The sound of an old toilet constantly running at your cottage can drive people crazy. One of the main reasons an old toilet constantly runs is because the flushing mechanism has gotten old and worn out. The flushing mechanism consists of the pipe used to fill the tank with water, the floating ball that measures how much water is in the tank and the shutoff valve that operates once the ball rises to a certain level when the tank fills up with water. You should replace the flushing mechanism to stop the toilet from constantly running. If you are a cottage owner with basic plumbing skills and you want to replace the flushing mechanism in your toilet, here is how you can do it.
Turn Off Water
There should be a handle on the water line beneath the toilet that you can turn clockwise to shut off the water. If you don't have a handle, turn off the water pump pulling water from a well or lake into the cottage. Flush the toilet to remove as much water as you can from the tank.
Remove Flushing Mechanism
Place a bucket underneath the toilet before you remove the water line to catch any water that drips out of the opening in the tank when you remove the line. To disconnect the water line, you have to unscrew the big coupling nut located where the water line meets the bottom of the tank. Turn the coupling nut counter-clockwise to remove it and disconnect the water line.
Above the coupling nut is a lock nut. The lock nut sits flush against the bottom of the tank. Unscrew the lock nut to free the flushing mechanism. Reach into the tank and remove the flushing mechanism.
Purchasing New Flushing Mechanism
Take the old flushing mechanism to the plumbing supply store with you. A lot of plumbing parts for toilets have subtle differences in designs sometimes and you want to make sure you purchase a new mechanism that will fit perfectly into your toilet. The personnel at the store can use the flushing mechanism to match it up against what they have in stock.
Replace Flushing Mechanism
Set the water inlet line on the bottom of the mechanism into the hole at the bottom of the tank. Make sure there is a shank washer between the bottom of the mechanism and the tank. A shank washer is a gasket-type product that seals the opening around the water line opening so the tank doesn't leak.
Replace the lock nut on the outside of the tank for the water line to hold the flushing mechanism to the bottom of the tank. Reconnect the water line to the bottom of the flushing mechanism.
Test Flushing Mechanism
Turn the water back on and let the tank fill up. You may have to adjust the floating ball to control how much water fills up in the tank. Follow the manufacturer's directions on how to adjust the floating ball for the product you purchased. When the water fills up to the specified level you want, the water should shut off and there shouldn't be any noise from a running toilet going forward.
Contact a service like All About Plumbing if you need professional help.