How to Fix a Runny Toilet That Has a Float Bulb


The sound of a running toilet is enough to keep you awake at night. A running toilet might also cause those phantom flushes that makes it sound like a ghost is using your bathroom. Sometimes the cause for a runny toilet is a broken float bulb, which isn’t letting your toilet complete the flushing process. Fortunately, the fix is something that can be done at home with no need to call a plumber.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Screwdrivers or small socket set
  • Replacement parts as needed
  • Open the toilet tank lid. Place it on top of a towel or in the bathtub so that it doesn’t get damaged.

  • Look at the float bulb for any obvious damage like holes or tears. Replace the float bulb if it is damaged. This may require using the small socket wrench set or screwdrivers, depending on how your specific float bulb model is attached to the rod.

  • Locate the flapper valve, which covers the fill hole to the toilet bowl. Inspect for damage, which can also cause leakage into the bowl. Replace it if necessary.

  • Flush the toilet and monitor the water level as it fills up. Check to see how far the float bulb rises before the toilet bowl is full. The water should not go beyond the overflow tube before the flapper closes. If it does, adjust the float bulb level so that it closes the fill valve before the overflow valve takes water. For older toilets, adjusting the float bulb involves removing a screw and moving the bulb along the arm accordingly. Some models require you to bend the rod manually. Newer models require you to remove a spring clip.

  • Inspect the flapper valve again after flushing. If the toilet continues to run and the flapper valve is partially open, adjust the chain so that it closes completely. Ensure that none of the chain links are trapped between the flapper valve and fill hole.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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