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Quick question: I'm trying to fix my toilet that is running slowly but continuously. The weird part is if you hold the handle down for like three or four seconds when you flush, it stops running. I replaced the flapper valve 2 years ago, but this just started 3 months ago. I checked it for cleanliness and pliability. Still good.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

  • I'd guess that holding the handle down when you flush allows more water to drain from the tank. When you do release the handle the flapper snaps down with more force, enough to completely seal. – Jim Stewart Jun 2 at 13:38
  • Sounds more like a jog than a run. – DMoore Jun 2 at 18:28
  • If you look at the flapper while you hear the water running you can't see anything stuck underneath the the flapper? – aofkj Jun 3 at 4:20
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Generally this is either a leaking flapper valve, or a leaking fill valve.

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Look in the tank. There is a tube that sticks up above the normal full water level. This is the "overflow tube" which prevents the tank from overflowing - it connects straight to the bowl.

When you flush it (DON'T), the tank quickly drains, then it refills up to the normal level, maybe an inch below the top of the overflow tube.

  • If the flapper valve is leaking, water will slip below normal until the fill valve kicks in to bring it back.

  • If the fill valve is leaking, water will fill to normal, then slowly fill above normal right up to the top of the overflow pipe.

So, if you find the water at the top of the overflow pipe, it's the fill valve.

Otherwise, we don't know. Maybe you just flushed it. Find other tasks in the bathroom. If it's the flapper, you'll occasionally hear the valve do a moment of refilling. If it's the valve, the water will slowly rise.

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