How to Stop a Running Urinal

Urinals are of course great inventions, especially for men. They are great because they tend to save a lot of water when compared to an average toilet, a whole lot of water in fact. That being said, they are not without their problems, and sometimes they malfunction. Things can break or wear down.

One of the most common issues that you may be faced with when it comes to an aging urinal is that it keeps running. Of course, if it does so, you aren’t going to save money on water. Probably the exact opposite, in fact. To prevent your urinal from wasting water and money, let’s identify the possible causes of the issue, as well as all of the possible solutions.

4 Reasons Why Your Urinal Keeps Running (and Solutions)

There are four likely and potential reasons. This includes issues with either the manual or the automatic flushometer, issues with the diaphragm, and issues with the flow regulator. Let’s take a quick look at each of the problems and what to do about it.

#1: Issues with the Manual Flushometer (Handle Is Stuck)

Urinal Flush Handle If the urinal in question is an old-school one, or in other words, if it is one that has an actual handle that you need to pull down on to flush, then this could very well be the issue. In other words, the issue may lie with the manual flushometer. In simplest terms the handle could be stuck, thus causing water to continuously flow through the valve. If this is the issue, then you will need to rebuild the flush handle.

Follow the steps as outlined below in order to fix this issue:

  1. First things first, you do want to shut off the water supply. Use the appropriate screwdriver and turn the shutoff valve in a clockwise direction.
  2. With a wrench, loosen the nut on the handle until you use your hand to remove the handle.
  3. Using a smaller wrench, loosen the nut on the inside of the handle, which will remove the handle assembly from the interior.
  4. You will now need to have a handle kit for your urinal, the exact handle kit that your model requires.
  5. Screw it into place with your hands, and then tighten it with the wrench.
  6. Put the handle assembly back in place, tighten the nut with your wrench, and then turn the water back on.

2. Issues with the Automatic Flushometer (Dirty Sensor)

Urinal Motion Sensor If you have a newer urinal, then chances are that you have one that has an automatic flushometer. In other words, this is a flushometer that uses a motion sensor in order to cause the urinal to flush. Of course, as is the case with many electronics, they can break. If you notice that the sensor seems to cause an issue, then the automatic flushometer is likely the cause of your running urinal.

In order to fix your automatic flushometer, follow the steps as outlined below:

  1. First, you want to test to see if the reason why your urinal keeps running is that there is a lot of dirt on the sensor. Dirt on the sensor will make the sensor think that there is somebody there, and therefore cause it to flush. So, just clean off the sensor to see if this solves the issue. If this does not work, then move on to the next step.
  2. The issue may be that the battery in the sensor is dead. Push the button on top of the urinal to see if the sensor displays any kind of light. If there is no light, then the battery is to blame. Whether it is the battery or not, you will now need to move on to the next step.
  3. Make sure to first turn off the water. Once again, this will usually involve using a screwdriver to screw the water valve shut.
  4. You will now need to use the appropriate hex wrench to remove the cover from the sensor. Remove the cover and then disconnect the sensor module, unscrew the battery flap, and check for leaks.
  5. Put in new batteries, replace the cover, and plug in the unit. There should now be a flashing light. If there is a light, you should be good to go, but if not, then it could be the solenoid that is the issue.
  6. Unscrew and remove the solenoid. Check inside and remove everything stuck inside.
  7. Insert a new solenoid, and then plug it into the sensor. Once this has been done, if there is still no flashing light, you will need to replace the sensor as a whole.
  8. You simply have to buy a new sensor module and connect it, then replace the cover, and tighten the screws. You should now see a red light flashing.

3. Issues with the Diaphragm

Urinal Diaphragm If it’s not the automatic flush valve or the manual flush mount that is the problem, then the next likely issue is the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a small component that moves up and down, and it allows water to flush down into the urinal. The diaphragm could be broken or there could be debris in the way that is stopping it from shutting completely.

Follow the steps as outlined below to solve this issue:

  1. You do of course want to first shut off the water going into the urinal, and if possible, also shut off the secondary water valve right on the urinal. Either way, you want to turn off the water.
  2. Locate the flush head cap, and then use the appropriate wrench to remove it. In order to prevent damage from occurring, you can put a towel in between the wrench and the flush head cap. You might notice some water coming out. This is totally normal.
  3. You now want to remove the cap and the diaphragm, as well as the relief valve. you want to see if any of these are damaged or if there is any debris in the way. If there is any debris in the way, clean it off, and then reassemble it.
  4. However, if debris is not the issue, but rather something is broken, then you will have to replace any damaged parts.
  5. You can now turn the water back on to see if the issue has been fixed.

4. Issues with the Flow Regulator

The other issue here could be with the flow regulator.

If the flow regulator is open too much, it may not be able to close all of the way in which case water will continue running. If this is the case, simply use a screwdriver to close the flow regulator a little bit.

On the other hand, if the flow is set too low, the water pressure in the pipes may build to the point where it forces the mechanism open to let water through and to relieve pressure. If this is the case, then you need to open up the flow regulator a little bit.

What to Do If None of the Above Works?

If none of the above worked, then your only viable option left is to call a plumber and have them fix it for you.

How to Stop a Running Urinal

Summary

There you have it folks, all of the possible reasons why your journal is running. In all reality, you should be able to fix it on your own. With that being said, if you are not comfortable with plumbing, you may want to hire a professional for assistance.