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Thread: Toto Toilet Flapper Issue

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member adeutsch's Avatar
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    Default Toto Toilet Flapper Issue

    Hi,

    i've had my Toto toilet for about a year now and I'm noticing a couple of issues. They are most probably related but I'm no expert or for that matter a novice either.

    Basically my toilet will run constantly because after flushing the stopper will not cover the hole completely. When i make the slight adjustment by hand it stops running, which makes sense. However, sometimes the tank wont re-fill after flushing and the bowl wont flush but has a constant drain. The water continuously runs but the tank does not fill up. I figure its just running straight through the tank through the bowl and then down the drain. I can not stop this action and am forced to shut off the water supply. After a few minutes wiht the water turned off it returns to normal function.

    I'm sure i can adjust the stopper or get a new stopper to cover the hole and that should deal with the first problem, but i think i have a much larger issue with the fill valve and the internal workings.

    Any idea of what i should do? It's kind of annoying when your toilet works correctly only 10% of the time.

    thanks in advance for your responses.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Trouble shooting

    Fill the tank, turn off water supply at the wall and take a note of how high the water is in the tank.

    If the water level drops in the tank, then that needs to be addressed first.

    If the water level stays in the tank, turn the water supply back on, and see if the fill valve is shutting off consistently.
    The water in the tank, should stay below the overflow tube.
    If the water keeps overfilling, then the fill valve needs work.
    It could need a simple cleaning, or a part, or even replacement.
    Can you post a picture here less then 800 x 800 pixels as an attachment of the inside of the tank.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member adeutsch's Avatar
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    Thanks for your reply.

    Basically there are 3 states that the toilet can be in.

    1. Normal - we like that. About 15% of the time.
    2. Running - this happens when the red plunger does not full cover the drainage hole. It will leave a tine slit open and can be fixed by pulling the plunger to cover the hole completely. About 75%.
    3. Full run - Not sure what is happening here but the tank does not fill up and the bowl does not drain. Instead there is a constant running of water and there is a constant drain from the bowl but neither the bowl or the tank changes levels. The tank is about 1/2 inch full and the bowl is a more full than normal (case #1). I fix this by turning off the water supply and when I turn it back on, it miraculously works. 10% of the time.

    My hunch is that if i fix case #2 everything would be fine. My other hunch is that there might be something loose or just slightly off within the mechanism. Since it doesn't happen all the time.

    Any ideas of how to fix these 2 issues? I've attached the picture, i hope it works.

    Thanks so much for your help.

    Andy
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    DIY Junior Member adeutsch's Avatar
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    you can see the top left of the red plunger is where it does not fully cover. in the picture it is working fine but if it is just slightly off there will be space for the water to flow.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I'd take a little slack out of the chain and move the anchor on the arm to a point closer to over the flapper and see if that helps.

    Depending on your water chlorine levels, the rubber on the flapper will fail at different times. Where I live, I can get about 4-5 years, but if you have high chlorine levels, yours could be dead much sooner. What I find happens is that it gets softer, and the center gets depressed because of the water pressure from just sitting there most of the time. At some point once this starts to happen, it doesn't seal well all the time and I replace it. They're warrantied for, I think, longer than that, but I ususally just buy one.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    You can try bending the brass rod so that the flapper gets lifted straight up and down.

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    DIY Junior Member new2me's Avatar
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    I've had the same problem with both of my Toto's. The lift rod was not aligned over the flapper out of the box, but is easily bent back (careful not to break it!)

    The flapper deforms and leaks. Bad design of the flapper. Rubber may have worked for smaller flush valves for the past century, but IMHO it is not suitably strong for these larger ones. The force of the flapper slamming closed causes it to deform and leak. I can take it out and see that it is "warped"; allowing it to regain its "correct" shape by leaving it out for awhile will allow it to work OK for ~ one week, then it starts leaking again. Brand new flappers, at @ $10 each, will last longer, but succumb within a year, or so.

    What is needed is a reinforced flapper, one with a rigid top that will not deflect/deform over time from the repeated closing action. That would make it last several years (maybe even as long as the "old" ones!) and remove a lot of the negative Toto postings.
    Anyone know of a flapper that is strong enough to cover a 3" opening with out warping that can be retro-fitted to a Toto G-Max flush valve?

