Your toilet is used daily and often overlooked as one of the most important appliances in your home. However, the simple fact is that, without a working toilet, you’ll quickly realize how important it is.

The good news is that toilets rarely malfunction completely. In fact, the most common issue, other than blockages, is the toilet continuing to run, even after the cistern has filled up.

This can be an expensive issue, a dripping faucet will cost you around $20per month, which’s small compared to a running toilet.  If you don’t have any plumbing experience then you need to call the emergency plumber and get the problem sorted. This is when time really is money.

However, you can undertake a repair yourself, in most cases the problem is surprisingly simple.


 Check Water Flow Speed

As water fills your cistern the float arm raises. When it reaches a set position the arm blocks the incoming supply of water. If the water comes in too fast the float arm will not raise smoothly or quick enough to cut the water off. This overfills the cistern and forces the water to run into the toilet.

The easiest way to rectify this is to partially close the valve just before the cistern, this will slow the flow and should eliminate this issue.

The Seal

Another issue in the same area can be that the seal on the float arm has disintegrated. The seal, or washer, prevents water from coming into the cistern when the float arm is up. If the seal is disintegrating the seal won’t be tight and water will continue to enter the cistern.

Again this will overfill the cistern and force the excess into the toilet.

You’ll need to shut the water off to the toilet and remove the float arm. This will allow you to access and replace the washer.

You can then put the float arm back into position and turn the water back on to test the solution.

Sticking Button

Push button flushes are great because they are simple. However, even the simplest mechanisms can go wrong. When you push on the button it pushes against the mechanism inside, forcing the stopper at the bottom of the tank to lift. This allows the water to leave the cistern and go into the toilet, effectively removing waste products.

However, it is possible that the stopper has got a small piece of debris between it and the base of the tank. This prevents it from sealing the gap at the bottom of the cistern and allows water out.

It’s easy to verify, simply slide your hand to the bottom of the cistern and feel around the stopper. You’ll notice the gap and can remove the debris to recreate a tight seal.

Don’t forget, the water in the cistern is the same water that comes out of your tap, it may be cold but it’s perfectly safe to put your hands into it.