Toilet running sporadically after replacing fill valve

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  #1  
Old 08-05-15, 02:18 PM
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Toilet running sporadically after replacing fill valve

After replacing my toilet tank bolts and gasket, it was running constantly, which it didn't do before the repair. So I replaced the old fill valve and float ball with a Fluidmaster 400A fill valve. It started to refill for a few seconds every six minutes. It was very loud. Then the time between these short refill bursts kept getting shorter and shorter until there was only 50 seconds or a minute between them.

Today I attempted to replace the 400A with the older configuration of fill valve plus float rod and float ball, since the toilet is an older one. Disaster. Just couldn't get it to work. Since this toilet is needed, I just put the 400A back on. It started out refilling quieter and only running every five to seven minutes. Again, it was quieter. As the day wore on, the time in between running has gotten shorter and shorter. I think we're at one and a half, two minutes right now. *sigh* It also seems like the refill sound is louder now

Now, I do believe I hear leaking into the bowl. Was going to replace the flapper next. But also the flush valve seems loose. I can move the overflow tube. So I take it I need to replace the flush valve now, too. Which I'm starting to think I'm not the best at toilet repairs and maybe need a pro. Plus I don't want to take off the tank again because that was a P-A-I-N. Took 3.5 hours just to replace the tank gasket and bolts, but I think that was because the bolts were rusted and had to be cut off.

Really wondering why it started out running every six minutes and over the last eight hours it's now one and a half minutes. How/why would the leak get worse over such a short period? And why did it improve after re-replacing the 400A?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-05-15, 02:21 PM
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I'd start by throwing a little food coloring in the tank to verify you have a leak into the bowl. If so, the flapper is the next place I look.

There's no leaking on the floor, right?
 
  #3  
Old 08-05-15, 02:28 PM
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OK, I will try the food dye test.

There's no leaking on the floor, right?
Right. Does that mean it's not the flush valve?
 
  #4  
Old 08-05-15, 02:44 PM
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It is not the flush valve, unless you notice the water level rising in the tank.

Most times it is a leak of the flapper. Before I would change it I would take a close look at the chain that holds it up when you flush the toilet. You want to make sure there is enough slack in it and that it does not prevent the flapper from dropping down into the tank hole, in one complete motion, to create the required seal.

Sometimes those leaks can be fixed by simply adjusting how much chain slack is provided. Not enough slack and the chain pulls up slightly on the flapper as it is dropping. Too much slack and the chain can get in the way of the flapper as it is dropping. So you need to get it just right.
 
  #5  
Old 08-05-15, 05:02 PM
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OK, so the food coloring ended up in the bowl. So I will try replacing the flapper. Unless the food dye test also indicates a flush valve leak? Does it? (I am really new to DIY plumbing.)

The water in the bowl cleared of the food coloring, though, after a few minutes without flushing. Not to sound ignorant, but where did it go?
 
  #6  
Old 08-05-15, 07:39 PM
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Also, the dye went from the tank to the bowl really quickly, like in moments. It's now running every 20 seconds! And I can hear some kind of leaking/draining into the bowl. It's really scary. I haven't done the flapper yet. I'm wondering about this now (I read at About.com IIRC):

If the tank level is too high, the excess pressure can cause water to leak through the flapper into the bowl (even with a brand new flapper).
 
  #7  
Old 08-06-15, 07:40 AM
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The bowl is clearing likely due to the fact you have water constantly entering from the tank - there's a trap which controls the water level so that as more water comes in, some will be able to exit to maintain the water level in the bowl.

That said, bowls can leak as well but you're more likely to see that on the floor. If in doubt, turn off the water supply and empty the tank. Start with a full bowl (you may have to add water slowly from a bucket) and see what happens to your water level over a few hours. I suspect nothing will change but if it does drop noticeably, that would indicate there's probably a crack in the stool and that it needs to be replaced.
 
  #8  
Old 08-06-15, 10:49 AM
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Have you tried jiggling the handle to see if that flapper will ever seal. As I said above, many times a flapper leak is caused by an improper amount of slack in the chain that goes from the handle to the flapper.
 
  #9  
Old 08-06-15, 08:29 PM
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Thanks to all for your help. I replaced the flapper, and that seems to have helped. The toilet is now running every 5 minutes instead of every 20 seconds. And now there is one trickle into the bowl versus the massive amount of ripples that was an audible trickling sound.

The new flapper is a water-saving adjustable one. Should I "optimize" it? (You set it at the highest, flush, if it flushes set it from 9 to 8, repeat until it can't flush, and then set it to one higher.) I also tried to see if the seat where the flapper covers was clean and not nicked or anything. Seemed OK, but again I'm a novice.

The weird thing is I think this toilet may have already had a running every five minutes even before I began working on it, period, because I noticed the one trickle into the bowl a while back. I just thought I needed to clean that hole of the bowl rim better. But it never refilled every five minutes like it's doing now. But, the reason I even replaced the fill valve was it was leaking from the top. Perhaps it had been doing that the whole time, replacing what was lost from the tank with the bowl trickle? It did sometimes sound like water was on by the toilet constantly.

There is still the matter of the loose overflow pipe. My brother thinks that's the source of the leak. What do you all think?

ETA: Optsy, I did carefully set the chain on the new flapper, but I'll double check it. Thanks!
 

Last edited by remy.; 08-06-15 at 09:09 PM.
  #10  
Old 08-06-15, 09:48 PM
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I would say the flush valve is most likely the leak source. I would go ahead and replace the flush valve not only because of it being so loose but also its age. The rubber seals and gaskets that make up the parts in the toilet tank have a service life and if your toilet was still using the ballcock fill valve I'm pretty sure the service life of the rubber parts have past. Both Korky and Fluidmaster have a kit available at the big box stores that includes a fill valve, flush valve, and flapper. I would recommend Korky over Fluidmaster but they are both good. Also you don't have to buy the kit since you already replaced the fill valve and flapper. You can buy just the flush valve. However, from what you have said about the fill valve being loud sounds weird. When the Fluidmaster fill valves become loud that usually means the inner workings have gone bad. I remember one that sounded like a train was going through the bathroom every time it was filling.
 
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