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View Full Version : toto 1.28 flush valve leaks into bowl



brucet99
09-01-2012, 11:21 AM
Two-week old Toto Promenade 1.28

Wife complained of "water running" sound. Sure enough I found the fill valve allowing a small amount of water to flow because it apparently couldn't quite close. Faulty fill valve? I flushed and it re-filled and shut off crisply, but an hour later was running slightly as before. I shut off supply to stop the noise overnight and next morning the tank was empty.

No sign of leaking from tank/bowl gasket, just into the bowl. I pulled off the flapper, which looked clean and smooth and not distorted. The rim of the flush valve orifice feels smooth and clean, so the flapper should seal alright. The little float on the chain exerts some upward tension on the flapper, as its attachment to the chain keeps it a little below the water surface when the tank is full.

Toto customer service said they would send me a replacement flush valve.

Before I do that, I thought I'd ask if there is a simpler solution?

I wonder if there is a problem with the filler valve also? I'm used to Fluidmaster valves cycling when a flapper leaks, but not running constantly at low rate. Is it normal for the Toto filler valve to hang up when the water level drops slightly, or might the constant running be because the leak rate equals the fill rate at that water level and the fill valve cannot get ahead of the leak?

jadnashua
09-01-2012, 11:40 AM
Some valves (like the Fluidmasters I've used) pretty much are full on/full off. The Korky valves that are in most Totos taper on/off, so it could be barely on matching the loss. Unless the valve keeps going, and water goes over the overflow tube, it's almost never the fill valve, but a leak somewhere else.

I think that model is a 2-piece. When it was installed, did you check and tighten the big nut on the bottom of the tank? If it isn't the flapper valve, then it's most likely the seal between the tank and the flapper valve's seat assembly. You'll need a big pair of slip-joint pliers to tighten that nut. If you do take the tank off to check that, take the whole thing off, then lightly sand the porcelain around where the gasket goes and check for any bumps. But, usually, if it's leaking there, all it takes is a little snugging up of the nut.

If the chain length is too short or too long, or the flapper valve isn't clipped on properly, or the lever arm is pulling way to the side, that can keep the flapper from seating properly after a flush. A little judicious bending of the arm may be called for, or adjusting of the chain length. If you do try to bend it, you need to NOT apply pressure to the handle end, or you'll crack either the nut or the handle; IOW, use two hands and be careful to keep stress off the handle end.

wjcandee
09-01-2012, 11:58 AM
There shouldn't be any upward tension on the flapper from the weight (that thing on the chain should be a weight, not a float). You should have at least one link of chain loose dangling against the flapper when the toilet is full. If the chain is taut above the flapper, that is likely what is causing your problem. If it's taut, it is loosening the seal. Found that exact condition on one toilet where the handle had rotated a little and raised the trip lever correspondingly, eliminating any slack in the chain and causing a very slow leak. Adjusted and tightened the handle, and the leak disappeared. So give the chain a couple of links of slack and see what happens.

If you want, post a picture. It's a lot easier for us to see obvious problems that way. If you have the flapper with the weight, that's the old one (THU253S), which has been replaced on the EcoPromenade by a flapper with nothing attached to the chain but the flapper (THU331S). It shouldn't really make any difference, particularly here; since you have no slack at all in the chain between the weight and the flapper, I think you have found your problem. As Jim says, also be sure it's pulling basically straight up on the flush.

Also, is the refill hose daylighted on a clip above the top of the overflow riser? If not, you may have a siphon there. However, that's going to cause the tank to drain to a certain level, not all the way to the bottom, unless you have the world's longest refill hose.

It isn't the fill valve.

Let us know what you find.

EDIT: Thinking about this a little more, can you elaborate a bit on "the tank was empty"? Empty-empty? Like almost-dry-empty? Or was the water at the level of the mouth of the flapper/flush-valve-orfice? If the water level was lower than the flush valve orfice, then you most likely have a crack in the base of the flush valve. If at or around the mouth of the flush valve, then it's more likely what I said above -- a problem with the flapper/flush-valve seal caused by a too-taut chain. It's a two-week-old toilet. Although it may have been warehoused for a while (as suggested by the older-model 1.28 gpf flapper), you shouldn't suddenly lose that seal unless someone put bowl-cleaner in the tank, so a mechanical failure (i.e. chain too tight, stress causes crack in flush valve) seems more likely.

