I just posted -- and was sitting here reading other post -- and the darn commode started running water again. Just for a few seconds. Should I turn it off? And then turn it on when I need it -- hate to run up a water bill.
Leaky toilets are a pain. I had a new toilet installed and the plumber
took it as his life mission to give me a fully functional toilet.
He had to replace the innards twice before he got the setup fully
Turning off the water is temporary, you don't want to live that way.
Either do the work yourself, (lots of home owners know how to do this),
get a friend to do it, or call a plumber.
You must take the time first to watch and record what happens.
Take off the top cover and observe. When sound of running
water starts and stops, note whether any part of the mechanism
moves and if so how. Intermittent filling sound usually indicates
the flapper valve, but we do not know how yours is, e.g. whether
lifted by a chain or a lever etc. But your own common (mechanical)
sense may by itself be all you need, if you take the trouble to observe.
Take the cover off the tank and watch it. If the water level gets low
and it refills itself then the flapper needs to be replaced -- very
simple. If the water is overflowing into the overflow tube then you
need a new inner valve. That's not as simple, but if you read the
directions on the box you can get it done.
Check the chain that goes from your toilet trip lever to the new
If that chain is tight, it could be preventing the flapper from closing
sufficiently to prevent any leaks.
There should be a clip on the end of the toilet trip lever that allows
you to adjust the length of the chain to the flapper. There should be a
bit of slack in that chain when the flapper is closed. If there's no
slack in that chain, then you need to adjust the length of the chain to
provide some slack in it when the flapper is closed.
Cut the chain? I say it is adustable by moving it up/down links and
rehook on the arm.
All this chaos originates from OP not understanding the basic operation
of it. Fill valve, and flapper, what else are there? To me it is feel
valve problem, not shutting off water tight.
The last time I had a toilet with a chain which occasionally "kinked"
and wouldn't let the flapper down I replaced the chain with a piece of
nylon fishing line and "Bob's your uncle".
David L. Martel wrote:
On Friday, September 12, 2014 6:41:30 PM UTC-4, Dottie wrote:
commode started running water again. Just for a few seconds. Should I tur
n it off? And then turn it on when I need it -- hate to run up a water bil
Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I tried them ... I went back
in my files and found that I had bought that commode in Sept. 09. In Oct.
2013 the plumber came out and installed an identical commode in my other ba
th and at that time he told me to go ahead and order that part while they w
ere free. He did make some adjustment then, too. Not the part I put in toda
Today, I made note of the water level and found two...the commode is white
but the inside of the tank is more light beige. There was a water line and
everything below it was dark beige colored. Above it was another water li
ne, about 1/2 " above the dark beige one. I am pretty sure that the differ
ence is when the plumber changed out something back in 2013. Anyway, today
when I started watching -- I flushed the commode and waited until it finis
hed filling up. Then I turned off the water where it comes in...and made n
ote, the water was up to the top line. I waited an hour and went in - it h
ad fallen to the first waterline (the dark one). I flushed the water out a
nd took a paper towel and cleaned the bottom (where the new part meets it)
and felt around for rough patches. Found nothing unusual. The only thing
that came off was the black smudges from the black plastic that is around
the edge. Then I filled the tank back up and waited another hour. I check
ed back and it had again fallen from the top waterline to the bottom (darke
r) line. I think those waterlines became established after I had the commo
de installed in 2009 and then changed to higher when the plumber worked on
it in 2013. Anyway, after I cleaned it - the water did go down that 1/2 in
ch but it did not come on to fill the tank again. It has stayed right ther
e at the original waterline.
The brown discolouration is mold growing in the tank water. You can
remove most of it with bleach if you want to.
What apparantly WAS happening was that the water would fill up to the
upper line and then leak out to the lower line before the fill valve
would fill it up to the upper line again, and this would happen
Take a flashlight and look for any cracks in the overflow spout in the
middle of the tank. If something happens so that your water fill valve
doesn't STOP filling the tank, the excess water should drain down that
overflow spout so that you don't get a flood with water all over your
Maybe add water to the tank from a glass or bowl or something, and see
if water leaks down that overflow spout when you fill the tank up to the
upper line. Use a flash light if you have one. A crack in that
overflow spout would explain the continuous refilling of the tank.
Tell us if you see any water leakage down the overflow spout.
If the leakage stops at that lower line, and the toilet still flushes
fine when the water level is at the lower line, then the easiest fix
would be to just adjust the water fill valve to only fill the toilet
tank to that lower line. That doesn't solve the problem of WHERE the
leak is, but it does get rid of the water leakage and the toilet
continually refilling to compensate for that leakage.
On Sat, 13 Sep 2014 18:24:51 -0400, "David L. Martel"
Isn't the only way to do that is to not have too much excess.
That is, it' can't be too short, or too long. Trial and error.
But based on the two threads, I'll bet it's not the length of the chain
at all. BEcause iiuc, first it worked fine for a long time, then she
had the problem, without changing the lengthy of the chain. Then the
n'bor changed something - do we know yet that it was the flapper?
