Toilet making "Breathing" sound?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by btk3104, May 22, 2013.

  1. btk3104

    btk3104 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    Hey guys, I'm just a regular joe without any plumbing experience. Our toilet has been making a "breathing" sound for a few months. It goes on throughout the day and night, every 3-10 minutes.

    I looked in the tank and the gasket where the water pump comes into the tank bubbles and creates the sound. It almost seems like the pump is trying to pull more water into the tank, but the water level never changes. I've also noticed that when this sound occurs the water temperature in the shower increases.

    Few questions:
    1.) Is this a simple fix that I would be able to repair?
    2.) Do I need a plumber and if so roughly how much do you think it might cost? (in your experience)
    3.) Does this make sense, do I need to provide more info?

    Thanks for your time!
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,771
    Location:
    New York, NY
    A shot in the dark:

    First, take the cover off the tank and make sure that the little hose from the fill valve to the flush valve is mounted above the top of the overflow riser, and isn't stuck down in the riser, creating a siphon.

    Next, do this test: Take the cover off the tank. Mark the water level with a pencil. Turn off the water. Come back in an hour. Has the water level in the tank fallen? If so, then you likely need to replace the flapper (or the seal around whatever flush valve setup you have). If so, give us the manufacturer and model number stamped in the tank of the toilet, and we can help you find the right flapper or flush valve stuff. Or take a picture of the innards of the toilet tank and post it here and we can tell you what you need.

    If the water level hasn't fallen, then come back here and we'll help.

    PS Most likely, water is exiting the tank through a flush valve seal (flapper, tank ball, whatever) that needs replacing, and the fill valve is slowly adding water to keep up.

    See toilet anatomy and such at the web site of our friends at Korky: http://korky.com/anatomy.html
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,293
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If they are ''air bubbles" then the valve is not shutting off tightly and the slight flow of water is aspirating air from the refill tube. BUT, there is no way that could change the temperature in the shower. If it is periodic "water flow" then the tank is losing water, causing the valve to turn on and off, which COULD cause a temperature change.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,799
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    While the toilet is refilling, the shower has to share the cold supply, thus the warmer temperature in the shower. It's similar to someone using a cold tap while your are in the shower.
    I would guess leaking flapper, and that's why it has to constantly refill the tank.
  5. btk3104

    btk3104 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    Hey guys,
    Thanks for the input. I marked the level and had to get to work this morning. Came home and there's an obvious leak in the tank. Water was all gone, ha!
    Here's what I'm working with. I've indicated where the water "bubbles up" with a red arrow. Would it be advised to grab some simple universal replacement parts at Lowes? I'm kinda thinking just get a flapper and see if it's cured?

    Thanks again, you guys are making life more manageable! photo 2-1.jpg photo 1-1.jpg
  6. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,771
    Location:
    New York, NY
    It's our pleasure to help. And you did a good job giving us exactly the info we needed...

    Okay, so you have an Aquasource AT-1203 with a 3" flapper.

    I would just go get the Korky Large Adjustable 3" flapper (Model 3060BP) at Lowe's, swap it out, and see if that doesn't do the trick.

    Korky is the company that invented the flapper. They make high-quality products right here in the USA, including original equipment products for many quality manufacturers. They are the flapper brand that is pretty-much-always recommended on this forum.

    It's this one: http://www.lowes.com/pd_166789-868-...t=korky&pl=1&currentURL=?Ntt=korky&facetInfo=

    Here are the installation instructions from Korky: http://korky.com/PDF/3060BP.pdf

    If you look under "Aquasource" on the Korky instructions I linked to, you will see "98923" listed. That's actually the model number of the bowl that is attached to your tank. (The number in your tank is the tank model number for the AT-1203 and the bowl model number on the AT-1203 is 98923.)

    So you can just set the 3060BP flapper to "1" and it should work like a champ. On your toilet, you won't need to do anything to the flapper other than set it to "1". Leave everything else as it is right out of the box. In case it's not clear, you replace the flapper by just unhooking the "ears" from the flush valve and the chain from the trip arm. Install your new flapper by putting the ears over the pegs on the flush valve, and attach the chain to the trip lever so it pulls straight up and has just a little bit (a ring or two) of slack.

    The instructions in the Korky box may be different because the link I gave you is new very recently, but the product in the box is the same so the linked instructions do apply to it. I harassed Korky recently for not having a sufficiently-complete list of toilets and settings in their directions, and it appears that they have now updated the online directions.

    Let us know if that does the trick. It probably should.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,799
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The seal under the flush valve looks pretty ragged.
    Are you putting chorline tablets in there?
  8. btk3104

    btk3104 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Florida
    Hey guys, the flapper you suggested seemed to do it. Thanks again.
    No chlorine tablets, I should probably start!

    Thanks for the help!
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,771
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Actually, DON'T do the chlorine tablets. Chlorine dissolves rubber, which is why most manufacturers say to avoid them. I think Terry was concerned that the seal might have been dissolved by chlorine. If it hasn't been, I would just leave it alone.

    I'm so glad we were able to help you get the matter resolved! Come on back anytime with any other issues!
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