Toilet issue, Moms

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Hi folks, this in from Mom. "comode is not holding water but fills up fine but leaks out over time so must be refilled."
Ideas? She'd mean the toilet bowl not the tank.
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cshenk wrote:

Flapper valve
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"dpb" wrote

Wouldnt that affect the tank and make it sound like it's running all the time? LOL, thanks for your patience. She lives a 6 hour drive so this is a sort of 'distance support'. I recommended she change that though just in case. Its a real easy fix if related! She's just never done the plumming part of the work when we fixed up houses for sale. That was almost exclusively my older sister's job.
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cshenk wrote:

Was presuming this was communication gap. They can seep so slowly never hear it until it does finally reach level it refills.
If it really is bowl level, does it fully refill on flush? If not, may be sediment buildup in supply holes.
If it really is the bowl level dropping w/o the tank between flushes it has to either be siphoning, leaking or vacuum pulling water out as someone else mentioned (if the pet, evaporation, etc., other external causes are excluded).
Sounds like time to send in the sister... :)
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"dpb" wrote

Well, she says she'll go to the HW store and get a new one tomorrow.
I appreciate you guys (and gals) patience! It's frustrating to not be able to answer in details other than I do 'Mom-speak' quite well, so yes, it's the bowl and she's not hearing anything (her hearing is still tip-top). She's checked the tank (The other bathroom had a tank problem last year and we talked her through fixing it)

Yes, re-fills on flush.

I'm thinking vacumn pulling via vent sounds most likely just now but I'll have her give it another good go with a plunger and change out the flapper since those are simple cheap fixes.
The reason why I think it may be wind driven is 2 things recently changed the wind pattern. She put up a much better wind barrier and re-insulated underneath. She also mentioned a large tree was taken out fairly near her lot, just a little bit ago. That might be affecting any top venting.

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cshenk wrote: ...

I'd also suggest a good dose of vinegar in the tank and a squirt of CLR or similar in the ring area of the feeds--I'd still suspect liming there as a culprit in low flow during flushing, particularly if water supply is a little or a lot hard...
I suppose the changes enumerated _could_ have changed the venting and caused a problem but I'd think it fairly unlikely--I don't think I've ever known of a case that caused measurable/noticeable volume to go down the drain on a consistent basis. That would imply somehow having a persistent vacuum problem which doesn't seem too likely to be caused by wind or other changes of the type you've noted as that would be variable.
Easy enough to test (altho probably not for Mom) by adding a baffle at the vent exit. Sister good at climbing too???? <vbg>
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"dpb" wrote

Grin, more info. It's not when flushing the toilet. Acts normal then. Sporadically though, the bowl volume goes way down, sometimes coming back up later on it's own. Flushing restores it always.

I'm wondering if it's a combination thing?

Sadly, Sister pretty much out of the picture. So's the brother. Life moved on and she isnt part of their world anymore. I'm the only one with daily communication. Unfortunate but happens.
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cshenk wrote:

Ah, that's a completely different kettle of fish than simply going down gradually over time...
Need to (as somebody else noted, I think I recall???) watch and test other drains one at a time starting w/ other toilets and those near in proximity to this one.
Sounds like an obstruction in drain vent--perhaps a varmint or something else fell into one. When another drain using the same line operates, that creates either vacuum or pressure depending on which side it's on relative to this commode.
She can do the testing herself by establishing a level and going to do something and coming back to check results but it would be far quicker to have an observer and operator.
Too bad of sister; sorry, your earlier post indicated she was the handy type and had been involved w/ repair/fixup but didn't mention that was in days of yore...
Anyway, think this has isolated a root cause; solution is probably going to require rooftop rooting of vent line although if lucky perhaps there's just an obstruction retrievable from the top easily.
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cshenk wrote:

Evaporation if toilet is not used much? Vent issues causing suction in drainpipe when other drains are used? Dog water bowl is empty?
MikeB
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BQ340 wrote:

Snort. Best post I've read today.
-- aem sends...
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Made and seconded. A motion is on the floor.
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Christopher A. Young
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"Stormin Mormon" wrote

Naw, best today was the lady date ad.
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"BQ340" wrote

Naw, this was her main one. She's using the back one now.

This may well be it. Snake the vent somehow? Blockage of some sort suspected? She's handy but this sort of thing (plumming) isnt her forte at all, and one I only know a bit about. I can replace a toilet seal, thats about it.

Snicker, she doesnt have any pets.
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What are the chances the throat of the bowl has a hairline crack and is leaking water?
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As a previous poster noted, the most likely scenario is a paper towel or toilet paper stuck in the P-trap of the toilet siphoning the water away. A common problem.
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"nefletch" wrote

I'll check and see if she gave it a good plunging. I imagine that would be the fix for that?
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Two words: Use closet auger.
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"Stormin Mormon" wrote

http://www.ehow.com/how_2071719_use-closet-auger.html
Looks easy! I sent her that one too and combined all the notes. I probably won't hear back from her until Monday. She uses the library for her internet access.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

TWO words?
I count THREE. <G>
Jeff
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About time someone pointed out. Thanks for being observant. Two words: Congratulations!
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