If it was the flapper he changed,, how did he manage to leave the toilet
with the same symptoms.? Bad replacement flapper? or one that doesn't
quite fit yet?
If it wasn't the flapper he changed, then the flapper itself might just
be leaking because of old age.
Dottie, I hope you didn't stop reading t he first t hread when you
started this one. Especially my two posts, especially the one about a
new flapper maybe not fitting even if is the right one, and how I had to
use a stick, or more likely the toilet bowl brush to force the flapper
into its hole, and after a couple months it fit all by itself.
I wish that then you waited another hour or two, to see how far down it
would go with the water off. (As you know, With the water off, you
don't have to worry about it filling up again) I hear you have
another toilet, so it shoudln't be a problem.
I never got it straight. Is the new part a flapper. The flapper is
hooked to the chain and pivots at the end not hooked, and goes up when
you flush the toilet and goes back down when most of the water has left
the tank. Is that it?
Because to be picky, the flapper doesn't meet the bottom of the tank.
There are one or two parts that make up the entrance to the bowl, that
the flapper fits into. If that's what you meant, fine, but I just want
to make sure we're talking about the same thing.
What edge? What black plastic?
The only smudges I ever had was after using 1000 flushes which degraded
the flapper rubber, and other old flappers.
If the neighbor changed the flapper this week for one that has never
been used,, it shouldnt' have any smudging, but there could be some left
on the thing the flapper goes into.
You might well be right. There can be some variation in water level
with no problem.
So are you saying it's fixed?
I see you did do the test above twice, but how long did you wait this
time? Two hours or more? Unless you were watching or listening the
whole time, how do you know the water didn't come on again, fill it up
again, but when you went back to the bathroom it had falled for the
second time down to the original waterline.
How about doing your test with the water off whhere it comes in, again,
and waiting at least 2 hours or more. You have nestork convinced below,
iiuc, that the leak is only functioning when the water level is between
the upper and lower water lines.
Spout might be confusing. Do you mean the ~1 inch tube that has the
little tube going into it? Dottie, it works for overflow and also to
fill the bowl while the tank is filling. That's what the little tube is
I'm confused. Do you have any reason to think t hat is more likely here
than for the 100's of millions of other toilets? Otherwise, you're
scaring her for nothing.
If the overflow were clogged, I think it woudl be the case that the bowl
woudlnt' be refilled when the toilet was flushed and the tank refilled,
and the water level would be just what didn't make it out during the
flush, usually clean water afaict but only an inch or two deep. Dottie
does your bowl refill?
From reading further, you don't think it's clogged, but that's cracked
but cracked and leaking water into the bowl no lower than the lower
water line, is that right? That doesn't seem likely to me, but maybe.
But so would a bad flapper.
Well on some toilets that means bending the float rod
Wouldn't it mean there is a crack in that tube? Between the two water
levels. If so, and I still doubt it, but if so, replacing the tube
and the seat for the flapper. often one part, is enough to scare me
off, what with rusted bolts holding the tank to the rest of the toilet,
but patching the tube with waterproof caulk or tape is worth
OTOH, if the max water level is below the crack now, it doesn't have to
be patched unless it will spread lower. Will it?
The "food colour test" is where you put a few drops of food colouring
into the water in the toilet tank.
If water is leaking from the toilet tank into the bowl, then the water
in the bowl will soon start to have that same colour to it.
The idea here is just to prove that water is leaking from the tank into
the bowl. I think that's pretty well already established, but it just
confirms that the water isn't leaking out anywhere else, such as onto
your bathroom floor.
If the flapper is leaking, and I too suspect that, the coloring will
start to go into the bowl almost as soon as she adds it to the tank,
Pretty slowly, but not related to when the the water runs again. When
the water runs again for a few seconds, that will dilute the color in
the bowl slightly**, but when it stops, the color will get stronger
again until the next time the water runs, and so on, until the color in
the bowl is as strong as the color in the tank.
Of course it's almost impossible to tell how strong the color in the
tank is because its inside isn't nearly as white as the bowl, and the
light from the ceiling does't reach the tank as much as the bowl.
**Not just because clear water will be added, but because that will
raise the water level in the bowl and cause some of the slightly colored
water to flow down the drain***.
***I was at HD looking at toilets, and noticed that all of them on
display, close to 20 different ones, showed the shape of the pipe, the
trap, inside. Is that the standard now? I'm 99% my Elger toilets
from 1979 are flat on the outside and leave the viewer guessing what's
inside. I like that better.
It's amazing how little color it takes to color a lot of water. Back
when I was in my 20's I got an ice-cube tray where the "cubes" were in
the shape of a busty woman, from the waist up. But it wasn't that
obvious so I added food coloring to the water. But by the time it
froze, the food coloring had risen to the top, which was her back. So
that didn't help. But I'm pretty sure food coloring doesn't rise in
water at room temperature**. I wonder why it did for the ice.
**And even if it did, Dottie will be looking from above.
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