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Why does my toilet keep running?

If your toilet sounds like a waterfall at night and keeps running at all times, it is definitely an issue that you want to address sooner rather than later (think of your water bill!).

toilet room

But what is causing your toilet to keep running all the time can be a few things, so keep reading to find out more or call Ryan Old Plumbing on 0421 185 947.

Why does my toilet keep running?

There are a few reasons as to why your toilet may be continually running:

  • Flapper Valve: the little rubber valve that allows your toilet to complete the flush action. This can wear out over time, which can cause a toilet that keeps running, or it can get a little sticky.
  • Float Ball: if the float ball is floating too high, it can push water into the overflow pipe (which causes the continual running).
    • Ballcock: if the ballcock doesn’t close completely, this can cause a leaking toilet.
  • Chain: the chain connects the flapper valve to the arm lever and if it is too short, the flapper valve is left slightly open. This lets water in, which causes the continual water flow - most Australian homes don’t have a chain system (they have a dual flush), so this is an unlikely cause.

Can I just ignore my constantly running toilet?

No. A constantly running toilet not only wastes water, but it can be incredibly noisy.You definitely need to have your toilet fixed sooner rather than later!


How can I stop my toilet from constantly running?

There are a few DIY tricks you can try to get your toilet back to working like it should, however if you are unsure or would like some further help, give Ryan Old Plumbing a call on 0421 185 947.

Flapper Valve

When it comes to the flapper valve, it could require cleaning or replacing. If you run your finger along the valve and siphon and you feel a few bumps, this could be limescale or dirt. If you feel large bumps, bulges or distorted areas, this likely means you will need a replacement.

Float Ball

If your toilet is constantly running, you need to lower the float ball. This can be done in 2 ways:

  1. If you have a float arm, loosen or tighten the screw until the float arm lowers.
  2. If you have a column float, loosen the screw or clip and push down the float, then tighten everything again.


If your ballcock isn’t closing properly, you will likely need to replace it. Check your local hardware store for a replacement option or chat to your plumber.


If your chain is too short, the simple fix is to replace it with a longer chain. Again, this isn’t a common occurrence as most Australian homes have dual flush toilets.


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