Intermittently running toilet

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-08-13, 07:16 PM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Intermittently running toilet

Hello,

I recently moved into a house and one of the toilets is quite old. Recently, I noticed that the toilet would run for a few seconds and then stop. At first, this was noticeable perhaps a few times a day but as of late the issue became more frequent.

The first thing I did was go to home depot and replaced the flapper valve figuring the old one was probably corroded and leak but this did not solve the problem.

I figured that perhaps the overflow valve/plastic seating assembly that the flapper rests on may have been worn so I went back to home depot, purchased a replacement (which came with yet another new flapper) and replaced the whole assembly including adding in a new Fluidmaster fill valve. The problem still did not go away!

I now have essentially new guts in an old toilet and a slow leak from the tank to the bowl still seems to persist.

Any ideas on what else I can do? One area of suspicion I have is that the overall water level seems lower than where the water staining in the bowl indicate it was before -- I think the overflow valve height and refill valve are shorter than whatever ancient equipment was in there before. I've read that either too little water in the tank or too much can cause a leak in the flapper. Any suggestions on other avenues of repair to try?

thanks!
Ed
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-08-13, 07:51 PM
bigfred's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 418
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Make sure the flapper chain is not holding it slightly open.

Make sure the refill tube is positioned properly on the overflow pipe. If too low in pipe this can cause the problem.

Put a drop of food coloring in your tank. If the flapper is leaking, it will color the water in the toilet.

Never had a problem with water level in tank causing flapper to leak.
 
  #3  
Old 12-08-13, 11:57 PM
H
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,446
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Turn the water off and wipe the flapper valve with a paper towel or whatever you have handy at the time. Sometimes a tiny amount of grit can find its way onto the flapper and keep it from seating properly. Once the flapper is back on it should take care of the problem.

You are right by the way about water volume in the toilet the flapper has to have enough water to do its job but not too much. As to the right amount that takes experience to get it right the first time or patience as each toilet is different.
 
  #4  
Old 12-09-13, 09:08 AM
Z
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,058
Received 9 Votes on 9 Posts
hi es -

I'm no plumber, just a newbie.

...I think the overflow valve height and refill valve are shorter than whatever ancient equipment was in there before...
I think there should be a water-line etched by the manufacturer inside your toilet tank . Your system is supposed to be adjusted to allow water to fill to that line in the tank. In other words it is that water line that dictates the setting for the fill valve and the height of the overflow tube.

Pretty sure that's the way it's supposed to work.

p.s. my experience is same as bigfred, never had (as far as I know) water level causing problem with flapper leaks. But could it?
 
  #5  
Old 12-09-13, 01:03 PM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,376
Received 9 Votes on 7 Posts
The chain should have some slack in it when in the closed position. Too tight and it will pull the flapper to one side as it tries to seat itself after the flush.

If I follow you correctly, you pulled the tank off and replaced the complete fill tube/flapper assembly and then re-installed the tank. Is this correct?
 
  #6  
Old 12-10-13, 11:41 AM
E
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
fixed

Thanks everyone for the ideas. In the end I ended up wiping down the flapper and (per the suggestion of a friend) putting a little vaseline on it to help the seal. That seemed to do the trick! Still not sure why this is necessary given that it was a brand new flapper and seat....
 
  #7  
Old 12-10-13, 12:45 PM
bigfred's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 418
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Great, glad you got it fixed, and appreciate you letting up know. I never heard of putting vaseline on the flapper, but hey, what works, works.
 
  #8  
Old 12-10-13, 06:13 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,535
Received 64 Votes on 55 Posts
Still not sure why this is necessary given that it was a brand new flapper and seat....
All flappers are not created equal. Korky is the brand I have had the best luck with.

Korky 2 in. Toilet Tank Flapper-54CM at The Home Depot
 
  #9  
Old 12-10-13, 06:26 PM
H
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2,446
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I am not sure why it worked either but glad you wiped the flapper. I have heard that advice on tv and from plumber friends. As for flappers each toilet is different and what works in one toilet might not work as well as in another toilet it just depends.

You probably too don't need quite as much water with the new valve versus the old valve but it also might not flush as well unless you try to get in more water. Again something you have to experiment with or what comes natural to experienced plumbers. Anyway glad it works well and I hope it continues to work well.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: