I have a toilet that runs periodically, like maybe half the time after a flush. For what it's worth, it's not a constant run, but rather the water kicks on every 5 minutes or so to top off the tank.

The first thing I checked was the chain. The chain that connects to the flapper is not too short as to leave the flapper unsealed and it not too long as to get tangled up.

So next I removed the flapper and inspected it. No cracks or any signs of wear, really, which is not surprising seeing as the toilet and its innards are all less than four years old. I wiped down the underside of the flapper with a rag and did the same to the O-ring in the tank where the seal is made. Still no dice.

One odd thing I noticed that I've never experienced before with this toilet or others, is that when I am urinating into the toilet after like half way through I very distinctly hear the same noise you hear when you pour a liquid into another liquid (sorry, don't know if there's an official term for that sound). This keeps up for maybe another 2-4 seconds when I stop urinating. Could the increase of liquid in the bowl be overflowing into the tank or some other body of water? Not sure if that oddity would provide any help in diagnosing the problem or not, but thought I'd throw it in there.

My next step is going to be to try replacing the flapper, but I was hoping someone might have some additional insight or ideas into this issue.


  • The liquid-liquid noise could be explained with the tank's water overflowing into the bowl. There is a pipe that allows water to be diverted into the bowl as the tank refilled. This pipe also prevents the tank from overflowing by diverting water that would overflow into the bowl. Flush the toilet to observe fill line and trim it so that it is at least one inch below the overflow pipe
    – gatorback
    Oct 1, 2017 at 18:54

2 Answers 2


If you are having trouble locating from what area of the tank is leaking you can add a blue colored food dye to the reservoir (tank) to see if it appears in the bowl. If you see the water is turning color then concentrate your search at the tank/bowl and/or flapper section. Although 4-5 years may not seem like a lengthy amount of time, for rubber and plastic parts it can seem forever. The flapper, if 4-5 years in service, should be replaced. Also make sure the fill valve, specifically the float, is not adjusted to high. It should cut out the water flow when filling about 1 inch below the overflow pipe that the flapper is attached to. The last place to look for the offending leak is the exterior of the bottom of the tank (this would be obvious as water would appear on the floor). The rubber washers that seal the tank to the bowl can deteriorate and crack as can the large washer that the flapper closes onto. The washer on the fill valve is on the exterior and one inside. Check with a flashlight for any water trails. One last place to check is the top of the fill valve were the float (if set up as such) is attached. If possible open the cap on the valve top and look for trapped debris that prevents the valve from closing fully.


I would vote on the flapper as being the culprit. 4-5 years is a long time for one little piece of rubber submerged in water to hold up. I would definitely replace the flapper first and see what happens it's certainly your cheapest option. Good luck!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.