Water Running into overflow tube?

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  #1  
Old 10-17-08, 08:43 AM
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Water Running into overflow tube?

So I have this problem with my toilet. It keeps running no matter what. I have no plumming experience, so bare with me.

I believe one issue is the water is running into the overflow tube here. I can clearly see this if I take the top off and look in. I took some water out of it, quickly, to where it below the top of the overflow tube and that cleared it up, mostly (until it refilled, of course), so that is the main issue. But also, when I took the water out and water wasn't running into this tube, it still made a slight noise, like water running, perhaps. So there may be another issue as well.

Is there an easy way to fix this? I took a few photos of my set up, which I doubt is the current technology (I don't think the toilet was replaced before we bought this place and the house is now 20 years old - but I could be wrong!)

The toilet brand is Mansfield.

I'm not sure what else to say - I have a do-it-yourself book that says to bend the float arm, but 1) I don't have a float and 2) the arm that connects the flush handle to the overflow tube is very, very hard plastic and I don't think bendable. I am pretty sure the tank ball is seated to the valve seat pretty well and I don't see anywhere else I can adjust height of things....

Any pointers would be great!



 
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  #2  
Old 10-17-08, 08:48 AM
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Squeeze the little metal tab that attaches the moving black float to the arm attached to the lever on top of the fill valve on the left. Slide the float down a bit so the water level is lower.
 
  #3  
Old 10-17-08, 09:24 AM
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GG is right.There is a spring steel clip that allows you to adjust the float on the ballcock to adjust the water level.

FYI:

Since you aren't "knowledgeable" and seek to maintain the toilet yourself.

Your toilet is a Mansfield.That overflow assembly is unique to the brand.If it ever starts "running by itself" so that it runs and cuts off over and over it is because that large gasket at the bottom of the overflow needs to be replaced.That is the "ball/flapper" for that unit.There are two versions of the gasket that have been used over the years and you'd need the right one.The cap at the top screws off and that whole big peice can be lifted off to replace the gasket which stretches on to the bottom.

The flush lever is also unique to that brand and they are commonly plastic.they break fairly often.If yours breaks you must use a Mansfield lever.So called universal levers will not work.

The ballcock in your toilet appears to be a Fluidmaster.Someone replaced the original Mansfield (and did you a favor doing that).If the Fluidmaster ever begins to act up and not function properly,there is a black gasket like item under the black cap at the top of the unit.All Fluidmasters use the same peice,though it is located in different places in different models.It is available pretty much anywhere that sells hardware or plumbing.It can only be installed one way and is the only replaceable part in a Fluidmaster.You turn that cap about a quarter of a turn or so and it will lift open.Some are attached and hinge and some completely lift off.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 09:33 AM
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Update - I squeezed the metal clip and moved it down towards the bottom of that rod..so that made the ballcock lower. SO when I flushed and it re-filled, it initially stopped a good inch below the top of the overflow. Thought that problem was solved (which maybe that part of it is). But, I did notice what sounded like water running, albeit a lighter flow. And eventually after a few minutes, the water level did rise up to the point where it started overflowing into the tube again.

I tried to see if there was any obstruction between the tank ball and valve seat (it's what my book calls it!). I used a qtip to feel around down there and noticed that if I touch the very bottom, where the black ring part is (on the valve seat?) - it pretty much disintegrates.

Any other ideas?
 
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Old 10-17-08, 09:34 AM
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I forgot to say...an easy test to see if the float height is the problem is to just lift slightly on it or the lever at the top.

If you still hear the water running sound, you would need to repair or replace the fill valve as spdavid has explained.
 
  #6  
Old 10-17-08, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by spdavid View Post
If it ever starts "running by itself" so that it runs and cuts off over and over it is because that large gasket at the bottom of the overflow needs to be replaced.That is the "ball/flapper" for that unit.There are two versions of the gasket that have been used over the years and you'd need the right one.The cap at the top screws off and that whole big peice can be lifted off to replace the gasket which stretches on to the bottom.
Would this be the next logical part to replace? Or is it fixable?
 
