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Thread: leaking toilet after 2 flapper changes

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member nabril's Avatar
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    Default leaking toilet after 2 flapper changes

    New to the forum, and I certainly appreciate your help.
    Being one of the most popular topics, I searched, but I got a lot of pages. Most of them dealing with toilets that leak at the base, so I start a new thread.

    I have a 5 year-old toilet whose tank drains slowly. I have replaced the flapper with 2 different brands, and the leaking continues. There is no water on the floor, so the leak is happening on the inside. After the 2 flapper replacements, I went to my nearby Home Depot, and they suggested a buy a flapper seal---a plastic disk that glues on to the original flapper hole to make it smooth. I felt the original flapper hole and it felt smooth; I installed it regardless, sealed it with silicon, and sure enough the tank continues to drain. When I added food coloring, however, I did not see the red fluid in the toilet bowl. Strange. Is the water leaking down into the cement (toilet is in 2nd floor), and it's not visible to me?

    What do I try next? I shut off the water line every day to avoid the waste, but I would like to fix it once and for all.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    The refill tube is to far down into the overflow tube causing the water in the tank to siphon. The refill must be above the water level in the tank.

    John

    Last edited by Terry; 02-29-2012 at 05:05 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member nabril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o1 View Post
    The refill tube is to far down into the overflow tube causing the water in the tank to siphon. The refill must be above the water level in the tank.

    John
    thanks JOhn
    I have it clipped to the very top, and the water level is below it.. The instructions mentioned not to do that, so I took notice.
    Last edited by nabril; 08-01-2010 at 07:54 PM.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I take it if you shut off the water, and let it set for awhile, the tank empties?

    What brand toilet is it? Is it a one-piece, or a two-piece toilet?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member nabril's Avatar
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    yes, if I shut off the water, the tank empties. It is Briggs 2-piece installed by the builder of this townhouse.

    I see 4 little clear streams running down the tank. I added red coloring last night, and I now see 4 red streams running down the walls of the bowl.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Well, this is good in a way, it means that it is not likely leaking into the floor from a defect in the bowl!

    Assuming the flapper valve seat is smooth, and the flapper valves you have used are not warped or otherwise defective, and you have the chain adjusted so it is not getting caught underneath the valve or it's too tight and holding the flapper up, the only other thing is the gasket underneath the flapper valve (that I can think of, anyway). So, if that's the issue, you may need to remove the tank, and tighten the big nut on the bottom of the flapper valve assembly, and put it back. While you have it apart, you might want to consider replacing that seal.

    Or, you could replace the whole toilet with one that works better from the get-go...A Toto Drake or Drake II come to mind. I put two Drakes in my mother's house.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member movrshakr's Avatar
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    Same problem...slow 'leak.' No sound. Tank level drops. Tops off about every 1-1/2 hours. Fill tube is not below water level. New flapper did not solve. Lip of drain feels perfectly smooth. With water shut off, the tank over time empties completely.

    What are possible failure modes causing this?
    Is there a brand of flapper known to be "the best" for making good seals?
    Could there be a pinhole leak in the tube at the very bottom, allowing tank water to enter the bowl. If so, what is fix?

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    How about a picture of the inside of the tank?
    800 pixles or less can be attached.

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    DIY Junior Member movrshakr's Avatar
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    Inside pic of tank attached as requested.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I'd start by tossing that POS Fluidmaster Flapper in the trash and using a Korky Flapper...

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The other possibility is that the overflow riser is cracked where it is glued at its base. That or the flapper are the only ways for the water to leak out. It is NOT the gasket under the flush valve, or it would be leaking onto the floor, not into the toilet.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    You can check the overflow riser for cracks by applying a slight pressure at the top in different directions and see if the leakage rate changes.

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    DIY Junior Member movrshakr's Avatar
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    hj, redwood. Will try the 'move tube around' thing to see if flow changes to see if can confirm it as the culprit. Flow is VERY tiny--can barely see it if put pepper onto the water.

    I think tube is the problem, 'cause I have pretty much ruled out the flapper (son bought the replacement flapper while we were on vacation). Previous one and this new one, and leak persists--and inspection shows no problems with it.

    What is involved in replacing the tube? Never done that.

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    I would toss that junk replacement flapper as the first step...

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    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    Pick up a new flush valve and tank to bowl kit from a plumbing supply. You will need to remove the tank from the bowl, underneath there will be a gasket, remove this then loosen the large nut to remove the valve. Replace the valve, gasket and bolts and put the tank back on.

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