EDIT again: Who taught me to spell "taut"? Sorry, had to correct that.

brucet99
09-03-2012, 08:40 AM
[QUOTE=wjcandee;354716]There shouldn't be any upward tension on the flapper from the weight (that thing on the chain should be a weight, not a float). You should have at least one link of chain loose dangling against the flapper when the toilet is full. So give the chain a couple of links of slack and see what happens.

EDIT: Thinking about this a little more, can you elaborate a bit on "the tank was empty"? Empty-empty?

Thanks for your suggestions.

Odd that something that floats should be called a weight. I deduced that its purpose might have been to keep the flapper from closing too fast. I'll take a look and see if the water level is too high (supposed to be 1/2" below overflow?) or the "floating weight" is too low. Wait a minute, I think this answers the question anyway, If upward tension on the flapper chain from the float/weight caused the leak, then it should stop leaking as soon as the water level drops enough to take that tension off, but in fact it continues to leak clear down at least to the rim of the flush valve orifice.

I'll test again to see if water level drops beyond the flapper. The flush valve nut seemed secure when I installed, but I only checked tightness with my hand, not a pair of channel locks.

wjcandee
09-03-2012, 09:28 AM
EDIT: If I understand, we've always called it a weight on here; Toto calls it a float. Regardless, if there is slack in the chain above it, then my theory about tension is probably wrong. It shouldn't put enough tension on the flapper to cause it to leak. However, there's a reason it was removed; maybe that was one reason. If there is no slack in the chain, give it some.

You did the right thing to test the flush valve nut with your hand. It doesn't need to be tightened down much. The proper tension is finger tight plus a half turn. If you test with channel locks, you are likely to overtighten it and may crack flush valve or porcelain. If it seemed good and tight when you checked it by hand, it was likely tight enough.

If the water level drops below the flapper, I'm thinking crack, not loose nut.

Did Toto start the process of sending you the new flush valve? If so, and it gets there Tuesday or Wednesday, then I would start just by pulling the flapper off the flush valve and changing out the flapper, if our experiment above doesn't work. If changing the flapper doesn't work, then it's time to swap out the (probably cracked) flush valve.

If the water stops at the mouth of the flush valve, and the rim of the seat is smooth, and you don't want to wait for Toto to send you something, then I would just go get the Korky 3060BP (3060PK at Lowe's, 3060CM at HD) adjustable 3" flapper at Lowe's, where it's cheaper than HD and they carry a broader selection of Korky products. (They make a 2" adjustable flapper, which actually has a float, and which you don't want: you need the 3", which adjusts by covering or uncovering holes in the flapper.) I'm guessing a decent starting setting would be 5, but follow the instructions to tweak it. I don't think anyone on here recommends the Fluidmaster 3" adjustable flapper; get the Korky, since they make OEM parts for Toto.

Good luck, and let us know what happens.

brucet99
09-03-2012, 03:37 PM
Thanks for the follow up. I lowered the water level to just touching the flapper and it did not drop below the rim of the flush valve orifice in 4 hours, so it would appear that flush valve rim or flapper is to blame, although neither has any obvious flaws. I did notice that the flapper is pulled to one side by that odd flush rod that rotates instead of lifting, so it pulls the chain well off center and the flapper with it.

No, Toto has not yet started the process to replace the flush valve. There's no urgency to the problem, just a nuisance, so I suppose I could let Toto go ahead and send me a new flush valve just to get the flapper. That way, if the problem is the rim instead of the flapper, I would have a new one. Maybe they'd send the newer version without the float.

In your opinion, is the Korky flapper better than the OEM one?

Terry
09-03-2012, 03:47 PM
You may try bending the brass rod to adjust how the flapper is pulled up and reset.

wjcandee
09-03-2012, 04:14 PM
We haven't talked much on here about replacing the 1.28gpf flapper with a Korky product, but they are universally-admired for the Toto 1.6gpf toilets (indeed, they are Toto factory-authorized replacement parts) and they are admired as replacement parts for other brands. If Terry's suggestion as to the seating of the flapper doesn't work -- it often does work -- then I would just spend the $11 for the Korky adjustable and be done with it. You will eventually need a new flapper, so I would take Toto up on their offer and stick it in the drawer for when you need it. If it failed within 2 weeks, it's fair for them to replace it, and it isn't worth $21 for the THU331S flapper if you can get the Korky for $11 at Lowe's.

brucet99
09-03-2012, 09:15 PM
You may try bending the brass rod to adjust how the flapper is pulled up and reset.

