A toilet that just won’t stop running is an annoying problem almost every homeowner will face. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that can help you fix it.

1) The Flapper

A defective flapper is one of the most common reasons behind a running toilet. Press down to test—if the water stops running, it’s likely the problem. The flapper is the rubber stopper within the tank that lifts up to release water into the bowl when you flush. The seal of the flapper can deteriorate over time, causing water to leak into the bowl. Visit your local hardware store to buy a replacement. Then, turn the shutoff water valve on your toilet and flush until all the water is drained from the tank and bowl. Simply follow the installation instructions, and turn the water back on to test.

2) The Fill Valve and Tube

If the flapper isn’t the problem, it may be the fill valve or tube, which drains excess water. Check the fill valve for any leaks or deterioration, and make sure the fill tube is above water level. You can purchase a replacement fill valve at the hardware store.

3) The Float

Older toilets usually have ball floats, while newer toilets usually have cup floats in the tank. If your float is set too high, it can force the water lever to rise above the overflow pipe, causing constant running. Fix a ball float by bending its arm, and readjust a cup float by sliding it down the tube it sits around.

4) Calling a Plumber

Without plumbing experience, you could do damage to your toilet, and cause more expensive repairs. If these simple fixes don’t work, it may be time to call in a professional. 

Find a local plumber.