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Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 9:54 pm
by Airstud
I can happily report that my commode contained only clean water when it began to misbehave, so this is not a gross post (a grosst? : / ).

It would sometimes just keep on running after flushing & refilling, sometimes for 15 mins or more; and I'd kibosh this by shutting off the valve. Hours later, I would reopen the valve and the whole appliance would behave normally - that is, until I flushed it and of course the stubborn running would resume..

Then on Monday I woke up & noticed the bowl was much fuller than normal. I also noticed it would "run" for a few seconds at a time, every few minutes or so - which I didn't think it should do with the valve shut?

I monkeyed with the valve - which I noticed was itself misbehaving, I could now turn the handle but not see it move inward or outward - so the stem was now unseated? The thread worn off? - but I could push yes PUSH the blamed thing in, which, in combination with the half-assed rotation, seemed to achieve the desired flow shutoff. Some minutes later the bowl was back down to its normal level.

Today the problem was back, though I hadn't touched the valve or anything, the bowl was slowly filling so I had no choice but to call building maintenance.

Dude came in, snaked yes SNAKED the darn thing - even though the problem I've had with this commode has never been one of clogging.

I tried telling him of the problems I've had with the valve but he wouldn't listen. Once he'd finished snaking it, obviously the water level went back down, he fiddled for less than a second with the valve, said "It's fine now," on his way out my door; I said, "Even the valve?" He nodded and took off.

Meanwhile - while it's not stubbornly running anymore - it's back to doing that THING where it runs for a few seconds at a time every minute or so. I don't think it ever did that before the running problem started months ago.

So... do I need a second opinion, from a plumber who's a better listener? Or am I making too big a deal out of the now-intermittent running?

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 10:17 pm
by frmrCapCadet
Something is broken. Usually it is a problem in the tank and water seals. Old fashion toilets had more frequent problems, but were a heck of a lot easier to fix.

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 11:04 pm
by Brick
If the toilet wants to "top off" the level in the tank every so often, the most likely cause is the flapper is leaking. They are about $5-$12 at Home Depot and are easy to install. If you are unsure about doing it yourself, there are plenty of You Tube videos that show how to replace the flapper in the tank.

Do bring in the old flapper to the store when buying a new one to make sure you get the correct one as they are not a standard size.

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Thu May 28, 2020 11:15 pm
by casinterest
Brick wrote:
If the toilet wants to "top off" the level in the tank every so often, the most likely cause is the flapper is leaking. They are about $5-$12 at Home Depot and are easy to install. If you are unsure about doing it yourself, there are plenty of You Tube videos that show how to replace the flapper in the tank.

Do bring in the old flapper to the store when buying a new one to make sure you get the correct one as they are not a standard size.



I agree here However if not already present, I highly suggest replacing the ball floater fill valve with the below.

https://www.zoro.com/fluidmaster-fill-v ... re-product

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Fri May 29, 2020 12:54 am
by fr8mech
Airstud wrote:
It would sometimes just keep on running after flushing & refilling, sometimes for 15 mins or more; and I'd kibosh this by shutting off the valve. Hours later, I would reopen the valve and the whole appliance would behave normally - that is, until I flushed it and of course the stubborn running would resume..



This is a leaking flapper valve or a leaking float valve. Buy them as an assembly. Something along these lines:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Fluidmaster- ... /206825432.

I suspect there are plenty of videos on how to properly replace the assembly, if the instructions included do not suffice.

The new one may not look like what is removed from the tank. It should fit just fine.

In extreme cases, the leak may be from the tank/bowl gasket. This is a more involved repair that requires the tank to be removed from the bowl. Pretty straight forward, but more involved. There are 2 bolt and 3 bolt installations. Just look in the tank and count the bolts.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-5-1 ... /205172145

Again, videos are your friend. Wear gloves. The bolt gaskets and the tank/bowl gasket will leave nice black marks on everything they touch.


Airstud wrote:
Then on Monday I woke up & noticed the bowl was much fuller than normal. I also noticed it would "run" for a few seconds at a time, every few minutes or so


This is still the same problem as above. The reason the tank is fuller than usual is because the weight of the water hasn't overcome the height of the weir yet. It will. The dude snaked it because a partially clogged toilet will present the same way.

Airstud wrote:
I monkeyed with the valve - which I noticed was itself misbehaving, I could now turn the handle but not see it move inward or outward - so the stem was now unseated? The thread worn off? - but I could push yes PUSH the blamed thing in,


This is a bad valve. They go bad because they are rarely used, and when they are used, they fail because the seals have dried out. These are more involved to replace, depending on the installation...compression, thread, in rare cases...glue. Consider yourself lucky that the valve is not leaking onto your floor.

They typically look like this:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraft-1 ... /202047058

I always replace these valves with a quarter turn:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraft-1 ... /202047059

You MUST turn off the water to apartment/house/bathroom/whatever before attempting to change this valve. Get a plumber if you're at all uncomfortable with this kind of work.

