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Leaky toilet? Learn how to fix a toilet flush

Read on for easy tips to stop your toilet leaking from the tank bowl with simple adjustments.


Interior of a bathroom with wooden sconces and plants.

Key steps

  • Check the ballcock.

  • Adjust the flush valve rubber flapper to ensure it closes properly.

  • Check the overflow tube.

  • Reconnect the lift wire or chain.

  • Tight the handle mounting nut.

  • If all else fails, call in a plumber.

Is water running in your toilet bowl even though the flush hasn't been pulled or pressed? A leaking toilet bowl requires immediate repair so that clean water isn't wasted. We’ll show you quick and effective methods for how to fix a leaking toilet tank, together with ways to prevent it from leaking in the first place.

If making adjustments to the ballcock or flush valve doesn't work, they may need replacing. In some instances, this may require the help of a professional.

How to fix a toilet bowl flush

Is your toilet leaking from the tank bowl? Don't panic, discover these useful tips on how to repair a toilet flush depending on the issue at hand:

  • Refill valves come in a number of different designs. If your toilet is leaking from the tank bowl and you have an older style known as a ballcock, here’s how to fix it:

    1. If the toilet is running after the flush cycle is completed, the water level in the tank is probably too high and you need to adjust it.

    2. Bend the float arm downwards.

    3. This will shut off the water at a lower level.

    4. It may need fine-tuning, so try bending the arm at different levels until it’s correct.

    5. If your ballcock continues to display the same issues, it may be worth considering replacing it altogether to a more modern style.

  • A leaking toilet tank could also be connected to a faulty flush valve. This is a plastic or brass fitting which can be found attached to the bottom opening on the tank. It is usually operated by a rubber flapper or float ball. In the same way you adjust a ballcock, the flapper may require adjustment to get the valve to work properly.

  • Be sure to check the overflow tube for damage as its role is to prevent water from overflowing the tank.

  • Remember that part of maintaining a good working toilet is also keeping it clean. So, checking for limescale build-up and inspecting the tank from time to time will help you prevent leakages.

  • The problem could be in the handle. In this case you need to know how to fix the toilet flush button. If the flush button or handle is loose, it could be due to two reasons:

    1. The lift wire (or lift chain) which connects the lift arm to the flapper may need reconnecting.

    2. The handle mounting nut inside the tank could require adjusting. To tighten them, rotate counter clockwise.

Whilst this guide has shown you how to fix a toilet flush yourself, in some instances you may need to call in a plumber. If you are not confident in DIY or if your toilet is still not working properly after being fixed, it’s time to get professional help.

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