If your kohler Toilet is running intermittently, you may be wondering why. After all, it is a waste of water. So, what can you do to fix it?

There are 2 issues that can cause your toilet to run nonstop. These include a leaking toilet tank due to an improperly set or damaged flapper/seal, or a broken toilet valve. Chiefly, kohler toilets suffer most often from the first, and to fix this, you need to fix the leak.

How A Kohler Toilet Works

A Kohler toilet works by having a lever lift an arm that pulls on a chain. The chain lifts up the flapper valve, thus allowing water into the tank to flush it. Then, the flapper valve drops back when the arm releases the chain allowing the toilet to refill

Why Is My Kohler Toilet Running Intermittently?

If your toilet is running intermittently, the problem is probably a leak in the toilet tank. The leak allows water to run into the toilet bowl even when the toilet hasn’t been flushed. The leak may occur due to a variety of causes.

Alternative reasons could be that the flapper is not sealing correctly or even a broken fill valve.

Testing For The Cause of the Problem

Before you go replacing everything in your toilet, it’s a good idea to run a simple test to try and determine the cause of your problem first.

To test for the cause of your problem, follow these steps:

  1. Refill: Flush the toilet and mark the water level inside the tank with a permanent marker
  2. Turn off the water supply. Turn the water supply screw behind your toilet clockwise to disable.
  3. Wait: Let the toilet set unused for at least 6 hours.
  4. Check your results. Compare them to this chart to find the cause.
The water level remained the same. No leak. Generally, this means the fill valve on the left side of the tank is stuck open and may need to be replaced or cleaned.
The water is at the level of the flapper. The flapper or seal is worn, and this is allowing water to leak into the bowl. The solution is to replace the flapper or the seal.
The water is completely gone. The gasket below your flush valve is broken, causing the water to leak into your flush valve. It will need to be replaced.
The water has only lowered a bit. The leak may not be able to be determined easily. However, it could be slight damage to the flush valve, so this should be replaced.

Testing for the Location of a Leak

You can run an easy test to determine if a toilet leak is the cause of your problem and, if so, where it is located.

  1. Take the lid off the toilet tank.
  2. Wait for the toilet to stop running.
  3. Add dark food coloring to the toilet tank.
  4. Watch where the coloring flows to determine the location of the leak.
  5. If your flapper is leaking, the first thing you should do is press down on the top of it. Use some food dye and see if it flows toward the flapper. If it doesn’t, then you just need to lengthen the chain holding your flapper.
  6. If the food dye keeps floating toward your flapper, you need to replace the flapper. 

Replacing the Flapper

To replace the flapper, follow these steps.

  1. Turn off the water. Turn the water supply clockwise to shut off the water.
  2. Drain the tank. Then, pull the flapper up to drain the water out of the tank.
  3. Remove the flapper. The flapper is fastened to the flush valve. There should be a hinge on either side of the flush valve holding the flapper or clamping it onto a ring. Simply pull it free from the hinges or slide it up and over the flush valve.
  4. Unlink the chain from the lifter arm. Typically, this is as easy as sliding the chain off of the lifter arm’s clip.
  5. Install the new flapper. Make sure the flapper is the same size and shape as the one you removed. Then, reverse the steps of disassembly. When you connect the chain, try to leave about three links of slack.

Fill Valve

Your fill valve is a simple mechanical device. The float is an air-filled pocket that rides on top of the water. When it reaches a certain level, it turns the water off. Whenever it is below level, it starts the water back up.

The float will typically look like either a cylinder around your fill valve, which is the long pole on the left, or it could be a plastic ball mounted on a horizontal pole. First, jiggle your float up and down; sometimes, this will break debris-free and fix the problem.

Fill Valve Replacement

Replacing the fill valve is not difficult and may solve the problem. When you choose a replacement, ensure that it will fit inside your toilet, especially if it is a generic variety. Now, follow these steps to replace your fill valve.

  1. Shut off your water supply. Turn the water supply screw clockwise until it stops. Now, unscrew the supply line from the bottom of the fill valve.
  2. Drain the tank. Flush the toilet to remove most of the water. However, you are completely removing the valve, which will allow the remaining water below the flush valve to drain out onto your floor. To catch this, you will need to position a bucket or towels under the fill valve’s lock nut to catch the rest of the water.
  3. Remove the fill valve. First, slip the refill hose off of the overflow tube. Now, unscrew the lock nut holding the fill valve onto the bottom of the tank.
  4. Install the new fill valve. Set the new fill valve to position the float about 1 inch above the top of the water. Now, screw the locknut snugly but not forcefully onto the base of the valve. Then, clip the refill hose onto the overflow tube.

Related Questions

How Do I Prevent Future Leaks?

The most common cause of premature leaking in toilets is simply drop-in toilet cleaning tablets. Generally, these include bleach and other corrosive cleaning chemicals that corrode the flapper and other seals. So, try to avoid using these or make sure they do not have harsh cleaners in them.

Why is My Flush Weak?

Your toilet’s flush is determined by how much the flapper is lifted. Generally, when you replace the flapper, the chain needs set a few times to figure out how much slack you want. To increase the strength of your flush, remove slack, and to weaken it, increase the slack.

Wrapping Up

If your Kohler toilet keeps running intermittently, there are only 2 things that can cause the problem. The toilet could be leaking into the bowl, or it may have a malfunctioning fill valve. Once you fix one or both of these problems, it pretty much has to fix your problem.