Apartment Maint won't fix running Mansfield toilet. Replaced everything twice, still runs. HELP!

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Kellen, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Kellen

    Kellen New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    NorCal
    Mansfield toilet so not your standard ball/flapper assembly. Looked like this (this is the original setup but taken after the first rebuild with identical parts).

    mansfield-repair.jpg

    Toilet started running every 10 minutes. Replaced the flush valve first, that didn't fix it. Replaced the fill valve, that didn't fix it. Replaced the tank bolts and spud gasket. That didn't fix it.

    Someone on a different forum said the guts of a Mansfield are crap, get a traditional flapper/chain assembly so I did that. Second rebuild of all the parts mentioned, just in case I got a faulty part.

    That didn't fix it.

    Bought a flapper seal in case the inside of the tank was pitted. That didn't fix it.

    Messed with the water level. That didn't fix it. Replaced the handle. That didn't fix it.

    If I flush, turn the water off and add dye to the tank, dye doesn't show up ANYWHERE. It doesn't go into the bowl. There's no water on the floor. But the tank is empty in 2 hours. WHERE IS THE WATER GOING???? It's got to be going somewhere, and there's only 3 possible exits out of a toilet tank: through the fill valve which would leak onto the floor. Through the flapper or spud gasket which would leak into the bowl. Through the tank bolts which would leak onto the floor as well.

    At the rate the tank loses water it's got to go someplace but it's just disappearing and can't be accounted for. And yet it runs and runs and runs.

    The issue is compounded by the fact that this is an apartment and maintenance has just thrown their hands up and said "I don't know!" and left it. They refuse to replace the toilet. I've contacted a renter's advocate but as long as the toilet functions, they are not LEGALLY obligated to repair a running toilet. No plumber in my area will come to an apartment without the ok of the property manager which they obviously won't give.

    I mean, it kinda functions? I have to shut the water off until I need to use the toilet, otherwise the noise is ridiculous and also keeps me awake. It runs literally every 10 minutes.

    I have GOT to figure this out. Having a toilet I have to " turn on" before use is just SUCH a nice civilized way to live. I suppose I could replace it, but I'm in medicine, not plumbing, and I'm afraid of screwing up and then not having any toilet at all.

    I can't replace anything else, and there doesn't seem to even BE a leak or there would be red water somewhere. Any ideas?
     
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The most likely culprit is the small tube into the center of the flush valve. It may be shoved down too far and is siphoning the water out of the tank, although not likely to empty the tank. The other possibility is that the rubber seal ring is not installed so it is flat on the bottom.
     
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  4. Kellen

    Kellen New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    NorCal
    Nope, the tube isn't the issue. I even totally disconnected it so that it just dumps back into the tank. Toilet still runs.

    If it was the spud gasket, or the the gasket on either sidesof the flush valve, wouldn't I be seeing red water in the bowl?
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Your dye in the tank may not be that noticeable in the bowl due to dilution.

    If you remove part of the water in the bowl, but not down to the exit hole, see if the level rises back up again.
     
  6. Kellen

    Kellen New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    NorCal
    That's unlikely. I've done it several times and the last 2 I made it unreasonably red. Half a tube of regular old food dye. It was RED.
     
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  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I like that.

    Another thing to try is turn off the supply water. Let the tank water become very calm. Drop food color onto the water, and watch the color path.

    Another idea is to place one or two pieces of tubing securely-enough into place with open ends at the bottom and above water. Drop food color into the tubes. See the flow path without dispersion from the trip down. Used oxygen tubing could do it, but something more rigid could be easier to hold in position. A discarded IV drip setup, with the needle taped to a stick, could give pinpoint color injection.

    If you see a telling trail of color, take a photo.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  8. Kellen

    Kellen New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    NorCal
    I have those things! I'm an aquarium hobbyist, I have rigid airline tubing which should work. I'll try this later and report back.
     
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Unless the water is evaporating, the water, and color HAS to go into the toilet, regardless of what you are telling us. There is NOWHERE else for it to go.
     
  10. Mad Plumber

    Mad Plumber Mad Skills

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Occupation:
    Plumming
    Aliens!!
     
  11. Kellen

    Kellen New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2019
    Location:
    NorCal
    You're honestly telling me I can't see a difference between blood red water and clear water?

    I tried the things listed above tonight and THE WATER ISN'T GOING INTO THE BOWL!!! None of it. I placed coloring directly by each "opening" of the tank. It sits there. It disperses. And then gradually, the water disappears. The bowl is crystal clear. The floor is dry. And the effing toilet just runs every 10 minutes.

    I've almost got to believe that maybe there's a hole in the base somewhere and the water is just being pulled down the body of the toilet? In which case I can't fix that, I don't know how to replace an entire toilet and I'll just have to tell guests to turn the water on when they need to use the toilet and back off when they finish.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    You replaced the flush valve, which involved pulling the tank? You could replace a toilet, or find somebody who will.

    That is certainly not obvious to me. Have you asked the property manager? Ask in person first, and if the manager refuses, try again with a certified letter.
     
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The last time I had water leaking out of the tank, it was the flush valve. The second flush valve worked. It's a good idea to sand the inside of the tank to get a smooth surface. It's too bad you've done all of this and it's still a problem. If it makes you feel any better, The last one that needed two flush valves, that was 1.5 hours round trip to make it work.
    Any toilet at a hardware store would work better than the old Mansfield 160 that you have there. It's too bad they won't pay for a replacement.

    You may want to remove the chlorine tablet from the tank. Those things will void any warranty. They are very hard on the seals.
     
  14. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
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