How To Fix A Running Toilet in Vancouver, BC

A close view of a running toilet’s basin as water flows down through its drain.
Dealing with a running toilet in Vancouver may not be your favourite, but as soon as you notice an increased water bill, you will likely change your mind and get this problem out of the way. An untreated running toilet can cost you over thousands of gallons of water within a month. In most cases, the cause of trouble is simple and easy to fix by replacing small parts.

Your local Vancouver plumber at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Vancouver is happy to spare you some elbow grease by explaining certain parts of your toilet. This way, it won’t take you too long to quickly identify the problem and rectify the situation. Keep on reading and learn how to fix a running toilet in no time!

Learn The Causes And How To Fix A Running Toilet

A plumber from Mr. Rooter Plumbing inspecting the inside of a toilet tank while providing repairs for a running toilet.

When you have a toilet running in Vancouver, BC, there are various parts of your toilet that you need to inspect. Most of these relevant parts are hidden inside the toilet tank. Remove the tank lid to start your inspection!

Worn Out Flapper

A toilet flapper (or flush valve) is a pliable red or black rubber seal that opens up to release water into the toilet bowl as you flush. When done, it will seal off the water flow and allow the tank to refill. Flapper sizes vary between two and three inches.

However, a worn flapper is one of the most common issues that lead to water leaking into the bowl—hence a running toilet. When that happens, you may experience ghost flushing, because the bowl fills up to a certain level that sends out a signal for flushing. Each time it flushes on its own, you may lose about 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Hard water is one main issue that decreases a flapper’s efficiency over time.


You can purchase a replacement flush valve at any Vancouver hardware store. Your Vancouver plumber recommends that you bring your old one with you to make sure you purchase the right size.

At your Vancouver home, turn off your running toilet’s shutoff valve and turn the handle to flush once or twice to remove as much water as possible. You’ll notice that your flapper has a chain that connects it to the flush handle. Next, disconnect the two pegs from the overflow pipe and pull out the old flapper.

Inspect the surrounding area and give the valve seat a good wipe before installing your new valve. Ensure the pegs reconnect to the overflow tube and the ball of the flapper sits over the drain properly. Then clip the flapper chain back on, but give it some slack. Try to flush a few times to check if the seal is working.

Lastly, turn your water supply back on to allow the tank to refill. Does that fix your running toilet problem? If not, let’s check the next culprit.

Leaking Fill Valve

Your toilet’s fill valve or refill tube is a mechanism that fills your tank. It also controls the water level, so it’s not too much and not too little. That water level marks the so-called “critical level mark,” which is a plumbing code that Vancouver homeowners need to follow. As a rule of thumb, the critical level mark should be at least one inch below the overflow pipe’s height. You can lower it by adjusting the float arm on the fill valve. Misalignment and wrong installations could lead to a running toilet.

When your toilet’s running, Vancouver BC plumbers recommend checking your fill valve next for water leaks. Same as above, shut off the water supply and flush the toilet. Inspect the fill valve for clogs and tighten the lock nut if necessary (lock nut is located around your supply line on your tank’s exterior).

For the best results, we often recommend replacing the refill tube entirely. Even when unclogging and cleaning off the mineral deposits, the tube may not be as efficient as it once was and your running toilet issue might not go away.


In this part of how to fix a running toilet, you’ll need to disconnect the tube from your supply line by unscrewing the lock nut. Afterward, you should be able to simply pull out the old valve. You may also need to remove the flapper chain.

Place your new replacement tube into place with a light twist. The next thing to keep in mind is that your new fill valve may have a different height than your old one. Compare the height of your new fill valve with your overflow pipe. If the overflow pipe’s height is above the critical level mark, you’ll have to adjust its height accordingly using a hacksaw.

When connecting the fill tube, you need a corresponding angle adapter to clip it onto the overflowing pipe. Re-attach the flapper chain to the lever and turn on your supply. Flush and see if you still experience your toilet running. Vancouver BC plumbers are only one call away otherwise!

Float Ball is Too Low Or Too High

A leaky toilet or running toilet is often caused by a misaligned float ball. It’s attached to the lever and responsible for the water inlet to fill the fill tube. Issues arise if the float fails to stop the water, leading to your toilet running. Vancouver BC homeowners need to ensure the float ball is neither sitting too high nor too low inside the tank.


The ball connects to a float rod, which also connects to your toilet valve. To adjust the ball float, turn the valve’s screw clockwise to lower the ball and counterclockwise to raise it.

Flush Valve Chain Too Tight Or Not Tight Enough

The right length determines how efficiently it flushes. As you press the lever, it sets various things in motion, such as lifting the flapper and raising the float.

To adjust the chain, disconnect the clasp from the handle and remove a couple of links. Then re-attach the clasp back to the handle and check for efficiency.

Is Your Toilet Running in Vancouver BC?

If you need a professional plumber to help you out, do not hesitate to give our friendly team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Vancouver a call. How to fix a running toilet is not always as straightforward as it may seem, due to various different models and types.

But your local Vancouver plumbers are familiar with them all and will put an immediate end to your running toilet. Even when it’s time for a brand-new toilet installation, we have you covered!

While you’re here, why not learn about our other drain repair and drain cleaning services?