Interesting toilet leak

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Or maybe not a leak, per se. My first floor toilet began running constantly between flushes 3 days ago. Not full blast, just a trickle to remind me of how I'll be spending part of my Saturday. Or so I thought. Just noticed a small puddle in the cellar below the toilet. It's the sewage pipe that's wet, but the puddle smells clean. My first thought was that the supply pipe got so cold from running constantly that what I was seeing was condensation, but as far as I can see (because part of the supply pipe's hidden), that's not the case.
Next thought: The cold water contracted part of the sewage pipe assembly enough to leak. But again, based on the lack of smell, that's not it.
Nightmare thought: Wax ring. I don't want to think about that.
There's little or no condensation on the tank itself, and the floor in the bathroom is dry. Luckily, it's not humid here today.
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wrote:

re: "Nightmare thought: Wax ring. I don't want to think about that. "
Relax.
Replacing the wax ring is *maybe* a 30 minute job from when you first decide to do it until you're all cleaned up and sucking on a beverage.
I always keep a spare wax ring in the shop "just in case" I need to pull the toilet.
It's a leftover habit from when the kids were young and all sorts of things found their way into the toilet.
The "sneakiest" was the toilet paper roll that got lodged vertically in the back of the toilet. Fluids flushed with no problem by the slightest bit of solids/paper clogged it up as they got caught on the tube. I snaked and found nothing 'cuz the snake went right through the tube.
I finally gave in and pulled the toilet and found a pretty crappy (literally) looking toilet paper roll sticking out of the bottom of the toilet.
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On Thu, 01 Jul 2010 13:15:11 -0400, JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

The wax ring will not cause the toilet to 'run'.
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I didn't say the wax ring would make the toilet run.
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What I meant was this: I'd heard (and seen, once) that sometimes people will pour a bucket of hot water down the toilet to un-stuff it, and that this can expand the sewage pipe enough to cause seepage. So I wondered if the reverse could also happen: A constant stream of cold water contracting part of the sewage pipe joint, or even the wax ring, and causing seepage.
Something like that.
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wrote:

I suppose it could but it shouldnt. If it does that means you have an interesting installation problem. I recently fixed a leak I couldnt find. I just bit the bullet tore the whole dang toilet apart and put it back together with all new parts. I think the pats came to about $25. Check for leak on your water supply line. Most people make these short and straight as posssible. I put a loop in mine to make leaks there obvious.
Jimmie Jimmie
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Can't tell it's leak. If a leak put some food dye in the tank and trace it. First thing to do.
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wrote:

So you have to repair the flapper inside the toilet...
That is an easy repair...
As far as the waste pipe being wet, are you 100% certain that it is not just humidity condensing on the outside of the now partially chilled waste line due to the small continuous flow ?
~~ Evan
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wrote:

So you have to repair the flapper inside the toilet...
That is an easy repair...
As far as the waste pipe being wet, are you 100% certain that it is not just humidity condensing on the outside of the now partially chilled waste line due to the small continuous flow ?
~~ Evan
======== Possible. I ended up buying the kit to rebuild the entire guts of the toilet. Long story. Old toilet, no parts. And I went to an excellent plumbing supply place. The kind where the good stuff is covered in dust and some of the packages don't even have zip codes with the mfr's name. :-)
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Hmmm... reminds me of a similar issue a friend had.
Before he bought his house, someone had installed a new overflow tube in one of his toilets that was a little to long.
All was fine, till later when a little chunk of spooge got caught in his fill valve causing it not to fully shut off.
The tank water level rose to the top of the overflow tube, but as it was too high, some also seeped through the tank flush handle hole... it came out so smoothly it wasn't visibly noticeable running down the front of the tank.
He finally discovered the source when he happened to touch the front of the tank and noticed it was wet.
Good Luck!
Erik
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

The damp drain pipe is probably a red herring.
If the leak is not the flush valve or it's seating area, check the overflow pipe if it's metal. I have seen a brass overflow pipe develop pinhole leaks at the bottom where it threads into the flush valve assembly and some of the thinner threaded areas are exposed and it pinholes in that area. Next suspect after that is the two tank bolts and the rubber washers that seal those. The tank washers could also result in a leak that runs down the back of the toilet and could appear below.
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wrote:

Exactly. A toilet I fixed once was a very slow leak at the tank washer bolts. Something as simple as bumping the tank, flushing it caused a tiny leak from one bolt washer that had deformed.
The way I found it was reaching under the tank/bolts, feeling the wetness.
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I like to do that too. ;-)
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wrote:

And all this time I thought I was all alone. Shame on me.
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LOL... If you think your toilet tank is leaking somewhere, a few drops of food coloring will help you find the leak rather quickly...
~~ Evan
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We'd find water occasionally on my mother's bathroom floor. It took a while to trace it down, but I finally tracked it down to a hairline crack in the tank. When people would sit back against the tank it would leak, evidently for a while, and then stop. Replacing the toilet fixed it. ;-) Well, that turned out to be a royal PITA on a Christmas Eve, but that's another story.
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I fixed my mystery leak a few weeks back. It was the large rubber washer between the tank and bowl under the overflow/flapper setup.
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Amazing thing is that some people are still installing the tank bolts and washers wrong. Done correctly, the tank should be able to be picked up and carried around, with no leak from a full (short of the overflow tube) tank. And no concerns about breaking the bottom of the tank from tightening the bolts too much.
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Not a red herring. I rebuilt the entire guts of the toilet last night, which also involved new tank bolts. Dried the drain pipe, flushed, still dripping. Hello plumber. I know the wax ring job is supposed to be easy, but this nonsense only happens on work days when I don't have time for it.
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wrote:

re: "Iknow the wax ring job is supposed to be easy, but this nonsense only happens on work days when I don't have time for it."
errr...you don't have to fix it only when it's leaking. You're allowed to fix it whenever you have time.
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