How To Fix A Running Toilet & Tap

Is your toilet running? Well you better go catch it!

All jokes aside you really should get your leaky toilet fixed asap. If you’re a home owner, having leaky pipes can end up costing you BIG TIME when the water bill arrives and can lead to damage in other sections of your home. Not to mention, we live in a fairly drought prone country here in Australia so do your part not to waste water!

We’ve put together an easy to follow, step by step guide with the help of master toilet plumbers LJM Plumbing and Drainage that covers all the basics on how to stop your toilet running. If you’re still having problems after making it through our check list, then it might be time to call in a professional plumber to take a look at your toilet problem.

GOT A LEAKY LOO? THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DOtightening toilet float arm

  1. Beside the pan of the toilet, turn the water tap off.
  2. Remove all water from the cistern by flushing.
  3. Lift off the lid of the cistern or unscrew the button on top to remove the lid.
  4. Make sure your water tap beside the pan is turned off.
  5. Look for the cistern outlet valve, this is located inside the cistern in the centre.
  6. Look at the cistern outlet valve to see what the problem is.
  7. You may need to remove the worn washers and replace them.
  8. Or you may need to install a new cistern outlet kit, these are available at Plumbing supply outlets.
  9. There are nuts under the cistern which you will need to undo. Make sure you have a bucket and sponge ready to catch or mop up any water that comes out.
  10. If the cistern outlet kit needs replacing, write down the model number and brand of your toilet and take it along with the old cistern kit to the plumbing suppliers. Do this even if you are unsure as to whether the washers need replacing or the whole cistern kit needs replacing, they will be able to advise you.
  11. When you have bought all the necessary parts, you will be able to reassemble your loo.
  12. Move the cistern outlet valve back to where it was positioned, tighten the nuts underneath.
  13. Replace your cistern lid, screwing the button back on if it was removed.
  14. Don’t forget to turn your water on again.

fixing toilet float


Drip, drip drip – very annoying; water gushing out where the spindle screws into the head of the tap fitting; or water coming out the fitting of the tap to the sink. If this is what’s occurring when you use your faucet, follow the instruction guide below and see if you can fix that sink.

accessing rubber washer leaking tap

  1. Assemble your tools, multi-grips, adjustable spanner, needle nose pliers, O rings, tap washers, and lubricant.
  2. Prevent the water from running into your house, by turning off the water at the water main which is usually in your front yard. Check the water is off by turning on some taps around the house.
  3. If the water has not stopped running, give a Plumber a call, the mains tap may be old and rusty.
  4. Once you have checked the water is not running, unscrew the head nut on the tap.
  5. Replace all three washers at this time to save having to just replace another single washer in the future.
  6. To do this, lift off the orange body washer which is located around the head nut.
  7. Very important – before you replace all washers and O rings, make sure your spindle and threaded areas are lubricated with a silicon lubricator or Vaseline.
  8. Change the O ring on the spindle, to do this get your needle nose pliers and with the help of a sharp knife (if necessary) remove the O ring. Replace it with the new O ring by giving it a bit of a stretch and guide it on the spindle.replacing inner washer on leaky tap
  9. To replace the tap washer, slide the old washer out off the spindle or if it is a bit hard to get out of the body of the tap, use small pliers to ease the washer out.
  10. Once your tap is reassembled, turn it on half way.
  11. Then turn the water main back on.
  12. When turning off your tap that has had the washers replaced turn it off gently so as not to damage the tap seat. It only needs to be turned until the water doesn’t come out. No need to tighten your tap, this will cause damage.
  13. If your tap will not stop flowing after you have done all this, please call your Plumber

So There you have it, some simple step by step instructions for all of our architect and engineer readers who are looking to do some plumbing work around the house. Always remember to turn your water off and if in doubt, call a professional!