Re: toilet runs occasionally
Flappers usually come with a ring to go around the overflow tube. However, some overflow tubes have built-in posts to hook the flapper onto. If you just slide the flapper with its own ring on, it can end up being placed too high and the flapper doesn't seat properly. If this is the case, remove the ring and attache the flapper to the built-in posts.
As for the water level in the tank, it needs to be at the proper level to provide adequate flushing. If there isn't a "water level" mark, it should be about 1" below the top of the overflow (unless the flapper seat and overflow were replaced without properly trimming the overflow). Placing a jar or brick in the tank may save water, but it can also negatively affect performance.
It probably wasn't a plumber that repaired the toilet, but the landowner's own maintenance person or handyman. At the prices plumbers charge, they probably would have been better off replacing the whole toilet than call a plumber several times to fix an old one!
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.