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Thread: Toilet mystery - help solve please

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Austinjames's Avatar
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    Unhappy Toilet mystery - help solve please

    Hi,

    I have a 2 year old Toto Drake that was installed by a professional plumber.
    Two weeks ago it got clogged - not sure why - maybe too much toilet paper - I don't have any kids who could have thrown anything in.
    I used Drano Max Gel which didn't work. The plunger worked.

    Now it seems to flush ok, but the tank refills every 30 minutes or so even though I have not flushed.
    I watched inside the tank and the water level drops about half an inch. I also watched the bowl and that also seems to drop a bit. When the tank refills the water in the bowl goes up a bit and then slowly goes down. Same for the water in the tank.

    Seems very odd to me how both the water in the tank and the water in the bowl can go down. I don't see water flowing into the bowl and I don't see a leak anywhere.

    What's going on and how do I fix this?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    The tank level dropping is more than likely a flapper chain adjustment needed or, a new flapper needed.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Austinjames's Avatar
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    Thank Redwood,

    But how is the water in the bowl slowly going down?
    And would a 2 yr old toilet really need a new flapper? Seems odd it would need replacement so soon.
    Also, I can't see any water trickling into the bowl from the tank. Wouldn't it be easy to see water going into the bowl if the flapper is leaking?

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    The water going into the bowl is not easily seen, putting dye or, food coloring in the tank will show it easily.

    The level in the bowl going down could be several things, something in the trapway wicking water out of the bowl similar to a wet string draped over the side of a water glass or, a crack in the bowl leaking water into the drain.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You seem to be a fan of chemical cleaners, so I'll pose this question to you. Do you use a chemical cleaner in the tank? These eat the hell out of flappers and could be the cause of a premature flapper failure. It also could be the water quality in your home. You have also learned what we preach on this forum about chemical drain cleaners...they don't work.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Austinjames's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, you were both right. It was the flapper - I replaced it and it's fine now. And yes I do use chlorine tablets in the toilet. I would prefer to replace the flapper every couple years rather than have germ-infested water splashing on my a** every now and then and misting (can't think of the right world) all over my bathroom when I flush.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Mythbusters did an episode on that. There was more bacterial around the kitchen sink then in the bathroom.

    When plumbers get together, they joke about the fact that they almost never get sick. It's pretty funny really.
    Last edited by Terry; 10-05-2010 at 07:31 PM.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member SamC's Avatar
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    There are a couple of systems that run chlorine down the overflow tube, avoiding the damage to tank parts.

  9. #9
    Engineer Uzzy's Avatar
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    I've got a very similar mysterious problem. One of my toilets is turning on to very briefly refill the tank every couple of hours. It's not a full refill, but just comes on for a few seconds. Is this the same problem?

  10. #10
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Very likely the same problem. The easy test is to shut off the water supply, and let it sit overnight or while you are away at work. If the tank is empty, unless it is on the floor, the only place it can go is by the flapper valve (most likely) or the part it sits on.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  11. #11
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There's really no mystery here. You use chlorine in the tank and that destroys the flapper. You say you know that but are willing to pay the price. I won't argue the germ theory. So you either live with frequent flapper replacement or find another way to inject chlorine into the bowl.

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