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Toilet Runs Every 5 Minutes: Here’s What To Do

Can’t sleep because of the noise of a running toilet? We get you, buddy. 

That’s not all, the leaking toilet can get out of hand and make things worse.

So what to do when the toilet runs every 5 minutes?

Start by troubleshooting the toilet flapper. It can get damaged easily. You might have to change the flapper chain length to fix the issue. It could also be an overflowing tank or a bad fill valve that can lead to a water overflow. If you find nothing, then look for a faulty float ball.

These were just the starters. Dive into our segment for a well-crafted solution on running water in the toilet.

We hope that you’ll be able to take control if your.

Toilet Running Every 5 minutes: 5 Reasons & Solutions

For a running toilet, it’s ideal to detect the problem and fix it quickly. So, here are 5 common problems that cause your toilet to run even when not in use and their easy solutions.

Problem1 of 5: Faulty Flapper

The most common reason behind a running toilet is probably a faulty toilet flapper.  A flapper is a piece of rubber that sits on the flush valve. It seals the water in the tank. 

However, it’s pretty easy for a flapper to go bad.  For example, pouring hot water from the heater can take it out of order.

A bad flapper will not seal water. As a result, water continues to leak. This in turn leaks water into the toilet bowl, keeping you awake all night by its sound.

But how to actually test if the flapper went bad? Push the flapper down and wait for the dripping sound to go off. If the sound stops, that’s your cue. 


A cracked flapper needs to be replaced immediately. Now, how to do that?

Begin by turning off the water supply. You can do that by shutting off the valve clockwise. Flush the toilet to allow the water to go away. Once the tank is dry, install a new flapper into the toilet tank. 

By the way, for your convenience, we’ve included our top choices of toilet flappers down below:

Problem 2 of 5: Long Flapper Chains

Not the flapper causing the leak? Well, it could be its chains. The flapper chain, connected to the toilet handle can get caught between the flapper and valve. As a result, the flapper stops sealing water in the tank. 


To avoid the chain draping over the flapper when it sits on the flush valve, use a shorter chain. Or you can shorten the chain by shifting the chain clip to the handle leaving about half an inch of gap. 

Caution: Don’t shorten the chain so much that the flapper stops sealing the water completely. 

Problem 3 of 5: Tank Overflowing With Water

If you hear dripping water from your tank, it’s probably because of the high water level of the tank. 

A higher water level in the tank basically means the water will leak and run. So you see how overflowing water in the toilet can cause havoc just like a furnace overheating could ruin the furnace.


You just need to know the right level of water you should fill in the tank. The rule of thumb is to fill your tank by ½ – 1 inch below the overflow pipe. Similar to the gap between a slab and foundation wall.  

Take out all the water. Now, use a marker to mark the ideal water level on the overflow pipe.

Now you can change the water of your tank according to the ideal level. You can do that by adjusting the float on the valve. Just remember that raising the float will raise the water level in the tank and vice versa.

Problem 4 of 5: Bad Fill Valves

If you still find your toilet runs every so often, check the fill valves in the tank. They may be leaking causing water to leak as well. 

To check for the leak, you’ll need to flush the toilet. You want to lift up the float arm to check if the water has stopped. If the water doesn’t stop, replace the valve.


Replacing a fill valve can be tricky but we’ll guide you through the process. Cease the water supply first. Now flush the toilet and remove excess water using a sponge.

Once that is done, unscrew the locknut to the fill valve and take it out. It’s time to install a new fill valve. Now connect the fill tube to the fill valve. 

Now, you have a new valve!

Problem 5 of 5: Faulty Float Ball

Toilet tanks contain a float ball that is connected to the float arm. This plastic-like balloon can be the reason why your toilet water runs every 5 minutes.

As the tank overflows when you flush, the float ball rises to a certain level to indicate it’s time to stop. Now, there could be two different problems arising here.

The float ball may be rubbing against the side of the tank. This causes the float ball to lower down so much that it can’t stop the water from running.

Now, the second is a cracked ball, which fills up with water and sinks down. This in turn makes the water go down the overflow tube, causing the dripping noise.

In some cases, you might need to take care of the toilet outlet pipe seal to avoid losing excessive water. 


Bend the float arm slightly to move the ball away from the tank to avoid contact.

For a cracked ball, get rid of it once you buy a new one. And your toilet will be working fine!


Is a running toilet an emergency?

No, a running toilet is not an emergency but it results in wastage of about 2 gallons of water per minute. 

Can a running toilet increase your water bill?

Yes, a running toilet is a major reason behind the high water bill as it wastes about 200 gallons of water every day.

What is ghost flushing?

Ghost flushing refers to water leaking over a long period of time. This creates a flushing noise when the water level gets too low.


That’s all from our side. A leaking toilet can get pretty bad if it’s not handled right away. So it’s better to know the hacks for fixing your toilet, instead of waiting for the plumber.

We hope that you’ll be able to take control if your toilet runs every 5 minutes now.