How to Repair a Toilet

If you have a running toilet, you may be able to fix it yourself. But before you learn how to repair a toilet, you must identify the source of the problem first.

Required Tools and Materials

Screwdriver sets
Toilet parts

Step 1

Take off the toilet lid. Check the ball cock. This is the valve connected to the float. The float will be plastic or metal situated on the end of a canister. This will slide up a plastic pipe. If water emanates off the valve, clean or replace it.

Step 2

Reach in the tank bottom. Press on the tank flap edges (this is a red or black rubber cone). If the running water has stopped, the flap has to be replaced.

Step 3

Turn the water supply off before you start to repair a toilet. Turn it in a clockwise direction. Flush it so the water is drained.

Step 4

Take the broken tank flap or diaphragm to the hardware store. Show it so you can get an exact replica.

Replace the Ball Cock Diaphragm

Step 1

Now you have to replace the ball cock diaphragm. Snap the ball cock cover off. Set it aside.

Step 2

Take out the 4 screws keeping the ball cock top plate in place. You will need to use a screwdriver. The float controlled arm is connected on this. There will be a rubber diaphragm.

Step 3

Take out the diaphragm. Check if there is water deposit, gravel or something else stuck under it.

Step 4

Clean the diaphragm with water or you can install a new one. If the diaphragm is dirty, you just need to clean it. Put the top plate back on. Screw it into place.

Step 5

Turn on the water supply. Let the tank fill up. Put the lid back on.

How to Replace the Tank Flap

Take out the tank flap. Some flaps are hooked to posts that project from an overflow pipe. Others have clamp type assembly. Either type can be removed by hand. Once the flap is removed, you can install the new one. Turn on the water supply. Put the lid back on.

If there is “ghost” flushing, examine the bowl-fill tube. If the tube is under the level on the tank, it will produce a siphoning that resembles a flapper that is leaking.

Make adjustments to the tube so it is over the water level. When learning how to repair a toilet, make sure you follow the instructions so problems can be avoided.

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