Easy Steps on How to Stop an RV Toilet from Running

how to stop an rv toilet from running

If you’re experiencing a running toilet in your RV, don’t worry, it’s a common issue that can be easily fixed. In this guide, we will provide you with easy steps to stop an RV toilet from running. It’s important to understand the common issues with RV toilets so you can troubleshoot and fix the toilet effectively. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can save time and money by avoiding a visit from a professional.

Key Takeaways

  • RV toilet troubleshooting can be done easily with the right steps.
  • Understanding common issues with RV toilets is important to identify the source of the problem.
  • Regular maintenance can prevent future problems with your RV toilet.

Common Issues with RV Toilets

If you’re experiencing a running RV toilet, there are a few common issues that could be causing the problem. Understanding these issues can help you troubleshoot and fix the problem more effectively. Here are some of the most common issues with RV toilets:

Issue Description
Worn out flapper The flapper is a rubber seal that controls the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. Over time, the flapper can become worn out or damaged, causing it to not seal properly and allowing water to continuously flow into the bowl.
Broken flush valve The flush valve is responsible for releasing water from the tank into the bowl when you flush. If the valve is broken or damaged, it can cause a constant flow of water into the bowl.
Incorrect water level If the water level in the tank is too high or too low, it can cause a running toilet. This can be caused by a faulty float or float arm.
Leaking water Leaking water from the toilet can cause the tank to constantly refill and a running toilet. This can be caused by a faulty valve or connection in the water supply line.
Clogged toilet A clogged toilet can cause water to continuously run as the toilet tries to flush the blockage down. This can be caused by excessive toilet paper or other foreign objects in the bowl.

By understanding these common issues, you can begin to troubleshoot and fix your running RV toilet. In the next section, we will provide some troubleshooting tips to help you identify and fix the problem.

Troubleshooting Tips for an RV Toilet

If your RV toilet is running, it can be frustrating and wasteful. Luckily, with some troubleshooting tips, you can identify and fix the issue quickly. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Check the Water Level

The water level in your RV toilet may be too high or too low. Check the water level and adjust it as necessary. If it’s too high, lower it by adjusting the float arm. If it’s too low, adjust the water supply valve to let more water into the tank.

Step 2: Inspect the Flapper

The flapper is a rubber valve at the bottom of the toilet tank that controls the flow of water. If it’s worn out or damaged, it can cause the toilet to run. Inspect the flapper and replace it if necessary.

Step 3: Check the Seal

The seal between the toilet tank and bowl can also cause a running toilet. Check for any cracks or damage and replace the seal if needed.

Step 4: Look for Leaks

Check for leaks around the base of the toilet, the water supply valve, and the tank bolts. If there are any leaks, tighten the bolts, replace the gasket, or call a professional for assistance.

Step 5: Clean the Jets

Mineral deposits can clog the jets in your RV toilet, causing it to run. Clean the jets with a mixture of vinegar and water to remove any buildup.

Step 6: Adjust the Chain

The chain that connects the flapper to the flush handle can be too loose or too tight, causing the toilet to run. Adjust the chain as needed to ensure it has just the right amount of slack.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you can fix your running RV toilet and avoid wasting water and money. If the issue persists, it may be time to call in a professional for further assistance.

Tools and Materials Needed for RV Toilet Repair

Before starting any repair work on your RV toilet, it’s important to have the necessary tools and materials ready. This will make the process smoother and more efficient, ensuring that you can fix the problem quickly and effectively. Here’s a list of the essential tools and materials for RV toilet maintenance:

Tools Materials
Adjustable wrench Rubber gloves
Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers Toilet cleaning solution
Pliers Replacement flapper and seal
Teflon tape Replacement flush valve
Bucket or container Waterproof sealant
Flashlight Replacement float
Replacement water valve

Having these tools and materials on hand will ensure that you’re prepared for any RV toilet repairs that may be needed. Regular maintenance and quick repairs will help you avoid more significant problems in the future.

Step 1: Shut Off the Water Supply

When dealing with a running RV toilet, the first step is to shut off the water supply. Look for the water valve located behind the toilet and turn it clockwise until it is fully closed. This will prevent any water from flowing into the toilet and allow you to safely proceed with the repairs.

Remember, it is crucial to turn off the water supply before attempting any repairs on your RV toilet to avoid potential flooding or further damage to the toilet.

Step 2: Inspect the Flapper and Seal

The flapper and seal are integral components of an RV toilet. These parts are responsible for regulating the flow of water and ensuring the toilet tank fills up. Inspecting these parts is crucial in identifying the source of the problem of a running toilet.

Begin by removing the toilet tank lid carefully. The flapper is situated at the bottom of the tank, and you should be able to see it easily. Note that the flapper has a chain that connects it to the flush handle.

Flush the toilet and watch the flapper closely. If the flapper fails to close completely after the flush, the toilet will continue running water. Inspect the flapper to ensure it is clean, free of debris, and in good working condition. If it’s not in good condition, you will need to replace it.

Inspect the seal beneath the flapper for damage or wear. The seal is critical in ensuring that the flapper closes completely and prevents water from flowing into the bowl. If the seal is damaged or worn, you will need to replace it.

