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  • OT - Leaky Toilet

    I've got a leaky toilet which two new flappers have failed to fix..
    The flush valve seat appears to be in good shape, i.e. there are no scratches or cuts that I can feel in the seating surface, but evidently it's worn enough so the surface is not flat or plane. (The house (and toilet) is 18 yrs old. The valve seat is some kind of plastic or PVC.)

    My friend google found this fix made by Fluidmaster, which consists of a self-stick putty ring:
    http://homerepair.about.com/od/plumb...et_flap555.htm

    Have any of you used this, or something similar? ...or know of some other good solution?


    Also, can someone tell me why, as I've gotten older and find fixing problems like this attended by less joy and excitement, they never have the easy solutions they used to have?

  • #2
    Just taking a shot, but have you checked the condition and tightness of the bolts and washers that hold the tank to the bowl? They might be allowing the tank to tip enough for leakage.

    Gary

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    • #3
      That's a good thought Gary. I can't detect any looseness between tank and bowl.
      Right now I have the water turned off and the flapper removed, so the water level is right at the lower edge of the flush valve seat. My aim being to see if maybe water is leaking around the gasket below the seat.
      I can't detect any bubbling or gurgling, or other evidence of the water leaking into the bowl. In fact that's been the case for every toilet leak I've had here the last many years. May be a function of the design of these particular toilets.

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      • #4
        When you replaced the flapper; did you get a cheapy made in china one, or did you get a pliable made in USA one?

        The reason I ask, is because I replaced an old HARD one (that tends to happen to those things) and noticed that there was a distinct difference in the quality of the parts on the shelf at 2 different box stores. I forget what brand I ended up with, but it's made here and fixed my slow leaking flapper.

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        • #5
          I assume that you have already determined that it is not leaking past the inlet valve and running out the standpipe drain. If not, I would look down that road.

          Comment


          • #6
            The first flapper I tried was the last one in "contractor pak" of 5 I'd bought at HD or Lowes. (black ones)
            The second one was a Fluidmaster (red one) I'd gotten at a local plumbing supply outlet.
            Yeah I agree with you Jim, about the quality. I've vowed to never buy that sort of stuff at other than a plumbing supply place ...unless it's an emergency fix. I've replaced too many ballcock valves, only to have to redo it 2 or 3 months later.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bruce Griffing
              I assume that you have already determined that it is not leaking past the inlet valve and running out the standpipe drain. If not, I would look down that road.
              Yeah, I checked that. I pulled the little flexible tube out of the overflow pipe, and it's dry ...no leakage there.

              It has a Fluidmaster ballcock assby that's pretty new, and it shuts off nice and crisply, about an inch below the overflow.

              I can watch the water level in the tank slowly drop below a spot right at the waterline (filled). It'll drop about 1/8" every 2 or 3 minutes, and the valve then opens to raise the level back up to that spot.

              Funny thing is, we'd made a trip out to Idaho and Montana all of last week visiting a daughter, and the problem started after the first flush when we got back. Or at least I didn't notice hearing the valve open til then, and I was in close to it hanging clothes for an hour or so.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lynnl
                Also, can someone tell me why, as I've gotten older and find fixing problems like this attended by less joy and excitement,
                I was wondering that too. I think I need to get out more.

                That flapper sounds like the culprit. But have you checked for a hairline crack, and also does it still leak when you hold the flapper down? Or better, use the palm of your hand or something else to seal it? And what about the bottom of the standpipe? Sometimes the metal or rubber has just a tiny bit left and the first use after awhile can do it.

                Gary

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                • #9
                  I'm not sure what's meant by standpipe. Is that the same as what I call the overflow pipe.

                  I can not see or feel any cracks.
                  Now, after about three hours, the water level is still right at the lower lip of the flush valve seat. That tells me that it is leaking between the flapper and the valve seat. Yeah I have tried wiggling and holding the flapper, but since theres no sound being made I can't really tell if that makes a difference.

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                  • #10
                    Give it up with the flapper - I replace all of it when one starts that crap. Fill valve, tank bolts, flush valve & seat - all of it. Replacing the flapper rarely does any good and if it does, it is short lived. Waterproof grease, putty - no workiee for me over the years. Now when one starts with the whining and leaking it get's stripped to the bare porcelain. And don't expect anything to make it through the "5 year warranty!" I keep a spare set in the house. It's all cheap stuff and about 2-3 years is the life I get. Too inexpensive to worry about saving receipts.
                    Chris
                    Merkel, Tx
                    http://raceabilene.com/kelly/hotrod

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                    • #11
                      lynnl,

                      Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. usually have a free dye packet that can be put in the tank. Food coloring will probably work as well. This might help in your analysis.

                      .
                      Last edited by Mike Burdick; 07-15-2009, 04:11 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lynnl

                        My friend google found this fix made by Fluidmaster, which consists of a self-stick putty ring:
                        http://homerepair.about.com/od/plumb...et_flap555.htm

                        Have any of you used this, or something similar? ...or know of some other good solution?
                        Well I have used a number of the ones with the stainless seal seat ring on top of the putty. You will have at some point have the replace the rubber flapper valve. I have replaced a couple over the years after putting the new kit on.
                        It is no surprise with all the harsh chemicals in the toilet tanks for cleaning that the rubber and vinyl parts wear out.
                        http://www.fluidmaster.com/usa.html
                        Here is their web site it might be of help.

                        I think the biggest problem is that if you have a wife or other living in the home after you do something once 40 years ago they wonder what taking you so long this time!
                        Glen
                        Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                        I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                        All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

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                        • #13
                          by flapper, i presume you mean the inlet fill pipe that closes off with a ball cock ..

                          if so, the solution to your problem is to turn down the water pressure ..at the rising main ..or fit a a valve on the inlet, were you can turn the pressure down .

                          Too much pressure on these rubber disk washers ..even new ones will only last days ..or weeks or fail strait away.

                          all the best.markj

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                          • #14
                            No, the flapper refers to a rubber flap that's attached to the handle, by which it's lifted up from the flush valve to dump the water from the tank into the toilet bowl.

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                            • #15
                              I see

                              in the uk this valve is a loose fit in its housing ..

                              it merely starts off a syphon process..that ends when the tank is empty ..

                              the only way that it could continue leaking ..was if the syphon pipe after the top bend was split or cracked.

                              http://www.plumbers-mate-sales.co.uk...nel_syphon.jpg

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