Toilet mystery - help solve please

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Lancejackson, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Lancejackson

    Lancejackson New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Ontario
    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. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The tank level dropping is more than likely a flapper chain adjustment needed or, a new flapper needed.
  3. Lancejackson

    Lancejackson New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Ontario
    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. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,302
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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. Lancejackson

    Lancejackson New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Ontario
    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. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,770
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    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: Oct 5, 2010
  8. SamC

    SamC New Member

    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Georgia
    There are a couple of systems that run chlorine down the overflow tube, avoiding the damage to tank parts.
  9. Uzzy

    Uzzy Engineer

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Windsor Ontario
    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? :confused:
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,809
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,302
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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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