How to make your toilet stop running

How to make your toilet stop running

One of the most common reasons people call a Los Angeles plumber is because of a toilet that won't stop running. From June 2010-2011, Angie’s List members made nearly 20,000 searches for local plumbers in the Los Angeles area.

If you’ve tried to fix the problem yourself, search the List to find a highly rated plumber near you. If you’re not scared to tackle what’s inside the tank, you can try and figure out why your toilet won’t finish its flush.

Normally, this problem is caused by the malfunction of either the flapper or float valve, both of which are located inside the tank. By lifting the tank lid it is easy to check where the problem lies.


The flapper is a rubber piece at the bottom of the toilet tank that covers the discharge drain. It is lifted by a chain attached to the handle when a toilet is flushed. It should set securely back into place before the tank is refilled. If the flapper is damaged or does not fully close, water will slowly leak from the tank. Check to see if the chain needs to be adjusted or if the flapper needs to be replaced.

Float valve

The float valve is attached to the incoming water line and regulates the water level inside the toilet tank. If it is not properly adjusted or if it has become clogged by sediments, it will constantly attempt to refill the water level. First, try adjusting the float valve to a higher water level. If this does not stop the problem, the float valve should be replaced.

While both of these toilet parts are easy to replace, it is usually best to call a plumber if you do not have previous experience in doing this work. This is especially true for the float valve, as it must be installed securely to avoid leaks around the bottom fitting.

A plumber can also determine if there are other problems such as sediment in the water line. More than 1,000 highly rated Los Angeles plumbers are on Angie’s List, and you can sign-in to read member reviews about recent service experiences.

To stop the toilet from running until a plumber arrives, simply close the shutoff valve on the incoming water line. The shutoff valve is found near the bottom of the toilet, with a pipe that connects the valve and the tank. Turn the valve clockwise to stop the water supply.

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