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Mezsop
Toilet leak

My toilet has taken to refilling every so often for about 15 sec.(once @ every couple of hours) I see no evidence of a leak and the water pluggie thingie :) in the tank seems secure. Where else should I be looking? It's an old toilet.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Toilet leak

Dump some food coloring in the tank, if the water in the bowl changes color without flushing then the "water pluggie thingie:) " is leaking. Don't you just love technical jargon? That is the most likely cause of what you have described.
Jack

Mezsop
Re: Toilet leak

Ok...so now I indeed have blue water indicating a leak and you suggest the culprit is the pluggie thingie. Is this an easy self repair? Any suggestions.

bp21901
Re: Toilet leak

Yes it is easy. Go to a plumbing supply and get a pluggie thingie that is made for your toilet. Too many times one of the generic one size fits all flappers from a big box do not seal properly.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Toilet leak

See how easy and fast it is to get help when you use the correct technical terms.:D
Jack

sabo4545
Re: Toilet leak

Another thing to look for is to make sure there is no sediment or deposits around the the seat where the "pluggie thingie" Flapper sits. If there is it could cause a space that is just large enough for a little water to go through. Also check that the chain (if you have a chain) is adjusted right. If it is just a little to short it will lift the flapper up enough for a little water to pass through. I agree that you want to get one that is made for your toilet and not just something universal. Hope this helps you out.

Mike

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Toilet leak
Mezsop wrote:

My toilet has taken to refilling every so often for about 15 sec.(once @ every couple of hours) I see no evidence of a leak and the water pluggie thingie :) in the tank seems secure. Where else should I be looking? It's an old toilet.

Mezsop wrote:

Ok...so now I indeed have blue water indicating a leak and you suggest the culprit is the pluggie thingie. Is this an easy self repair? Any suggestions.

although it MIGHT be what the others have suggested (flush valve adjustment, bad seat, bad flapper), I do not believe it has been narrowed down YET. Before you start buying flapper plunger thingies you should check the refill valve function and check for adjustments there and/or a waterlogged float....

to narrow down and focus the area needing attention I suggest the following simple test:

take the top off of the back of the tank. visualize the water level. turn off the water supply valve and mark the water level in the tank with a pencil.

return a few hours later since you said this happened after several hours, and check the water level in the tank.

it could be the fill valve or float is waterlogged. water can get into the bowl from the overflow tube too.

if the water level is lower when the water was shut off, then you can try the flapper thingy or the seat gasket it rests in they can get a tear or stretch out and not seal well overtime.. if the water level is NOT LOWER when you had the water to the tank shut off, that plunger flapper thingy isn't your problem and its time to focus your attentions to the fill valve assembly side of the toilet's works. when you go to fix the second possible problem, the cost for the entire rebuild kit (flush valve and refil valve complete kit) that includes the flapper plunger thingy is way cheaper then buying it without the plunger flapper thingy and paying for those parts seperately. Be sure your replacement fill valve or rebuild kit is marked "anti syphon".

P.S. Diana, I read on your other posts that your house is vintage 1911, so you might have some quality parts in a toilet older home, that is real brass valves not cheap plastic, rubber, and steel springs. the high end brass parts you won't necessarily find at a big box or general hardware store you might need to source those at a plumbing supply, although I wouldn't recommend rebuilding a vintage fill valve because it won't be antisyphon, i'd recommend replacing it either with an expensive newer brass anti-syphon one or a cheaper but antisyphon replacement.

Mezsop
Re: Toilet leak

Well, this all seemed doable until I read the last post.It may take a plumber afterall.

I will try the suggestion to pinpoint the problem. Also it is indeed an old toilet (at least since 1975). It is a WellWorth toilet. Some parts have been replaced but looks like a little brass in there. I'm quite sure the valve was replaced. There's a lot of rust in the tank so I'm wondering if there is a gap created under the "flapper":) Anyway I appreciate all the feedback from everyone and I'll work next weekend at narrowing it down.

A. Spruce
Re: Toilet leak
Mezsop wrote:

Well, this all seemed doable until I read the last post.It may take a plumber afterall.

I will try the suggestion to pinpoint the problem. Also it is indeed an old toilet (at least since 1975). It is a WellWorth toilet. Some parts have been replaced but looks like a little brass in there. I'm quite sure the valve was replaced. There's a lot of rust in the tank so I'm wondering if there is a gap created under the "flapper":) Anyway I appreciate all the feedback from everyone and I'll work next weekend at narrowing it down.

Before you start believing that the sky is falling, rest assured that if the toilet is not running constantly, which according to your initial descriptions it's not, then it's likely the just flapper valve (the big rubber thingy in the bottom of the tank ). You see, a leaky flapper will allow water to seep out slowly, when the water level in the tank reaches a certain point the inlet valve opens (float actuated ) and refills the tank. IF the water level were too high resulting from any of the issue described by chicken little, the it would be exiting through the overflow pipe and the source of a constantly running toilet, not an intermittent run problem. Yes, the dye test would still show in the bowl, but constant running would be the indicator of a float problem or an inlet valve problem - neither of which were indicated in your initial post.

If you need any more assurance, look at the cost alone. Call a plumber and it will be in excess of $100 just to get them to your door. Replacing the flapper will be a few dollars and two minutes of your time. Rebuild the entire tank and you're looking at maybe $20 and an hour of your time. Now, I'm not suggesting you take on a project outside of your abilities. What I'm saying is that replacing a flapper or even rebuilding a tank (technically just replacing parts ) is not difficult and is something that anyone with the ability to turn off a water supply valve and access to a pair of pliers can do.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Toilet leak

I have to agree with A. Spruce. Although posting all possible scenarios may be beneficial if writing thesis, it is of little benefit when faced with specific symptoms. Yes, a fill tube could be cracked and cause the same symptoms but highly unlikely while flappers go bad on a regular bases. If you run your finger around the flapper seat you should be able to tell if it's smooth or not. A toilet is a fairly simple device and doesn't have to be a mystery to anyone.
Jack

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Toilet leak

Its a simple test to narrow down the cause.

Blue RidgeParkway wrote:

to narrow down and focus the area needing attention I suggest the following simple test:

take the top off of the back of the tank (the same lid you lifted to add food coloring).
visualize the water level.
turn off the water supply valve from the floor or wall.
mark the water level in the tank with a pencil.
return a few hours later since you said this happened after several hours, and check the water level in the tank.
if the water level is NOT LOWER when you had the water to the tank shut off, then the problem is not the flapper thingy

With all the rust and sediment you describe in the tank it wouldn't be that uncommon for sand, sediment, etc. to be preventing the fill valve from closing completely. Float arm might need an adjustment, or even the float itself may have some water in it - flush toilet, unscrew float ball, drain it, screw back on; may not even cost you a thing.

There is a good site on the web called toiletology or something similar. If you can find it on a web search check it out. you can read through a lesson plan or jump ahead and review the index and link to pages. Pay special attention to the sections mentioning the "mystery flush". I've simply advised you to the step two of trouble shooting that fits your description of the "symptoms of problem" that follows your findings after the step one diagnosis of the food coloring in the tank test, colored water in the bowl test.

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