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Old 10-17-08, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
I forgot to say...an easy test to see if the float height is the problem is to just lift slightly on it or the lever at the top.

If you still hear the water running sound, you would need to repair or replace the fill valve as spdavid has explained.
Interesting. If I lift up on the black float and then let it down and take my hand out, all noises stop for about 5 seconds, and then resume.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 09:42 AM
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oops you posted as I did.

Well, the gaskets on the "flush valve/mechanism" get pretty nasty over time. When you take them off it's a good idea to use a rag or papertowel, cause the black stuff is not easy to wash off. The newer gaskets are better in this regard.

But if your tank is filling, the flush valve gasket isn't the problem. That would cause the water level to drop over time, then fill back up, then drop again...etc etc.

It's the fill valve. Couple of bucks or less for the part spdavid mentioned, or about $7 for the whole assembly. Replacing the part is easiest, but may not fix the problem...most times it does, but not always. Either way, turn the water supply off before any disassembly.

EDIT IIRC the gasket under the cap can get hard or crusted with mineral deposits, it just won't quite seal under pressure from the float alone.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 09:50 AM
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Ok, please remind me (using the very bottom picture). The left part (w/ black top and ballcock?) is the fill valve (Fluidmaster)? and the white part (left) is the flush valve?

So, based on what's said, do I need to replace the only replaceable part on the fill valve or do I need to replace the ball/flapper gasket?

The tank fills up to the point the fill valve lets it, but then eventually keeps rising. The tank is not filling up, then emptying, and then repeating...
 
  #10  
Old 10-17-08, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
EDIT IIRC the gasket under the cap can get hard or crusted with mineral deposits, it just won't quite seal under pressure from the float alone.
Ok, sounds like the fill valve is what I need to fix. So given your edit, is that part replaceable or do I need to replace the whole unit? I tried to remove the cap earlier, but was unsuccessful (this is before spdavid explained how).
 
  #11  
Old 10-17-08, 10:02 AM
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Yep...you have it..well mostly. The item on the left is the fill valve or in this case Fluidmaster fill valve. Some fill valves look different but do the same thing.

The white part on the right is the flush valve/assenbly and integrated overflow. For this toilet ONLY, eliminate the words ballcock and flapper from your vocabulary...lol. You have parts that do the same thing, but they are called different things.

Yes, as I said before, if the water level is only rising and spilling over into the overflow, you will need the gasket that goes under the cap in the fill valve or an entire new fill valve. Its up to you which you want to try.

The complete fill valve WILL fix the problem, but its a bit tougher to install, and you may find other problems (the water cutoff valve or the water connection line, for instance). The gasket under the cap SHOULD fix the problem and is quick and easy.
 
  #12  
Old 10-17-08, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Yeliminate the words ballcock and flapper from your vocabulary...lol.
I have nooooo problem with that! So, I think I follow now. I'll see if my local place has the part.

Thanks for your help!
 
  #13  
Old 10-17-08, 12:38 PM
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Ok, so I got a new fill valve seal. The one I replaced looked fine enough, but I thought since I bought one, let's throw it in and see if that does it. No dice. Still does the same thing.

There is a new noise though now, after the tank initially fills up and stops below the overflow, instead of the trickling water noise, it's more of a (light) rushing water noise...until it fills the tank up enough to start the original problem over again.

Any ideas?

PS - yes, I'm pretty confident I got the new seal in correctly.
 
  #14  
Old 10-17-08, 12:48 PM
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Well, I never replaced just the seal, I figured I may as well replace the whole thing. As spdavid said, thats the only part that IS replaceable...soooo...yer pretty much at the whole assembly replacement....sorry, but thats the way DIY goes sometimes. A plumber would have just replaced the whole thing and charged you $125 or so, so yer still ahead of the game.

One thing I thought about...is this the only toilet in the house?Have you noticed increased water pressure anywhere? Are you on city water or a well? There COULD be a pressure problem that is overcoming the fill valve.

