Leaking Toilet - Not Leaking to Bowl

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Old 11-08-19, 06:50 PM
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Leaking Toilet - Not Leaking to Bowl

I have several Toto toilets that started leaking water. When I turn off the water supply valve the tank is empty within ~20 minutes. The water does not leak into the bowl (the bowl walls are completely dry. A better way to check would be to add some dye into the tank...) so it doesn't seem to be the flap. So where else can the leak be and how can I fix it. Btw, these toilets are only about 2 years old.
 
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Old 11-09-19, 06:08 AM
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Is the outside of the toilet and floor dry?
 
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Old 11-09-19, 08:27 AM
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Yes, the floor and the outside is dry. Considering how much it leaks there would definitely be a big puddle. So it's not going into the bowl and not onto the floor. It's leaking somewhere else.
 
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Old 11-09-19, 08:42 AM
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A blocked vent can syphon the water out of the bowl.
 
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Old 11-09-19, 10:41 AM
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So I dumped half a bottle of Listerine (didn't like that brand) and some cranberry juice for special effects into the tank. It turns out that water from the tank actually gets into the bowl. It just doesn't get in from the side wall of the bowl. Instead, it seeps in from the bottom. So I would think it's not the flap because the flap directs water to the side wall (my assumption). So how does water get in through the bottom of the bowl??
 
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Old 11-09-19, 04:50 PM
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The most likely culprit is a leaking flapper valve. The only other option is if the water level in the tank is too high and it's going down the overflow tube. Either way the water goes to the same place.
 
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Old 11-09-19, 05:06 PM
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Another possibility is that the rubber refill hose is stuck too far down the overflow tube and is siphoning water out of the tank. Ideally, the hose should be held in place above the tube with a metal clip.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

@RocketJSquirrel, the tube is not far down the pipe. It's far away from any water. It just flow down so nothing is pulling water out or the tube.

@PiloteDane. That's interesting. If the flapper leaks, shouldn't the water go down the side walls of the bowl? It definitely doesn't do that in my case. But is it possible that if water gets through the flapper it pushes out from the bottom of the bowl? The water somehow exits the tank and comes in from the bottom of the bowl. So the color from the Cranberry juice slowly starts coloring the water that is already within the bowl and it does that coming from the bottom. It's not coming down the wall of the bowl.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 01:54 PM
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To prove your theory place a piece of dry toilet paper on the inside side of the toilet bowl and wait. Ir if gets wet and slides down then it's leaking from the flapper. And next time use a food dye (red, blue, green, not yellow).
Save yourself a lot of trouble and just replace the flapper.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 02:30 PM
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I don't know how to attach an image. Seems like I can only link to one. In any case, I did put toilet paper around the bowl. It doesn't get wet despite the tube feeding more and more water into the tank. I again dumped some cranberry juice into the thank and the water in the bowl started to get purple from the bottom.

You suggested to just replace the flapper. I certainly consider this but it's only 2 years old, I cleaned it and I still have the same problem. Is it indeed the case that when the flapper leaks nothing comes down the side of the bowl and water comes up from below???
 
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Old 11-10-19, 02:45 PM
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Then I think Joe's suggestion is the next step to investigate.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 03:30 PM
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Some toilets have another passage to form a water jet in the trap area to improve the flush. So, not all toilets have all the flush water go to the rim of the bowl.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 04:30 PM
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PD, good catch.
To the OP...Send some pics of the unit.
 
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Old 11-10-19, 06:03 PM
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Ok, I am trying to upload an image but I this forum doesn't allow me to upload images and for some reason links created from imgbb don't work. Still working on this.
 

Last edited by malula; 11-10-19 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 11-10-19, 06:28 PM
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Ah, this link finally seems to work...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/185443.../shares/40ma65
 
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Old 11-10-19, 06:48 PM
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Your flapper is likely a "universal" replacement, not an original Toto replacement part. It pretty clearly does not look symmetrical on the valve seat.

Despite what you think, your problem is a leaking flapper valve.

Here is an example of a source for oem parts. https://www.plumbingsupply.com/totot...-ultimate.html
 
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Old 11-10-19, 08:18 PM
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Toto has eschewed flappers, perhaps because they had a dozen different ones. Now they offer the “tower” or “piston” assembly as a replacement. It is part #4 in the diagram linked above.

I have an older Toto which at some point decided it didn’t like any genuine Toto flapper I offered it. Perhaps its flapper seat had aged out. I replaced the flapper assembly with the tower assembly and it works quite well.
 
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Old 11-11-19, 08:41 AM
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A while back Pete suggested the best way to clean the toilet is pour a bottle of Lysol Lime & Rust toilet bowl cleaner down the overflow tube, so I did.

Much to my surprise not a drop came out of the rim holes, it all entered the bowl from the bottom.

I'm now wondering if the OP could have a cracked overflow tube or a leak wherever it connects to the tank. There has to be two holes there, flapper goes around the rim and overflow fills the bowl from the bottom?

