What's up with these toilets!! Yes, quite comical!


Old 04-19-01, 03:13 PM
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Okay, here's the scoop:

My house (built 1998) has two bathrooms. In one, the toilet was spewing out water from under the tank lid. In the second, the water just continuously runs. I went to Home Depot and asked one of the plumbing guys what to do. (At least he acted like a plumbing guy - probably from paints with my luck.) Anyway, he immediately directed me to what I needed to solve my problems - he had absolutely no hesitations and said he was positive that he knew what I needed. Here's what he suggested that I do for the first toilet that was spewing water: - - he made suggestions for the second but I've yet to try my luck!!

I replaced the existing fill valve with a Fluidmaster Fill Valve - 400A. (Which, by the way, is no where near as simple as the box says!!!!! I disassembled the toilet per directions yet my bathroom floor still flooded - and yes the water was completely off and the tank was empty. Also, the drips appeared to be comming from around the pipe where it comes out of the wall and not from the top of the pipe that goes into the tank and then inside of the valve.)

The original had the ball floaty thing and this new one just has an arm with a piece of metal that you pinch to adjust the water level. It also has the refill tube and angle adapter that attaches to the overflow pipe. I verified the type of water supply connection per directions and continued to connect the valve. (I have metal spiral tubing.--I guess)

Are you laughing yet?

On my first try, I could not get the valve straight because the pipe was forcing it to the side of the tank and I could not get the lock nut tight enough. (Needless to say this was nearly a second flood when I turned the water on to test it.) On my second try, I ignored the directions where they state to "not tighten the lock nut or the coupling nut too tight", and I really tightened them down with a wrench. I then tested the water and no leaks. Well, I thought all was well but now it won't stop going on and off.

The only part of the valve thing that is touching the side of the tank is the very top and it simply 'brushes' the side so-to-speak. When I try to get the valve in straight, the metal pipe comes out of the little hole inside of the bottom of the valve and I think that's part of the reason it leaked the first time. The fact that it touches the side of the tank does not appear to be the issue. or does it?? (The black round thing or fill valve/float cup part of the valve that the arm connects to and moves up and down does not touch the side of the tank.)

Do I need to adjust the height of the valve by twisting the shank? Also, is it supposed to be so hard to twist it to adjust the height??

I lowered the metal thing to adjust the water level to below the 'water line' mark on the overflow pipe because the water was heading over the top of the pipe. Am I backwards here or what?

Do I need to replace the rubber flap thing? That's what the plumbing guy suggested for the second toilet that always runs.

Any suggestions on what I should do about this toilet before I attempt the second toilet????


Your help will be greatly appreciated!
Old 04-19-01, 10:55 PM
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Ohhh Sophie, nope I'm not laughing, I do understand life is one new adventure after another

Ok I will give you a rundown on your toilet with cont.running water, on-n-off:

Pls bear with me, I was trying to understand the situation as it stands:
The following are good basic "idears" what to do when your toilet is "off n running".....If you need any other specifics, pls write back

Float arm isn't rising high enough: bend the float arm down or away from tank wall (you may have to bend a lil more) gently play with it.

Tank stopper doesn't seat properly: yup this is where you may have to get a new stopper IF you adjust the stopper guide rod or chain and it doesn't work.

Cracked overflow tube: replace tube or new flush valve assembly (once in a GREAT while some people after doing a new assembly have a newly-cracked tube) so check this.

These are three of the most common problems, there are a couple more.

Do these first please and check back if you have more concerns, one of us will get back with you.

Hope I helped!

Old 04-20-01, 11:04 PM
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Sorry to make things worse, but the odds are pretty good that the source of the water coming from under the tank lid was just the refill tube popped out of where it was supposed to direct the water down to refill the toilet bowl. Unless the body of the valve was cracked and spraying out of the top of it, you probably didn't need to replace that valve assembly, putting the plastic tube back into it's holder would have done the job. You got given bad advice, most likely.

The flood on disassembly is common. There's a small amount of water that remains in both the bottom of the tank and inside the body of fill valve unless you go to a lot of effort (I use a small shop vac). Most people just put a large old towel down (it's generally less than a pint of water, it just looks like a lot spreading across a tile floor).

For a fluidmaster, sliding the float up and down it's guide rod is indeed the means of adjusting the waterlevel. As long as no moving parts are touching the tank walls, and nothing leaks, you should be fine.

It sounds like your supply line from the angle stop to the toilet is that semi flexible metal type, and may be a hair too long, or bent to the wrong angle. If it keeps giving you trouble, there are inexpensive, very easy to install, flexible tubes (they look like short lengths of reinforced water hose) that you can replace that line with.

A easy test of your flapper is to push down on it gently with a dowel or something similar. If the sound of water trickling down into the bowl stops, you probably need a new flapper. For the relative inexpense that they cost, it's worth it to replace them when any other work is being done in the toilet. You could well have knocked the flapper off of it's hinge hooks while you were struggling with the fluidmaster.

Plumbing parts instruction have a nasty tendency to assume bits of knowlege that are no longer common.
Old 04-21-01, 01:54 AM
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One more thing to add. Make sure that the fill tube and/or angle adapter does not stick down into the overflow tube too far, otherwise the water from the tank will siphon out causing your problem.

Old 04-24-01, 10:18 AM
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Thumbs up Sorry for the slow response...

I've had relatives in town and hadn't the chance to post a follow-up.

Awesome!! Each of you has taught me something new and different!!

Meadowraven - I'm going to take your suggestions and try each in the order that you've listed them. I'll let you know the outcome for my 'off and running' toilet...

MrRonFL - I hope that all of my frustration hasn't been unnecesary. I'm still trying to remember if the Home Depot guy had paint on his hands or not... I'm not sure where the water was coming from when it came from under the lid but it was on the left side of the tank. There wasn't a refill tube in there so ???? Do the valves with the floating ball at the end of the arm have refill tubes too?? They should, right? In regards to my flood, I did have the expected water that you've referred to but it also appeared to be coming from the supply line - where it comes out of the wall. It's not leaking now so maybe the water just dripped that far down.??? Cool, I can replace that stupid twisted-up, impossible to work with supply line! K, I'll double check the flapper...

Phil - You know, I almost dropped the angle adapter down the overflow tube! What would happen if I did that? Just checked it and it's hovering about 1/4 inch over the overflow tube. Thank you for the info...guess the water would continuously recirculate itself??

Okay - After I've printed and reviewed your comments again and then applied my new found knowledge, I'll hopefully reply with an 'all's well' I have learned a lot so even if I replaced the valve without needing to do so, I'll be better prepared when the time comes for my next toilet catastrophe!

You'll hear from me in the next couple of days...

Once again, thank you VERY much friends!!

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