Since you have a camera (nice initial pic's by BTW, TY), could you post a pic or 2 of the water cutoff and water line before you go any further?
 
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Old 10-17-08, 01:02 PM
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Well, you DID say to try that first I saw lots of parts on FluidMaster's site though...maybe there are just different versions of the fill valve?

I actually impressed my wife with plummer-speak when I was explaining all this to her - so, thanks! She said I sounded intelligent. Anyhow, those pics were with her cell-phone camera.

Anyway, I can take more pictures...about the water cutoff and waterline. Do you mean where I've adjusted it where it's supposed to stop, and then where it currently goes after?

As for water pressure, we are on city water, have 2 toilets and have not noticed any increased water pressure.
 
  #16  
Old 10-17-08, 02:10 PM
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I think he's referring to the valve and supply line under the toilet.

Regardless,if you're now at a point of replacing the fluidmaster you should also replace the supply line as they almost never reseal.If it's by chance a reinforced hose or stainless steel hose type your odds go up for a reseal and you might chance it.If it isn't that type that is the type you should get as a replacement.

Also pay attention to that supply valve underneath and see if it actually completely shuts off and there are no leaks around the handle etc as they do wear out and if so should be replaced as most are not repairable.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 02:24 PM
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Yep, everything spdavid said.

btw..yer wife said you sounded intelligent about plumbing. I see diamonds in yer future.....thats what happens here...lol.
 
  #18  
Old 10-17-08, 02:43 PM
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Yeah, but now I think I'm a bit more over my head than the light tinkering I was doing today.
 
  #19  
Old 10-17-08, 04:02 PM
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It's really not that hard to do if the valve underneath is ok.turn off the water and flush the toilet to empty it,The fluidmaster is held in the tank by a plastic nut,the supply line ties into it with a plastic nut and at the bottom the supply line screws onto the valve with a nut.then the new unit will fit into the tank with a gasket and plastic nut and the new supply line will have both nuts and gaskets made onto it so you screw it on and you're done.Readjust as with the old unit.
 
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Old 10-17-08, 04:18 PM
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And if you decide to do it...(you should, its not that big a deal as long as the valve shuts off the water), the step by step instructions are right on the box. And we'll be here for ya.
And you will impress your wife so much, you might be able to get away with cubic zirconiums...lol.

Just a hint...never turn a nut on any sort of plumbing fixture, w/o making sure the other side won't turn with it. Pliers, channel locks, wrench.... whatever.
 
  #21  
Old 10-17-08, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dgalfano View Post
Yeah, but now I think I'm a bit more over my head than the light tinkering I was doing today.
This is only a 5 minute job for someone used to it (if no complications of the supply line not resealing good - but they usually do for me). It is that simple. You only need one small channel locks type pliers to do it. You surely do not want to pay someone to do this. Use this to learn so you can always do it again. I have put sooo many of these things in over the years it ain't funny. Did one yesterday, a matter of fact. Then a few days before that, also. Yes, the best test to determine if it is shot is to pull up all the way on that black lever ontop of it.
 
  #22  
Old 03-08-09, 11:50 AM
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broken flush mechanism

Hi guys, I don;t know if I am in the right place but the flush mechanism on my toilet needs to be replaced. Is this an easy job? I would prefer not to have to get a plumber if possible. Can any one help?
 
  #23  
Old 03-08-09, 11:59 AM
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Rush...right place, though always better to start your own thread..maybe a Mod will move it.
Why do you need to replace the whole thing?

Anyway, its not that hard. You need a new flush valve, new tank to bowl gasket, tank to bowl bolts and maybe a new supply line depending on how old the one you have is.
Some of those may come together in the parts kit. The instructions are right on the box/bag of parts.

Its always best to get the brand of the toilet, then take the parts with you to a hardware store/home center to make sure you get the right stuff.
 
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Old 03-09-09, 09:52 AM
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the flushvalve gasket is between the tank and the flushvalve. the flapper is the part attached to the handle and the flush valve. the fill valve is what is attached to the water line

this is how i know the parts
 
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