refills the bowl after the toilet has been flushed. Make sure the fill tube is in the correct position, about 2.5 cm above the overflow tube, flush the toilet and see if the problem is fixed.

Check the Fill Valve

If there’s a problem with the fill valve, it’s usually a case of the washer inside the valve deteriorating. You could contact a local plumbing service provider like to replace the washer and check the toilet to make sure there aren’t any other issues which may be making the problem worse, or you can try to fix it yourself.

However, if you’re going to replace parts on a toilet, or any aspect of your home plumbing system, make sure you know what you’re doing and have access to the required tools. Sometimes it’s much safer to call a plumber to take care of plumbing issues like these and you should never attempt to fix problems associated with solar hot water systems or any kind of system that involves both electricity and water.

Check the Flapper

If there’s a problem with the flapper, the water in the tank could be continuously released back into the bowl, causing your toilet to run constantly and waste water. Unhook the flapper to inspect it closely, and if the edges are worn away or there are cracks throughout it, it’s time to replace it.

These are some of the most common causes and solutions for toilets that won’t shut off and use much more water than they should. If these tips don’t help you identify the problem and fix it, call a local plumber to fix your toilet for you.