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A lot of this depends on the quality of the water...the more chlorine in the water, the quicker the rubber gets soft and you need to replace the flapper. Also, if you add chlorine to the tank, with one of those cleaning tablets or other sources, the flapper will fail quickly, too. Where I live, I can get 3-4 years out of one. Your results, obviously, are different. Live with well water, and expect longer (unless you chlorinate the well).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    Your fill valve is fine, and I am pretty sure your flapper looks to be in good condition. These guys are telling you adjust the slack on your flapper's chain, which you should try, as well as inspect the flapper.

    But from what you are describing, and intermittent flushing/filling problem , it sounds like you have a problem with the flush handle. The handle on the Drake use very flimsy plastic attachment parts which can loosen and slip/reposition when you flush if the handle assembly is cranked too tight, causing the handle arm to be out of alignment. If you adjust the flapper chain and leave the handle slightly loose rather than cranking it tight, your problem should be fixed.
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


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    DIY Junior Member new2me's Avatar
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    I hope that I have found the solution. I bought a Fluidmaster 5403 3 inch universal toilet flapper that comes with a 10 year warranty.
    It is primarily made of a hard, rigid plastic, with a silicone sealing ring under it.
    When I installed it I also noticed that the lift rod pulled it off to one side and caused the "ears" to slide on the "pins" that it attaches to the overflow tube with. It still sat back down centered over the hole because of the alignment tabs along side of the "bubble." I never saw that with the original "red" flapper, probably because the "ears" flex and don't slide? I "adjusted"(bent) the lift rod until it lifted the flapper up and down only, with no side to side movement.
    The "bubble" has adjustable flow so that you can "dial" more/less water per flush. The instructions listed 6, on a 1-10 scale, as the right setting for a drake. At 6 it seemed fine; at 0 it doesn't use hardly any water at all; at 10 it almost empties the tank and flushes harder then it ever did. I left it at 10.
    I got it at Home Despot for $12, which is $2 more then Lowes(t) wanted for a replacement "red" flapper, and it was the ONLY 3 inch flapper they had!
    If it does last 10 years it will have been a good $12 investment, if it only lasts 5 years, it is still a good deal better then replacing these $8-10 "red" ones every 2 years!
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    Last edited by Terry; 04-08-2010 at 02:33 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member new2me's Avatar
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    Thanks for adding the picture Terry!
    All of the green is rigid plastic, so is the white adjustable "bubble" float. The gray is the silicone sealing ring.
    I had looked at the Fluidmaster product website and didn't find this flapper listed there yet.
    I turned the "bubble" float setting down to 7 to reduce the amount of water per flush. At 10 it splashed too much to suit the Mrs.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I'm not too keen on retrofits so I guess the jury is out on that fluidmaster flapper. I hope it works as I've been getting calls back on some of the drakes I installed not even 2 years ago.

    Toto got stingy with me till I laid the law down and told them how many I installed, and I was having to take it on the chin on those flappers, not being able to charge for my time. They didn't even look damaged/aged from chlorine...just wouldn't seal.

    They sent me 4, 2 red and 2 blue ones. Red usually indicates chemical resistant but I can see a hard shell on the top of those flappers making a difference.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

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    DIY Junior Member new2me's Avatar
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    I purchased both of my Totos in August of 2007, and the first flapper I replaced was in July of 2008 (in 1/2 bath that gets most use.) Second ones' original lasted till Thanksgiving, both replacements where free exchanges from supplier. The 1/2 bath started running again around Thanksgiving, and I tinkered with it on and off until I found the Fluidmaster flapper. I hope it lasts more then 2 years.
    There is still a Kohler toilet in the kids full bath that I have not had to do anything to since I bought this house in July of 2006. The Kohlers that the Totos replaced where the same 1989 vintage, slow swirl 4 gallon flush, and probably had the original internals, but they didn't run on. If they had been "right height" they might still be here. I got the Totos because of what I had read on this site, and am a little disappointed in their longevity, but I suppose that the other 3" flush valve toilets are going to experience the same flexible flapper failures.
    Maybe if this fluidmaster one works, it'll become the OEM choice; instead of a red or blue just go green.

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    For the flapper to fail that fast (a year or two), one of two things is likely: your water has an exceptionally high amount of chlorine in it, or you are using an in-tank cleaning chemical. If the later, NO flapper will last very long, especially those larger 3" diameter ones...the rubber is not designed to resist high levels of chlorine. Mine seem to last around 5-6 years. I may look at the Fluidmaster one next time I need one. In the winter, they add more chlorine, but the summertime seems to be less - maybe it just outgasses more because the water is warmer.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member AnnisDad's Avatar
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    Same trouble here -- red Toto flapper failed after two years. I live in Seattle, and the water doesn't seem heavily chlorinated, at least compared with other places I've lived.

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