How to Fix a Kohler Toilet That Keeps Running

How to Fix a Kohler Toilet That Keeps RunningIs your toilet making that annoying sound again -- the continual discharging of water that is, quite literally, flushing your hard-earned money down the drain?

Well, you don’t need to worry. Thankfully, the issue is relatively common.

Before we guide you step-by-step on how to fix the problem, it’s helpful to understand what causes it.

Why Is My Kohler Toilet Always Running?

A continually running toilet indicates the presence of an internal water leak. To identify the root cause, we need to check the inner mechanisms of the tank.

It’s essential to identify the problem, as not only is constant running a waste of water, but also an unnecessary drain on your wallet!

A continually running toilet is annoying, but most problems can be resolved by checking some of the internal parts.

Fortunately, this is a reasonably straightforward process, and even if you need to replace any parts, it’s a relatively simple task you can do at home without the need for plumbing tools.

How To Fix Running Toilet | Kohler

Important Advice

Before we start, one critical recommendation is to locate the water supply shut off valve. A continuously running toilet is fine as long as the water flows through the plumbing. When the water spills onto your floor, that’s a different story!

Make sure you know the location of the valves to turn off the water supply in an emergency.

Initial Troubleshooting

How to Fix a Kohler Toilet That Keeps Running - Initial TroubleshootingBefore we start checking the internal parts and potentially replacing any, we can perform short troubleshooting steps to determine the most likely cause of the running water in your Kohler toilet. The test itself is quite simple and involves four stages:

  1. Set aside sometime when the toilet can be disconnected from the water supply. The best time would be before bed.
  2. Flush and allow the toilet to refill. Once full, shut off the water supply at the valve (usually located behind the toilet).
  3. Using a pencil, mark the current level of water inside the tank. From this point, avoid using the toilet to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
  4. In the morning, check the water level. Use the guide below to identify the probable cause of the issue.

 

What happened to the water level?

Stayed the Same

How to Fix a Kohler Toilet That Keeps Running - What happened to the water level?If the water level is unchanged, this indicates that the tank is intact and that there’s no leak within the tank.

Instead, there’s likely some debris in the tank that causes it to run continuously.

Dropped to The Level of Internal Parts

If the level has dropped below some of the parts, it’s likely either the washer or flapper is defective and needs to be replaced. A worn seal or flapper causes leakage from the tank to the bowl.

Completely Drained

If the tank is completely empty, this means the washer at the base of the valve is defective or damaged.

Slightly Decreased

This indicates the presence of a hairline crack that allows the water to slowly leak. However, this prevents an accurate diagnosis of the problem. This could also indicate damage to the valve. Check the valve for any hairline cracks.

With this initial troubleshooting, you’ve hopefully eliminated any leak issues in the tank, and you’re ready to diagnose the problem. Let’s look at how we can further troubleshoot the issue.

Further Troubleshooting

  • How to Fix a Kohler Toilet That Keeps Running - Further TroubleshootingStep 1
    Remove the cover from the toilet tank and set aside. Move the inner float slowly back and forth inside the tank. This could be a simple solution to the problem. Flush the toilet and see if it fixes the problem. If not, move to stage 3.
  • Step 2
    You’ll need to roll your sleeves up for this step! To ensure the plug that seals the hole in the bottom of the tank is completely watertight, reach in and check. A correctly placed seal prevents water from flowing into the toilet bowl and fills the tank to the appropriate level. The float should then rise and the steady inflow of water will stop.
  • Step 3
    If that doesn’t work, something might be preventing an adequate seal. Clean around the exit seal of the tank, which is the same as the previous step. Check again to see if this helped create an adequate seal.
  • How to Fix a Kohler Toilet That Keeps Running - Further TroubleshootingStep 4
    If you reached this stage and eliminated any issues with the seal itself and moving around the internal parts haven’t helped, you’ll probably need to replace some of the parts. First would be the float assembly. You can usually buy these from your local DIY store or Kohler toilet supplier. First, detach the hose from the top of the part, unscrew the assembly, and remove it from the tank. Replace with the new part and ensure everything is securely tightened.
  • Step 5
    Finally, if steps 1-4 haven’t resolved the issue, you might have to replace the seal. Before removing it, turn off the water supply. Removing the seal means nothing is keeping the water in the tank, which would spell disaster. Once you turn off the water supply, remove the old seal and replace it with the new one.

 

Now that you’ve assessed the problem and have fixed it, your Kohler toilet should be as good as new. Don’t forget to turn the water back on when you’re finished and closely monitor the situation over the next few days to ensure the problem is completely resolved.

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