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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    2

    Default Leaky Toilet Tank

    I have one toilet tank on the 2nd floor of our 2-story single-family home that has been leaking for many months. I can't see any water entering the bowl, yet the tank keeps losing water and the float-ball keeps dropping so that water is fed into the tank. There is no water on the floor, no leaks around the bolts, no water damage on the ceiling below. The only other place the water could go would be past the flapper, down into the bowl. When the float-ball drops, it drops a little at a time, so that when it reaches the place where the ball-cock feeds water, the entire thing shudders and makes a loud shuddering vibrating noise (I first thought we had a wood-pecker on the roof). Our solution is that we turn off the water by twisting the shut-off valve and then turn it on before we need to flush.
    First I replaced the flapper. When that didn't work I thought it might be the ball-cock-pressure-release valve that the builder installed inside the toilet tank (which also feeds water into the tank), so I replaced that. Still leaked. Then I replaced it with a different wider flapper. Still leaked. Then I glued a new flapper-seat (a little repair kit from Home Depot) onto the existing flapper-seat , along with a new flapper that came with it. Still leaked. Eventually, the shut-off valve broke to where you couldn't turn the water off...so I had to replace that. That angered me so I bought a new toilet, a Kholer. I had to replace the ball-cock in it with the pressure-release-ball-cock, since that is the only pressure-release we have in the house. It still leaked! So I called Kholer and they told me to make sure the chain was tight; however that didn't fix the problem. So they sent me a new flapper-seat set, which I installed; however it STILL LEAKS!!!
    Any ideas would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    -Roy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Leaky Toilet Tank

    It appears the only thing in common between the old and new toilet is the device you installed. To see if water is actually draining into the bowl you only need to add some food coloring to the tank and see if the water in the bowl changes to that color. But I suspect the pressure release valve may be back siphoning when water is turned on at some other fixture.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Leaky Toilet Tank

    high water pressure and/or your air buffers/arrestors are filled with water instead of air - look up water hammer and how to bleed/drain your pipes so to recharge those built-in areas to arrest/absorb hammer shock and check your water pressure (you'll need a guage) the drain port on the water heater, a hose bib.

    a website to visit: http://www.toiletology.com where you can learn all about how toilets work and how to diagnose problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Leaky Toilet Tank

    Thanks for the dye advise. I tried some food dye. It is draining at the same rate that it's putting in new water, so the level isn't dropping; water is just running very slowly continuously. So I turned off the shutoff valve and the drain is so slow that I couldn't make out where the food dye is draining to, until I opened the toilet seat and saw that dye was now in the bowl. The only other thing I can think of is that I need to tighten the tank down harder; perhaps water is leaking on the outside of the rubber flange that the flapper seat feeds into? I don't know how much torque to give the nuts. I don't want to break the tank.

    I don't think it's the water pressure, as the water is not seaping back into the ball-cock, but into the bowl.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,480

    Default Re: Leaky Toilet Tank

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyKMathur View Post
    The only other thing I can think of is that I need to tighten the tank down harder; perhaps water is leaking on the outside of the rubber flange that the flapper seat feeds into? I don't know how much torque to give the nuts. I don't want to break the tank..
    It is doubtful that it's leaking around the outside of the flapper base. That would show leakage between the tank and bowl. As for torquing the parts down, the big nut that holds the flapper base in place should be as tight as you can reasonably get it. The tank bolts should have two rubber washers sandwiching the tank, with a metal washer and nut tightened good and snug. When the rubber washers start to mushroom out, it's tight enough. The nuts under the toilet flange I rarely do more than finger tight, but there is a "trick" to getting the tank seated and nuts tight. After setting the tank in place and aligning it to the wall and bowl, run the nuts with a washer up finger tight. Now apply light pressure on one side of the tank to crush the rubber donut seal a little more and tighten the nut. Now do the other side of the tank. Continue this back and forth a couple times until all the slack has been taken out and the tank sits level. It will depend on the design of the toilet whether or not you can get the tank not to wobble a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyKMathur View Post
    I don't think it's the water pressure, as the water is not seaping back into the ball-cock, but into the bowl.
    There are really only two ways for water to get from the tank to the bowl, one is through the flapper valve, the other is through the stand pipe. The flapper flushes the toilet, the stand pipe refills the bowl after the flush. It might be possible that the stand pipe is cracked. You might be able to place a brick on the flapper to force a good seal, then try the food coloring trick again.

    The only other things I can think of at the moment is that the chain to the flapper is too tight, not allowing it to make a good seal, or that the flapper is not the right one for this toilet.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Leaky Toilet Tank

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyKMathur View Post
    Ithe entire thing shudders and makes a loud shuddering vibrating noise (I first thought we had a wood-pecker on the roof). Our solution is that we turn off the water by twisting the shut-off valve and then turn it on before we need to flush.
    The woodpecker hammering shuddering is what I was referring to water hammer and/or too-high water pressure.

    The website I refered you to has the information you need, including how to check or a worn flush valve seat/gasket.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Leaky Toilet Tank

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyKMathur View Post
    Thanks for the dye advise. I tried some food dye. It is draining at the same rate that it's putting in new water, so the level isn't dropping; water is just running very slowly continuously. So I turned off the shutoff valve and the drain is so slow that I couldn't make out where the food dye is draining to, until I opened the toilet seat and saw that dye was now in the bowl. The only other thing I can think of is that I need to tighten the tank down harder; perhaps water is leaking on the outside of the rubber flange that the flapper seat feeds into? I don't know how much torque to give the nuts. I don't want to break the tank.

    I don't think it's the water pressure, as the water is not seaping back into the ball-cock, but into the bowl.
    Originally you said "yet the tank keeps losing water and the float-ball keeps dropping so that water is fed into the tank" now you say the level isn't dropping, Is it by chance filling to the top of the overflow tube? If it is then the float may be adjusted to high, it should shut the water off " to " below the top of the fill tube. The other cause could be excess pressure and a defective pressure release valve and the pressure is forcing water through the closed ball cock .
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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