Note: Make sure the flapper chain has just enough slack to allow the flapper to close completely. If it’s too tight, it could prevent the flapper from closing, causing the toilet to run water.

Step 3: Adjust the Float and Water Level

The next step in fixing a running RV toilet is adjusting the float and water level. The float is a small device that sits on top of the water and controls when the toilet tank refills with water after a flush. If the float is improperly adjusted, the toilet may continue to run after the tank is full.

To adjust the float, locate the adjustment screw or clip on the float arm and move it up or down to the desired water level. The water level should be about one inch below the top of the overflow tube. If your RV toilet has a water level adjustment feature, use it to ensure the water level is correct.

If adjusting the float does not stop the toilet from running, there may be a problem with the fill valve. In this case, refer to step 4 for further instructions.

Step 4: Clean or Replace the Flush Valve

If adjusting the float and water level did not solve the problem, the issue may be with the flush valve. Over time, debris and mineral buildup can cause the valve to malfunction, resulting in a running toilet. To fix this, you will need to clean or replace the flush valve.

Note: Before proceeding with this step, ensure that you have shut off the water supply to the toilet.

Materials Needed: Clean cloth, adjustable wrench, pliers, masking tape, replacement flush valve (if necessary)

Step 1: Remove the tank lid and flush the toilet to drain the water from the tank.

Step 2: Locate the flush valve near the center of the tank and use an adjustable wrench or pliers to disconnect the water supply tube from the valve.

Step 3: Use a clean cloth to wipe away any debris or buildup around the valve.

Step 4: If cleaning the valve does not solve the issue, you may need to replace it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing a new flush valve.

Step 5: Reconnect the water supply tube and turn on the water supply.

Step 6: Test the toilet to ensure that the running has stopped.

If the toilet is still running after cleaning or replacing the flush valve, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Check for Leaks and Repair any Damage

Checking for leaks and repairing any damage is crucial to prevent your RV toilet from running. Even small leaks can lead to significant water waste and damage to your RV. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Inspect the base of the toilet for any signs of water leaks. Check for water stains or any discoloration on the floor around the toilet.
  2. If you find any leaks, turn off the water supply and disconnect the water line from the toilet tank to prevent further damage.
  3. Remove the toilet from the base to gain access to the water line and other components underneath.
  4. Inspect all the components for any signs of wear, cracks, or other damage.
  5. If you find any damage, repair or replace the affected components as needed.
  6. Reinstall the toilet and reconnect the water line. Turn on the water supply and check for any leaks.

It’s essential to ensure that the toilet is properly seated and sealed to prevent leaks. If you’re unsure about any steps or notice significant damage, it’s best to consult a professional plumber or RV service technician to avoid causing further damage.

Step 6: Test the Toilet and Adjust as Needed

After completing the previous steps, turn the water supply back on and test your RV toilet by flushing it a few times. Make sure the water level is appropriate and there are no leaks or running water. If the toilet is still running, don’t worry! There are a few more adjustments you can make.

Adjusting the Flapper and Chain

If the flapper and chain were the culprits, you may need to adjust them further. Check that the chain is not too short or too long, and adjust it accordingly. You want the flapper to fully close when the chain is at rest but not cause tension on the chain when it is lifted.

If the flapper itself is worn or damaged, you may need to replace it entirely. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific RV toilet model to ensure you purchase the correct flapper replacement.

Adjusting the Water Level and Float

If the water level is too high, it may be causing your RV toilet to run. Adjust the water level by turning the adjustment screw on the fill valve. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific RV toilet model for the correct adjustment position.

If the float is not properly adjusted, it can cause the RV toilet to run. Make sure the float is properly positioned and not rubbing against any other parts. Adjust the float so that it is not interfering with the operation of the fill valve.

Once you have made any necessary adjustments, test the toilet again. If it is still running, you may need to repeat the previous steps to ensure everything is in proper working order.

Remember, if at any point you feel uncomfortable making these adjustments or are unsure of what to do, seek professional help from a plumber or RV service technician.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent RV Toilet Issues

Regular maintenance is essential for preventing common RV toilet issues and keeping it in good working condition. Here are some maintenance tips to help you prevent your RV toilet from running:

  • Check the toilet seal for signs of wear and tear, and replace it if necessary.
  • Clean your RV toilet on a regular basis to prevent clogs and buildup of debris.
  • Use RV-friendly toilet paper to prevent clogs and damage to the sewer system.
  • Check the water pressure in your RV and adjust it if necessary to prevent damage to the toilet.
  • Inspect the toilet bowl and tank for cracks or leaks, and repair them immediately to prevent water waste and damage to your RV.
  • Ensure that the toilet flapper and seal are in good condition. Replace them if necessary to prevent water waste and a running toilet.
  • Regularly check the bolts and nuts that hold the toilet in place. Tighten them if necessary to prevent damage and leaks.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can prevent common RV toilet issues and ensure your toilet is in good working condition.

When to Seek Professional Help

While fixing an RV toilet may seem like a DIY job, there are instances where it’s best to seek professional help. If you find that you have followed the troubleshooting steps, but your toilet still won’t stop running, it may be an indication of a more significant issue.

