Leaking tank/flapper valve

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by neustkg, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. neustkg

    neustkg New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Colorado
    Had a problem with toilet tank over the last few weeks. Noticed that the toilet stopped flushing. Looked inside the tank and water had drained through flapper valve (but fill valve never refilled the tank). So to solve the draining problem, replaced the flapper valve with a new one. That didn't fix the problem. I inspected the area between the tank and lower part of toilet to see if water was leaking around there. I noticed the left bolt was dripping slowly so I tried tightening it, but was able to pull off the bolt. So I knew I had to buy new bolts and a tank gasket at the least. Bought a flush valve kit at Home Depot that included flush valve, another new flapper valve, bolts, and tank gasket. Removed the tank and removed the old flush valve and gasket. cleaned inside the tank where the old disintegrated bolts were and installed the tank flush valve and gasket. It took me 3 tries to seat the gasket properly so it did not leak and tightened the bolts. No leaks through the bolts finally.

    Turned the water on, but noticed water still leaking through either flapper valve. Plus, the fill valve does not kick as the level drops. Does not kick on until you hit the lever and pop up the flapper valve. I knew I should have replaced the fill valve, too when the tank was off. I bought another fill valve to install this weekend as well as a new lever (should have gutted everything in the tank when it was removed).

    Is there any kind of lubricant I can use on the flapper valve seating area so that it seals better when it drops? Silicone lubricant? I've never had a lot of luck with new flapper valves. They always seem to trickle a little.
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,122
    Location:
    IL
    How far down does the water level go due to your leak? Will it continue to leak down to the flapper, or does it stop at some level? If it stops before that point, the problem could be something else.

    In retrospect, replacing the toilet would have been easier. But now you are invested.
  3. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    First, let's get some terminology straight so we are all talking about the same thing. The flapper is the rubber thing that goes on the flush valve. The flush valve is the plastic thing on which the flapper sits, and from which the overflow riser (tube) comes straight up to a point above where your water shuts off. The flapper isn't a valve. The flapper is the part of the overall valve that moves. Open flapper, close flapper -- see, a valve. The fill valve we seem to be on the same page.

    I'm a little confused about your problem and what you have done to fix it. Me, I would have just swapped out the flapper and if that didn't stop the dribbling, I would have checked to make sure that it's not a cracked valve. I think from your description that you changed the whole assembly out, removing the tank, removing the old valve, installing the new valve, tightening the nut, putting a new sponge gasked on, and reattaching the tank to the bowl. Under those circumstances, you should not have any dribbling past the flapper. None. No need for "lubricant". If the flapper isn't sealing, I suggest that you check your chain length. At rest, it should have a couple of links of chain slack. No more (because it can get caught under the flapper) and no less (because it can hold the flapper off the valve). Also make sure that when you put the lid back on the toilet it doesn't press against the flush handle and lift the chain a bit. More toilets do this than one would think. You would then compensate for that by figuring out the handle position with the lid on, and adjusting the chain accordingly.

    As to the fill valve, sounds like you are going to replace it. You don't need to remove the tank to do so. It's a five minute job. I like the Korky 528, but the Fluidmaster is also popular. Some fill valves, like the Korky, actually wait for the tank level to drop a bit before they start refilling. That precludes a slow leak from escaping your attention: when the valve turns on, it will run for a few seconds and you will notice it, rather than just giving you a slow hiss while it matches the water flow out of the tank.

    Let us know how you are making out.
  4. neustkg

    neustkg New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Colorado
    Reach4, it goes down to the flapper and stops, so I am thinking it is leaking through the flapper.

    wjcandee, the first thing I did was change out just the flapper with a new one. Since that didn't do the trick, I inspected the area between the tank and the lower part of the toilet and saw water leaking from the bottom of the left tank bolt. Tried tightening, but that bolt had disintegrated. I bought a flush valve kit that contained the flush valve, a new flapper, the tank bolts and gaskets/washers, and a tank gasket. I replaced those parts and used the second new flapper. This flapper also was slowly trickling. I checked the chain length and it was not long enough to get caught under the flapper (that has happened to me in the past).

    I am changing out the fill valve (changing out an older Fluidmaster with a new Fluidmaster). As for the tank lid pushing down on the tank lever, that could be (one of the reasons I bought a new one), but I watched the water level with the tank lid off. I could see the water level drop over 5 minutes. With tank lid off, flapper should have been firmly in place.
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Whose flush valve kit? Was it the Fluidmaster or the Korky or someone else? Just wondering b/c then I know what kind of flapper you now have. Also, when you changed the flapper, what flapper did you change it with?

    Also, this isn't a Kohler is it? Because they sometimes have weird flapper requirements. If it's just a generic toilet with a 2" flapper, it should be fine with your new kit, so the obvious stuff has been dealt with.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  6. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Arizona
    It may be time for you to replace the whole toilet.

    This past weekend I had a rusted bolt that took forever for me to hack saw through. I couldn't find a nut breaker small enough, so I had to resort to hack sawing it away. What a pain.

    I have replaced FluidMasters before and I'm not impressed. I'd throw in a Toto fill valve instead. The Fluidmaster float doesn't always go up smoothly. And playing with the water level adjustment doesn't always work.

    On my old Briggs toilet I tried a few fill valves and flappers, even going back to the old round ball float fill lever. I am so glad I finally got rid of those lousy toilets.

    May I interest you in a nice Drake 1.6 or 1.28 gpf toilets? :D
  7. neustkg

    neustkg New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Colorado
    First flapper was a Korky. I think the flush valve kit was Fluidmaster. I tried the flapper that was in that kit (it leaked, too) and stuck the Korky back in place.

    Toilet is a Briggs 1.5 gallon.
  8. neustkg

    neustkg New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Colorado
    Toilet is a Briggs 1.5 gallon. 2 years ago I replaced the wax ring as the old one had disintegrated. Probably not bad since it was most likely on there since 1994.

    The fill valve is a Fluidmaster. I've been through a few of those over the 9 years I've been in this house.
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I think the basic Korky is a superior flapper to the Fluidmaster, so that's the right move. It should fit fine on the Fluidmaster flush valve. Let me give some thought to your issue, because a generic Korky flapper (the black one or the same one in red) should not need anything else to properly stop the flow of water on a brand-new Fluidmaster flush valve... And you say you can make it stop by pressing down on the flapper, right? You don't have the refill hose from the fill valve stuck down into the overflow riser by any chance, do you? That could cause a siphon...
  10. neustkg

    neustkg New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Colorado
    If you press down on the flapper, flow stops. I will double check the refill hose. The end should be above the fill line, right?
  11. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,828
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Yeah, nowadays, we recommend that you "daylight" it above the top of the overflow riser on the little clip that they usually provide for it. So you see water coming out of it above the riser and flowing on its own down into the riser. Just a thought....
  12. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Arizona
    Usually when water leaks through the flapper area it is because the flapper has gunk and grime and slime on it. Usually cleaning it and the flapper valve drain hole will cure the problem. If chlorine tablets have been used inside the tank the chlorine can attack the flapper, maybe even deform the flapper valve drain hole. idkfs.

    You have already replaced the flush valve/over flow tube, the flapper and the fill valve. Since you still have the problem it is either the compatibility of parts or the lever chain being caught under the flapper. What's the size of the Briggs flush valve? 2"? It may have been better to buy a complete kit, like the Korky 4010PK because you know that parts were made to work together, like the flapper correctly seating in the flapper flush valve.You will need to research that part more, though, since it may limit the gpf, overflow tube size, etc.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
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