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Fri May 29, 2020 4:28 pm
by seb146
Try to find a chain and not a zip tie one. In our old commode, we had a flap attached with a plastic zip tie. It lasted a few months but, ultimately, it was junk.

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Sat May 30, 2020 4:45 am
by DL717
Flapper. If not, adjust the float. If that doesn’t work, it’s the fill valve. Change the flapper, if it stops, you’re good. Of not, replace the valve. It will take you 5 minutes to replace the flapper and 30 tops to replace the valve. Cost you a few bucks at Home Depot.

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing-Pl ... 5yc1vZckh9

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:20 am
by TARTRESED
That is a question that could easily be answered at any hardware store by a brand new employee.

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:33 pm
by trpmb6
Before you purchase a new flapper check to make sure the one you have doesn't simply have extra mineral deposits or residue build up. Sometimes that'll cause a slow leak because it doesn't get a good seal. Mine require a nice cleaning every year or two.

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:25 pm
by johns624
seb146 wrote:
Try to find a chain and not a zip tie one. In our old commode, we had a flap attached with a plastic zip tie. It lasted a few months but, ultimately, it was junk.

I've never seen one with a zip tie. Are you sure someone else didn't "repair" it sometime in the past?

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:08 pm
by seb146
johns624 wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Try to find a chain and not a zip tie one. In our old commode, we had a flap attached with a plastic zip tie. It lasted a few months but, ultimately, it was junk.

I've never seen one with a zip tie. Are you sure someone else didn't "repair" it sometime in the past?


We saw a couple of them for sale at the local hardware store up the street. We went to a real hardware store instead and got one with a metal chain, the way Thomas Crapper intended lol

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:31 pm
by bhill
buy the Fluidmaster kit and stop wasting time t-shooting a 2 cent issue, and if you can get a kit WITH the float even better!...and just turn the water off under the tank..you should not have to turn the supply off to the whole house. have a small bucket ready to put under the tank when you remove the existing valve. And these are PLASTIC fittings...do not over tighten!! Should take you 15-30 minutes tops to perform...

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:23 pm
by Tugger
fr8mech wrote:
Airstud wrote:
It would sometimes just keep on running after flushing & refilling, sometimes for 15 mins or more; and I'd kibosh this by shutting off the valve. Hours later, I would reopen the valve and the whole appliance would behave normally - that is, until I flushed it and of course the stubborn running would resume..



This is a leaking flapper valve or a leaking float valve. Buy them as an assembly. Something along these lines:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Fluidmaster- ... /206825432.

I suspect there are plenty of videos on how to properly replace the assembly, if the instructions included do not suffice.

The new one may not look like what is removed from the tank. It should fit just fine.

In extreme cases, the leak may be from the tank/bowl gasket. This is a more involved repair that requires the tank to be removed from the bowl. Pretty straight forward, but more involved. There are 2 bolt and 3 bolt installations. Just look in the tank and count the bolts.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-5-1 ... /205172145

Again, videos are your friend. Wear gloves. The bolt gaskets and the tank/bowl gasket will leave nice black marks on everything they touch.


Airstud wrote:
Then on Monday I woke up & noticed the bowl was much fuller than normal. I also noticed it would "run" for a few seconds at a time, every few minutes or so


This is still the same problem as above. The reason the tank is fuller than usual is because the weight of the water hasn't overcome the height of the weir yet. It will. The dude snaked it because a partially clogged toilet will present the same way.

Airstud wrote:
I monkeyed with the valve - which I noticed was itself misbehaving, I could now turn the handle but not see it move inward or outward - so the stem was now unseated? The thread worn off? - but I could push yes PUSH the blamed thing in,


This is a bad valve. They go bad because they are rarely used, and when they are used, they fail because the seals have dried out. These are more involved to replace, depending on the installation...compression, thread, in rare cases...glue. Consider yourself lucky that the valve is not leaking onto your floor.

They typically look like this:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraft-1 ... /202047058

I always replace these valves with a quarter turn:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraft-1 ... /202047059

You MUST turn off the water to apartment/house/bathroom/whatever before attempting to change this valve. Get a plumber if you're at all uncomfortable with this kind of work.

Excellent and complete answer! :thumbsup:

I just have to chime in on the valve and also second using only 1/4 turn valve only as well. I HATE those crappy valves that fail the second time you turn them (years after the first time they were used...). No one should ever install those evil little useless things, especially those plastic versions! (I also really hate the inch of pipe you often get stuck with trying to clean and attach the new valve to while wedged next to the toilet with your arms stretched to get back there. Can't builders just give us three or four inch of pipe sticking out? It's hidden under the toilet for criminy's sake!)

OK, rant over. :spin:

Tugg

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 11:30 pm
by Airstud
trpmb6 wrote:
make sure the one you have doesn't simply have extra mineral deposits or residue buildup.


Gross.

Re: Q for plumbing experts:

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:03 am
by trpmb6
Airstud wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
make sure the one you have doesn't simply have extra mineral deposits or residue buildup.


Gross.


Whats gross about that? Its in the tank which is fresh water. Sometimes just needs a good cleaning and back to good seal.

Get her fixed???