How to Calibrate Your Toilet
A running toilet is annoying. It can keep you awake at night with the sound of water draining if the toilet is near your bedroom. It's easy enough to calibrate your toilet and adjust the internal workings of the tank in a few minutes. Inside the toilet's tank, you'll find a float, a flapper and a chain that leads from the handle to the flapper. Any one of these items can be calibrated and readjusted to keep water inside the tank until you flush the handle.
1. Grab the toilet's tank lid firmly with both hands and lift it up from the top of the tank. Set it aside. The lid is slightly heavy so make sure you have a good grip on it.
2. Look inside the tank. Follow the chain to the flapper. Notice if the chain is caught underneath the flapper. If it is, you need to adjust the length of the chain. Pull the chain out from underneath the flapper. With the flapper closed, remove the chain from the end of the long rod attached to the handle at the top of the tank. Move the chain to a link further down the chain to shorten the chain's length.
3. Flush the toilet to ensure the chain does not catch underneath the flapper. Readjust if necessary.
4. Wait while the tank refills with water. As the tank fills, the float rises. Once it reaches the adjusted shutoff point, the water turns off. When the water continues to run and the chain is adjusted correctly, you need to calibrate the float.
5. Examine the toilet tank's float. Old-fashioned toilets have a float that sits atop the water horizontally attached to a metal arm. Newer tanks have a float at the left back of the toilet that rides vertically on a tube that also supplies water to the tank. To adjust the old-fashioned float, move to Step 6. For newer floats, skip to Step 7.
6. Adjust the rod on the old-fashioned float by adjusting the screw at the point where the armature attaches to the tank. Where there is no screw, adjust the float level by slightly bending the rod attached to the float. The idea is to lower the level at which the water shuts off. Flush the toilet to check the level at which the water shuts off. It may require several adjustments to get the water level where you want it.
7. Look for the adjustable clip on the side of the newer-style float. To the side of the float a lever from the top of the unit attaches to a vertical rod that runs down the side and away from the float. Look for a metal clip through which the rod runs. When squeezed, you can move the clip up or down to reposition the float. To decrease the amount of water in the tank, squeeze the clip on the rod between your fingers and move the float lower.
8. Flush the toilet again and wait while it fills. If the toilet is calibrated accurately, it will shut off and not leak.
Things You Will Need
? Rubber gloves, optional
If you find that your float is water-logged, you need to replace it. You can purchase float replacements inexpensively at any hardware or home improvement store. As most toilets use the same equipment inside. Adjusting the float to a lower setting also conserves water used when flushing the toilet.