How can I bend the rod to make it pull directly upward? The rod rotates 90 so that the "L" bend at the end moves the chain upward, but also toward the front of the tank.

If I bend the rod at rest upward enough to remove the offset of the "L" bend, then the chain attachment point at the end of the "L" becomes aligned with the shaft axis at the handle, producing no movement of the chain.
If I bend the rod toward the back of the tank in order to compensate for the frontward displacement of the chain, the rod end at the point of the "L" bend rotates downward the same amount as the end of the "L" rotates upward, resulting in no net movement of the chain.

What am I missing here?

Terry
09-04-2012, 04:27 AM
I adjust it so that the end of the rod points straight down at the flapper.
And yes, when the lever is moved, it pulls off center, but I'm more concerned with the "drop" position.

If the flapper isn't working, you might try a new one. I've sold and installed quite a few of the Promenade tanks. I think you are close.

wjcandee
09-04-2012, 10:11 AM
Brucet -- I remember you from the thread where we helped you decide to buy this toilet, so I at least want you to be happy with it. Please try the suggestion in terry's edited response to your last question (i think he was possessed by HJ initially ;) , so the revised response is much more helpful and really great advice). If that doesn't work, which it should, then do try the new flapper and let us know how it goes. This will also let us help others better.

Terry
09-04-2012, 10:59 AM
You mean this response?


I was backpacking with my friend Bruce in the rugged North Cascade mountains. We had been snacking on granola bars, kind of sweet stuff, and we noticed a big bear following us. I didn't say anything to Bruce, but I pulled my running shoes out of my pack and tied my boots to the outside of the pack. He looked at me and laughed, "You can't outrun a bear stupid!"
I said....."Yeah. I know. But I think I can outrun you now!"

http://www.terrylove.com/images/promenade_green.jpg

wjcandee
09-04-2012, 11:32 AM
:D

I always like those real-world install photos. Most folks don't have a 30x20 bathroom with giant windows and a central tub overlooking some spectacular spot, as most toilet ads would suggest.

The photos of your actual installs show how a well-installed toilet can class up even a small-ish bathroom.

brucet99
09-04-2012, 10:56 PM
I adjust it so that the end of the rod points straight down at the flapper.
And yes, when the lever is moved, it pulls off center, but I'm more concerned with the "drop" position.

If the flapper isn't working, you might try a new one. I've sold and installed quite a few of the Promenade tanks. I think you are close.

Now I see what you mean. The factory config is actually very close to directly over the flapper. In testing, I would pull the chain straight up by hand and the flapper stayed centered and didn't seem to leak, but I noticed that the first time I flushed using the handle, the off-center pull of the chain dragged the ears of the flapper toward the front of the tank. Maybe I'll try putting some sort of shim - maybe a small piece of vinyl tube - between the back flapper ear and the overflow pipe so it can't move off center.

brucet99
09-11-2012, 04:59 PM
Well, I can report success costing less than 1 cent.

As the flush lever rotated toward the front of the tank, dragging the flapper off line, I could see that the flapper's attachment ears had lots of room to move on the pivots that they attach to, and were actually being pulled off center, causing the cone in the underside of the flapper to come into contact with the edge of the flush valve orifice when it closed. I cut a 3/16" long piece of 3/16" vinyl tubing, sliced it lengthwise and slipped it over the pivot between the back ear of the flapper and the overflow tube and voila! Problem solved. The flapper ear can't move off line, so the flapper lands in the center of the flush valve orifice when it drops down and it seals just as it was supposed to.

wjcandee
09-11-2012, 05:10 PM
Congratulations on McGuyvering the fix!

brucet99
09-11-2012, 05:33 PM
Congratulations on McGuyvering the fix!

Aw c'mon now. McGuyver woulda used bamboo and a spine from a pufferfish. :)