How to Fix a Running Toilet Without a Ball Float

The sound of a running toilet can be one of the most irritating sounds in your home. What’s worse, it can drive up your utility bills, as your water expenditure will be much higher with a constantly running toilet.

If you want to fix your running toilet, you will first have to identify the source of the problem.

First, lift the tank lid up. If you haven’t been lifting toilet tank lids in a while, you may be surprised to discover that your modern toilet doesn’t have a ball float. Most modern toilets use a fill valve to regulate water flow instead of a ball float.

Now, seeing the ball float may be the last memory you have of the inside of the toilet tank, so what are you supposed to do? How to fix a running toilet without a ball float?

In this article, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions so that you can finally sleep peacefully at night.

The Valve

When dealing with a running toilet that doesn’t have a floating ball, the first thing you should focus on is the valve.

The valve is commonly positioned on the left side of the tank and works with a filling tube that makes sure the tank refills after flushing. It can have different floats attached to regulate water pressure and prevent the tank from overflowing.

You probably need to replace the valve parts or the entire assembly if your toilet keeps running.

How to Replace the Valve

Replacing a valve may be necessary to keep your tank and draining system healthy. Plumbers recommend replacing the valve every 5 to 7 years to prolong the life of your tank, keep your toilet flushing properly, and reduce other possible malfunctions that may occur due to a broken valve.

New valves are not expensive to buy. You can find one in your local hardware store or, if you prefer online shopping, from Amazon or another online marketplace.

You will need to purchase a repair kit, a refill tube, a lock, and a gasket. You’ll also need a container and a tractable wrench in order to remove the old valve.

Before you start, shut off the water supply. Then, flush the tank thoroughly to empty it to make sure that neither you nor your bathroom is covered in toilet tank water.

Break the Base of the Old Valve

Once you remove the old valve, take a good look at it and its base. If there is no big damage, that’s good, as it means that the replacement will be easy. You should be able to reach the base and pull the valve’s tube with no trouble. When you’ve got your hand in the base, pull the tube. If you’re unsuccessful after a few trials, you’ll need to use a hammer or a screwdriver to remove it.

Put the New Valve In

Now that the old valve and the valve base are out, the new valve is ready to take its place. The new valve should have a similar foundation to the old one.

You need to push the new valve down to the base of the tank. When it reaches the base properly, you need to lock the ring of the valve. This part of the procedure is very important, as it ensures that the valve is not loosely attached and that it works properly (ensuring refilling of the tank without overflowing it). The lock should also be secured, as you have to attach a replacement tube to the tube for overflow.

While setting up a new valve, locking its ring, and attaching the tubes, it’s crucial to adjust the water level. If you set it up too high, you risk tank overflow, while setting it too low may result in not having enough water in the tank for proper flushing.

You will need to let the water flow and observe the levels in the tank.

Check if New Valve is Working

The final touch, of course, is to check whether your implementation is working. If something’s off, it’s best to fix it while you are already on it.

First, let the main faucet run. Then, check whether the flush is working the way it should or not.

What do you do if the new fill valve doesn’t fix your running toilet?

Well, here is some bad news: if this happens, you need to remove and replace the whole valve unit. Although this is a pain since you need to go through the whole procedure all over again, at least it’s fairly easy.

Replace the Valve Unit

In order to change the complete unit of valves, you first need to make sure that the tank is empty. As described early, that means shutting off the water and then flushing the tank. If you see any residual water inside the tank after flushing, you can pick it up with a sponge or mop. It is also recommended that you place a small bin underneath the pitch for the water supply so that no excess water ends up on your bathroom floor.

Then, place your hand on the base of the tank and remove the screw with an adjustable wrench.

That’s basically all you need to do to remove the complete assembly. You can throw the whole thing out, as no parts can be reused.

Then, take the new unit and put it in place by screwing the new assembly onto the pipe. Make sure to adjust the height properly to match the tank and overflow tube height. Also, ensure that the screws are tight so that everything holds in place.

Finally, let the water flow in again and fill up the tank. Flush to see if everything is working properly.

If you notice some issues again or the water is still running, the cause may be more complicated, and you may require professional help. If that’s the case, we recommend you stop trying to fix it yourself and contact a professional plumber.


Most modern toilets no longer rely on ball floats as their main overflow-preventing mechanisms.

Fixing a running toilet without a ball float is fairly simple and doesn’t require any special tools or gear that most households don’t already have.

All it takes to fix a running toilet is removing the old valve and its base and attaching a new one. If that doesn’t work, you will probably need to replace the whole assembly. Luckily, this won’t take more than one hour of dedicated work.

For a visual explanation of how to fix a running toilet without a ball float, check out this helpful YouTube video.

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