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Thread: Basement leaking toilet

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Basement leaking toilet

    I just recently replaced an old toilet in my basement with a new one. The problem I am having is that I am losing water from somewhere but do not know where. Every 3-5 minutes that water turns on and has to refill part of the tank. Now when I looked into the bowl I noticed that the water level had gone down. I've heard of simple dye tests to determine the source of the leak but I'm not sure. Even though there isnt any visible water leaking on the floor could it be the wax ring? I don't want to have to call in a plumber for a series of tests that I could do myself to rule something out. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    Put some food color into the tank and wait about 10-30 min. then check your bowl. If there's color traces in the bowl then the flapper is usually to blame. I suspect that is your problem. Usually replacing the flapper will solve the problem, but it is usually only on older toilets. I guess it could be an issue on a new toilet. The flapper is about $3.50 at most stores so it's a cheap, easy part to replace.
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

  3. #3
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    Mike,

    Thanks. I will try this. You don't think it's a problem with the wax seal do you? I thought if it was I would have water leaking on my floor which I do not.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There is no water near the wax ring until the toilet is flushed. I agree the flapper is the culprit. It may just not be seating properly or there may be some foreign object preventing it from closing tightly. Guess that's about the same thing. Could be the chain is too tight and not allowing it to close all the way.

  5. #5
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    Gary,

    Thank you. I will try the dye and check the flapper. Although the toilet is new I'm sure it sat for some time so I guess it could have gotten warped if the chain isn't the culprit.

  6. #6
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    If it's a new toilet I would guess you need to lengthen the chain going from the flapper to the handle just a hair.

    If you pull the flapper out and and look at the brim of it and you don't notice any warping or distortions it's probably just fine. Also feel around the seat of the douglas valve (the part the flappers seals too when closed). Again try and feel and nicks or anything that would inhibit the flapper from closing 100%.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default leak

    The water in the tank, and the valve turning on and off periodically AND the lower level in the bowl are two different symptoms and are not connected. But, if water is leaking from the tank, causing the fill valve to operate, that would usually keep the toilet bowl full so its level would not drop. You are either misreading the symptoms or you have more than one problem.

  8. #8
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    Well I did the dye tested that was recommended. I put a few drops of food coloring in the tank and within 15 minutes the bowl contained the dye so I am assuming that the flapper could be bad and needs replaced. Any other reason besides the flapper anyone can think of that water would be leaking from the tank into the bowl?

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