Guys, just for curiosity sake, pour a little food coloring down the overflow tube and see where it goes.

Note: I have an older toilet from the 70's.
 
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Old 11-11-19, 08:04 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

@XSleepr: These are original toilets. They are ~2 years old and nothing was replaced. Hence, I hope they are original parts. We got them from a reputable store.

@Baldwin, you are EXACTLY describing what I am seeing. There is nothing leaking down the side walls of the bowl. I dumped a bit of Listerine down the overflow pipe. It immediately entered the bottom of the bowl. I don't see any cracks in the overflow pipe but the bottom is hard to inspect as the view is obstructed.

I am not quite understanding the concept, though. The tank seems to be filled from the overflow tube because that's the only place where I see water flowing in (down the overflow tube). So if water/Listerine is fed into the overflow tube then why does it immediately end up in the bowl? Isn't it supposed to fill the tank?

Btw, physically it makes no sense to me. The overflow tube is filled with air. How could water dumped into the overflow tube end up in the tank? The air in the tube doesn't have enough force to push the water into the tank.There would have to be some other tube that siphons water back up somehow.
 
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Old 11-11-19, 09:01 PM
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I am not quite understanding the concept, though. The tank seems to be filled from the overflow tube because that's the only place where I see water flowing in (down the overflow tube).

So if water/Listerine is fed into the overflow tube then why does it immediately end up in the bowl?
Yeah, you clearly don't understand the way it works. When a toilet is flushed, the water from the tank goes 2 directions. Most enters the bottom of the bowl and aids in the flushing and siphon effect, a smaller percentage goes around and out the rim to clean the bowl. This happens in seconds.

The flapper valve closes after the flush, and the water (or anything you pour into it) that goes into the overflow tube all goes to refill the bowl. Anything that goes down the overflow tube goes the same place the tank water goes when you flush. As the tank refills, water enters the tank both from below, and from the rim... but more slowly.

Maybe this video will help you picture it.

https://youtu.be/q9RMoKmbamM

Despite what you think, your problem is a leaking flapper valve, because once the refill tube quits running water into the overflow pipe (which is how the bowl is refilled), that is the only way that water can enter the bowl. If the flapper is leaking. Replacing the flapper may not help if the problem is the seat... which is why RocketJSquirrel pointed out that you could replacever all those parts with the replacement tower assembly.
 
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Old 11-12-19, 02:35 AM
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I find it odd that anything would be leaking with a 2-year-young toilet. If it's a genuine Toto with original genuine parts, it should take years longer to fail. Unless you have little kids who think toilet innards are fun to play with.

I'm looking at the linked but uncaptioned photo. If that was taken after the flush & refill cycle was complete, then it is visibly siphoning from the refill hose into the overflow tube.

I had this happen to my Toto which was at least 5 years old (installed by previous home owners). The siphoning was silent but continuous. I only discovered it by shining a flashlight down the overflow tube.

With a flapper leak, it is common to hear the toilet periodically refill itself when the water level gets low enough. With siphoning, the water loss is continuous and very hard to notice.

In either case, replacing the flapper & flush valve with the tower assembly is easy and should fix the problem whatever the cause. Just make sure to hold onto the 2 little anchor bits at the bottom of the flush valve in part #2 of the diagram. If you just unscrew them, they will fall down into the toilet, never to be retrieved. Also make sure the clip shown in part #1 is in place to hold the refill hose above the overflow tube, which it does appear to be in the photo.
 
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Old 11-13-19, 01:04 AM
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It's actually a little over 4 yrs old, as seen by the date on top of the fill valve.
 
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Old 11-13-19, 06:26 PM
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Just start off with the flapper replacement. I use these korkys. 11 bucks. Then go from there. Dont over analyze. The flappers shrink from the chlorine in the water. I can see that flapper is off kilt some.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Korky-3-in-...lapper/3205079
 
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Old 11-14-19, 01:28 PM
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Looks like the chain attached to the flapper is in the wrong hole on the flush lever.
 
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Old 11-14-19, 11:25 PM
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No little kids. Yes, the toilet was manufactured a few years ago but was installed about 2 years ago. It probably took some time to the store and we purchased it way too early. Fortunately, the stored kept it for us until we were ready.

So I did go ahead and just replaced the flapper. To my surprise that fixed the problem, at least on the first toilet. It was just confusing because I expected water to come down the side. However, the video posted earlier does show a large part comes out from the bottom. I guess if there is little water coming out (leak vs. flush) then it doesn't make it out the side and just comes out from the bottom.

Thanks for all the input!!!
 
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Old 11-15-19, 10:40 AM
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I guess if there is little water coming out (leak vs. flush) then it doesn't make it out the side and just comes out from the bottom.
Exactly. It's apparent I have no idea how a toilet works either. Looking at X's video you see a channel where most of the water comes out the bottom,


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Also learned the overflow tube and flapper are called the flush valve. Everything in the overflow goes under the flapper and down the same hole as mentioned above.

Never would imagine how complex that contraption is.

 
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