What should I do if our toilet keeps running?

A running toilet can drive you crazy, especially if jiggling the handle doesn't make it stop. It can waste hundreds of gallons of water a day, increasing your water bill. Here are a few things to try if your toilet won't stop running:

The most common causes of a running toilet usually involve the flapper, a round rubber seal inside the tank that keeps water from draining the tank and entering the toilet bowl. Remove the tank lid, then turn off the water to the toilet (the valve is usually below the tank and behind the bowl), then flush the toilet to drain the water from the tank. This will make it easier to inspect the flapper for abnormalities.

Adjust the chain length if necessary. If the chain is too short, it will open the valve when it shouldn't, allowing water to drain constantly. If it's too long, it can get lodged under the flapper and prevent proper sealing. Remove the hook that attaches the chain to the flush lever and adjust as needed.

If the flapper is dirty, clean it by soaking it in a bowl of vinegar for 30-45 minutes. Scrub it to remove dirt and other buildup. If the flapper is warped or is starting to disintegrate, or doesn't hold a seal for any reason, it should be replaced. Once the flapper is back in place, turn on the water and test the flapper to see that it's functioning correctly, and that the toilet isn't continuing to run.

If the flapper is fine, check the water level. If it's too high, water will constantly drain into the overfill tube. The water level can be adjusted by lowering the float.