For example, if your toilet’s water supply line or valve is damaged, it will require the help of a professional plumber to fix it. Additionally, if you notice any leaks or other damages that you are not comfortable fixing, it is best to seek assistance from a trained RV service technician.

Remember, attempting to fix complex issues without the proper knowledge or tools can result in further damage or costly repairs down the road. So, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable with a repair, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Additional Resources and Troubleshooting Guides

RV toilet repair can be a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with the inner workings of your toilet. Fortunately, there are many resources and troubleshooting guides available to help you tackle specific issues.

One such resource is the RV Repair Club, which offers expert advice and instructional videos on RV maintenance and repair. Their RV Toilet Troubleshooting video provides step-by-step guidance on identifying and fixing common toilet problems.

If you prefer written guides, check out the RV Geeks website. Their article on fixing a running RV toilet covers everything from diagnosing the issue to replacing parts and conducting regular maintenance.

For more general RV maintenance tips and advice, consider joining an online forum such as iRV2 or RV.net. These communities are a great place to connect with other RV enthusiasts and learn from their experiences.


By utilizing these troubleshooting guides and resources, you can become more confident in fixing your RV toilet and preventing issues from recurring. Remember, regular maintenance and addressing problems promptly can help extend the lifespan of your RV toilet and keep it working like new for years to come.


Congratulations! You now have the knowledge and tools to stop your RV toilet from running. Remember, troubleshooting and regular maintenance are key to keeping your toilet in good working condition.

By following the easy steps outlined in this guide, you can fix common issues with your RV toilet and prevent future problems. Start by shutting off the water supply, inspecting the flapper and seal, adjusting the float and water level, cleaning or replacing the flush valve, checking for leaks and repairing any damage, and testing the toilet.

Don’t forget to conduct regular maintenance to prevent your RV toilet from running. This includes cleaning your toilet regularly, using RV-friendly toilet paper, and checking for leaks or other issues. And if you encounter more complex problems, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a plumber or RV service technician.

For additional resources and troubleshooting guides, refer back to this article or search online for specific issues. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to keep your RV toilet running smoothly for years to come. Happy travels!


Q: How do I stop my RV toilet from running?

A: To stop an RV toilet from running, you can follow these steps:

Q: What are some common issues with RV toilets?

A: Some common issues that can cause an RV toilet to run include a faulty flapper or seal, a malfunctioning float, or a dirty or damaged flush valve.

Q: How can I troubleshoot an RV toilet?

A: To troubleshoot an RV toilet, you can follow these tips:
1. Shut off the water supply.
2. Inspect the flapper and seal.
3. Adjust the float and water level.
4. Clean or replace the flush valve.
5. Check for leaks and repair any damage.
6. Test the toilet and adjust as needed.

Q: What tools and materials do I need for RV toilet repair?

A: You will need basic tools such as pliers, a wrench, and a screwdriver, as well as replacement parts like a new flapper or flush valve.

Q: How do I shut off the water supply to my RV toilet?

A: To shut off the water supply, locate the shut-off valve near the toilet and turn it clockwise until it is fully closed.

Q: How do I inspect the flapper and seal of my RV toilet?

A: To inspect the flapper and seal, remove the toilet tank lid and visually check for any signs of wear or damage. Ensure that the flapper is properly seated and creates a tight seal when closed.

Q: How can I adjust the float and water level in my RV toilet?

A: To adjust the float and water level, locate the adjustment mechanism (typically a screw or slide) and make small adjustments until the desired water level is reached.

Q: How do I clean or replace the flush valve of my RV toilet?

A: Cleaning the flush valve can be done by removing any debris or buildup with a brush or cloth. If cleaning does not resolve the issue, replacement may be necessary. Consult your toilet’s manual or manufacturer for specific instructions on replacing the flush valve.

Q: What should I do if my RV toilet has leaks or other damage?

A: If your RV toilet has leaks or other damage, you should visually inspect the toilet and plumbing connections for any signs of leaks or cracks. Repair any damaged parts or replace them if necessary.

Q: How do I test my RV toilet after completing repairs?

A: To test your RV toilet, turn on the water supply and flush the toilet several times to ensure that it is functioning properly. Make any necessary adjustments to the float or water level if needed.

Q: What maintenance tips can help prevent RV toilet issues?

A: To prevent RV toilet issues, you should:
1. Regularly clean the toilet and tank.
2. Use RV-friendly toilet paper.
3. Avoid flushing foreign objects.
4. Conduct regular inspections for leaks or damage.
5. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance.

Q: When should I seek professional help with my RV toilet?

A: While many RV toilet issues can be resolved with DIY repairs, it may be necessary to seek professional help if you are unsure of how to proceed, if the issue persists despite your attempts to fix it, or if you encounter more complex problems that require specialized knowledge or tools.

Q: Are there additional resources or troubleshooting guides available?

A: Yes, there are additional resources and troubleshooting guides that can help you with specific RV toilet issues. These resources can provide further guidance or troubleshooting tips for more complex problems. Consult your toilet’s manual or manufacturer’s website, or search online for RV toilet repair guides.

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