0161 804 1629


Tel: 0161 804 1629

How to fix your running toilet: A comprehensive guide for UK homes

A running toilet is not just a nuisance but also a waste of water, contributing to higher utility bills. In the UK, where every drop counts, especially in some areas with water restrictions, a running toilet is something you’ll want to fix immediately. While the issue can sometimes be complicated, many of the common causes of a running toilet can be fixed without professional help. Here’s a guide on how to troubleshoot and fix a running toilet.

Identifying the Problem

The most common reasons for a running toilet include:

  • A malfunctioning flapper
  • A leaky fill valve
  • An improperly adjusted float

Knowing what to look for helps you to identify the root cause of the problem.

Gathering Supplies

Before you start the repair, make sure you have these essential supplies:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Toilet flapper
  • Fill valve kit
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Towels or rags

Step-by-Step Repair Process

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

Locate the water valve near the base of the toilet and turn it off. Flush the toilet to empty the tank.

2. Check the Flapper

Remove the tank lid and check the rubber flapper. If it’s not sealing properly, it may be the cause of your running toilet. Remove it by unhooking its ears from the overflow tube and replace it with a new one.

3. Inspect the Fill Valve

If replacing the flapper doesn’t solve the issue, the next suspect is the fill valve. To check its condition, lift up the float arm to see if the water stops. If it does, you may need to adjust or replace the fill valve.

4. Adjust the Float

Sometimes, the float might be set too high, causing water to overflow into the tube and making the toilet run constantly. Lower the float by adjusting the screw or arm, depending on the type of float your toilet uses.

5. Leak Test (Optional)

If you want to be sure that the problem is fixed, perform a leak test using food colouring. Add a few drops into the tank and wait for 15-20 minutes. If the colour appears in the bowl, there’s still a leak.

6. Test Flush

Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments or replacements, turn the water supply back on and do a test flush to ensure the problem is fixed.

Preventive Measures

To prevent future issues:

  • Regularly inspect the toilet’s internal mechanisms.
  • Avoid using toilet-cleaning tablets that can corrode the rubber parts.
  • Make minor adjustments as needed before problems escalate.

When to Seek Professional Help

While these DIY steps can be effective, not all running toilet issues can be easily fixed at home. If you’ve tried the above methods and the problem persists, it may be time to consult a professional. Particularly if you’re in the Manchester area, expert plumbers in Manchester are well-equipped to diagnose and resolve any plumbing issues you may face.


A running toilet is a problem that needs immediate attention, both to save water and to avoid annoying sounds. While you can often fix the issue yourself with a bit of DIY know-how, there are times when professional help is necessary. If you find yourself struggling with a persistent or complicated issue, don’t hesitate to contact plumbers in Manchester for expert service that will put an end to your running toilet woes.

Having trouble with your boiler? Not firing up or radiators not heating up as they usually do? Give Quick Plumb 24/7 a call for all boiler repairs & servicing in Manchester.

Our Services

Contact us for a free no obligation quotation.

0161 804 1629

Contact Us