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Thread: Running toilets: A flood risk?

  1. #1

    Default Running toilets: A flood risk?

    A plumber told me that there is a possibility of the running water accumulating if it starts running too much and it could flood the bathroom. I'm not in a rush to fix it since the HOA pays for water, but is this possibility...true?

    Also, other than just wasting water, what other risk is there? I've never fixed a toilet, so am hesitant to go about at this, but I understand this one of the common fixes that is doable by most common folk.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You do realize that YOU are paying for the water AND sewer in your HOA fees. If everyone felt that way, your costs would skyrocket and you'd have nobody to blame but yourself.

    What exactly is leaking on the toilet? It might be as simple as a $2 part and take all of 2-minutes to fix.

    The only reason a leaking toilet might flood something is if the thing broke and water was coming out on the floor rather than down the drain. Course, if the drain for some reason got clogged, continuing to run water would flow over the top.

    Most toilets can be stopped from leaking for less than $20 in parts no matter what is wrong, and the parts are easy to replace. There are exceptions, and in some cases, it's just better to replace them with a new one.

    Depending on where you live, legally, you may not be able to do this yourself, and would require a licensed plumber to do it. If it's just a flapper valve, I doubt anyone would object if you replaced it yourself. That should take all of about 30-seconds and less than $10.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    The constant flow of fresh cold water may present a condensation problem.
    I was once sent to a customers house that had so much condensation dripping off the supply and drain pipes in the basement they thought the sewer line was backing up flooding the basement.

    Repairing a leaking toilet cured the problem...
    Last edited by Redwood; 05-02-2009 at 05:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I'm not in a rush to fix it since the HOA pays for water
    That's a pretty callous attitude.
    You think it's free water, so down the drain it goes.
    When everyone else is conserving water, and water districts are trying to figure out how to supply everyone with water, you just don't give a D****.

    If your toilet is running, and someone plugs the toilet, that combination can flood your unit and every unit below you.

    They will come after the party that didn't keep their plumbing fixtures repaired.

    Most of the time, it's a five dollar part.
    So for want of going down to the hardware store and spending five bucks, you're willing to cost your Home Owners Association thousands of dollars a year.

  5. #5

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    aite, i'm currently trying to troubleshoot what the hell is causing my toilet to run. home depot is 15 minutes away, so i was hoping to get the parts for my toilet and also whatever paint and prep items for to fix the chipped paint on my bathtub in one trip before home depot closes.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you post a picture here of the inside of the tank, someone may know what you need.

  7. #7

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    the toilet is running continuously as opposed to periodically.
    Last edited by AFK; 05-02-2009 at 07:43 PM.

  8. #8
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Not enough info but it's most likely your ball cock. Replace it.
    I just post cuz I like to see my avatar.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There are two likely things that could be leaking: the rubber flapper valve that gets lifted when you press the handle; or, the valve itself. Since the water doesn't appear to be rising high enough to drain down the overflow tube sticking up, it is probably the flapper valve leaking. The safest thing is to turn the water off for the toilet - there should be a valve below the toilet, take the old flapper off and take it with you to match up (it may not be the same color but that doesn't matter). Unless it is a really odd one, you should find a suitable replacement at a big box store.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10

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    i've been reading that if it's the flapper, the toilet would run periodically as opposed to continuously because it takes a certain amount of time for the water to get to a certain level or something. yes/no?

  11. #11
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Not true. If the flapper doesn't seat, the water will continue to run, but that's not the only thing that could be wrong. If the float ball has a hole in it and has filled with water, it won't lift up to shut the valve off. Flappers are probably the most common problem. Will the water shut off if you lift the float arm up?

  12. #12
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If the water is going over the overflow tube, then the ballcock needs and adjustment, or repair, or replacement.

    If the water never reaches the top of the overflow, I would be thinking flapper.

    The stuff in that tank is pretty generic.

  13. #13
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    Like terry and the others said.

    1. look at the water level where that plastic pipe in the middle is and see if there is water flowing into it. if it is then adjust the middle screw on the fill valve to the left clockwise.

    2. Check to see if the chain is tight. There should be a some slack in the chain so that the flapper can seal.

    3. Replace the flapper. It just clips on.

    FYI: I had to file a ridge on the plastic piece that the flapper seats with on my "AS Compact EL" toilet.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  14. #14
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default leak

    There are only three things that can cause the problem, and two of them, the flapper and fill valve are easy to change. I say change because I would NEVER waste time repairing that fill valve. Your attitude is like the people who do not pay for their heating, so they turn the radiators on full and then open the windows to reduce the temperature.

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