Toilet still leaking after replacing flapper, possibly worse than before

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by ToiletFlapper, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. ToiletFlapper

    ToiletFlapper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Kent, Washington
    Toilet has been running water constantly after flushing unless the water is turned off. So I replaced the flapper and now it seems to be still leaking, possibly worse.

    Before I could have sworn if I turned the water off, it would stop running. Now when I turn the water off, it still runs until the tank empties. I am not 100% sure that this didn't happen before, but I am roughly 80% sure. Of course this doesn't make any sense, because it was leaking, making the trickling water sound constantly. So it is possible that it is exactly as before. I don't remember if the tank held the water before this. It drains pretty slowly.

    In any case, I put the old flapper back and still the same...

    One thing I noticed is that the water drains through a tube that the flapper is attached to. I see the water draining at the bottom of this tube even when the flapper is closed. Is THIS where the flapper actually drains through, or is there possibly another leak with this tube? I've compared it to another toilet in my house, and it appears that the water drains through this tube in the tank when the toilet is flushed. So this could still be an indicator of a bad flapper.

    Pic of tube I'm talking about below. What's interesting is that the water in the tank drains down to where the tube is stuck into another tube. Slightly just above the line where they connect. But then it stops draining. So I'm not sure it's the flapper, as I would think that if it was the flapper, it would drain all the way down.

    Then again, I am also not sure that it isn't a leak in the seal where the two tubes are connected, as it doesn't drain right down to this point, just a few millimeters above it. Shouldn't it drain right to the line if this is where the leak is? Or just not enough pressure from the weight of the water to force it through the slight leak at that point? And if so, easier to just replace the toilet? I've done that before and although one of my coworkers has complained about how hard it is, I find it relatively easy and I've heard that if the flapper repair kit doesn't fix the issue fixing the internals of the toilet is a big job. Might be more time involved than direct cost, but would prefer to just be done with it.

    I'm about to head to Home Depot to get a full fledged repair kit, but if it doesn't work, I might look at replacing the toilet. I've replaced toilets before, and from what I understand the repair for the leaking tank is a big job. SO it might just be easier to replace with a new toilet.

    *I've tried attaching the pic 18 times and each time it tells me it is too large no matter how small I make the file. I'm sure everyone here knows what the tube that the flapper hinges/is attached to/on.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Yes, that is good troubleshooting. That overflow tube, which I think you are describing, should not leak. A drop of food color in the water as the water level is almost down to its final level would let you see the water flow graphically. You could try patching that leak with epoxy glue or with silicone tape.

    A fix that provides a new overflow tube should work too.

    Your picture did not make it.
     
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  4. ToiletFlapper

    ToiletFlapper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Kent, Washington
    UPDATE: It looks like the water finished draining below the tube joint overnight, and is pooling up juuust to the edge of the flapper, while the area just below the flapper is still filled with water. This would indicate that the seal that is part of /sits at the bottom of the assembly for this contraption (sorry, not a plumber, just trying to fix this on the cheap, not sure what the entire assembly is called) is solid, and that the problem is in fact with the flapper?
     
  5. ToiletFlapper

    ToiletFlapper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Kent, Washington
    Tried new flapper again after cleaning flapper seat area with a rag to clear any slime and grit that may have been there. STILL leaking. Ugh...

    I know I got the right sized flapper. Heck, the old one doesn't work either so WTF? If it's not the rubber seal below it, and not the tube, and doesn't get fixed with a new flapper, then what?
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    The chain should have a little slack. If it has any tension, that could cause the water to leak. Too much slack, and the chain could get caught between the flapper and the seat.

    Having the water leak more slowly as the water level falls to the point of the leak is normal. That is due to reduced pressure. Consider putting a drop of food color between the overflow tube and the flapper when the water is still (no ripples), and almost to the final level, but before it has totally stopped dropping.

    Feel the seat under the flapperfor any burrs or debris. Wipe the seat with a cloth.

    Consider wiping the flapper, where it contacts the seat, with a very light coating of plumber's/silicone grease. Do not use Vaseline or any other petroleum product.

    A whole new flush valve would fix it. There are repair kits that glue into the existing seat that would probably fix it.

    http://www.korky.com/flappers-flush-valves-kits/2-universal-flush-valve-repair-kit
    http://www.fluidmaster.com/our-prod...epair-kits/toilet-flush-valve-repair-kit.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  7. ToiletFlapper

    ToiletFlapper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Kent, Washington
    Funny you post those two links. I got back from the store and got a few different things to try, and two of them were EXACTLY what you posted. The third was something the girl in plumbing recommended, but it was just a different flapper, I didn't think it would work.

    Where does the black portion of the repair kit in the second link attach? I don't see a way to wrap that around the tube, just clip the two other portions against the clips of the tube. Also, why doesn't my existing seat have a rubber gasket at the top? It only has one at the bottom, yet in the repair kits, they have new rubber seats that you either glue or peel and stick on top of the existing seat. Am I missing a gasket or is this just an addition to ensure that it actually seals when it closes?

    Sigh, frustrated. These plumbing repairs always seem to take multiple attempts to diagnose/repair.
     
  8. ToiletFlapper

    ToiletFlapper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Kent, Washington
    Forgot to mention yeah, there is enough slack for it to sit. I even try pushing the flapper down and holding with my hand and it still leaks. No chain caught under it. Thanks though, never know, sometimes it is some of the most simplest/obvious things that people overlook just because they think there is no way it would be something so simple...
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I have not used either of those because I have not had a flush valve problem that could not be fixed with a new flapper.

    I expect there is a resilient piece on the repair kits to let the new seat to be able to conform to the existing seat when glued in place.

    You didn't buy some food color I guess. You could use ink, but you are less likely to have that than food color. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015
  10. ToiletFlapper

    ToiletFlapper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Kent, Washington
    I do believe the flapper was part of the problem but is now fixed, and that the tube is also leaking.
    The water would drain just to the edge of the lowest portion of the flapper before (the flapper and seat are slanted). Now, with the putty flapper (as I like to call it, it's a flapper with a new seat and some clay like putty) the flapper holds water. The tank still drains, but only to the very EDGE of the tube joint(where the tube slides into a fitting)! The flapper is well below this and the tank does not drain water after the tube joint (where the tube sits in a bigger tube). I figure some plumbers silicone from the store around a well dried tube will fix that too and I'll be back to normal.
    I have some plumbers silicone in another kit I bought, but I will be returning that since it comes with a flapper and I don't need the flapper. Cheaper to get the silicone I'm sure. Will also be returning the other two flappers (they told me I could return them even used, it's just water they said). In any case, some testing and observation solved the problem. Or so I hope...
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Do not use silicone grease to seal the faulty tube. I would use 2-part epoxy from tubes, but you could maybe use a silicone sealant.

    Glad you have the flapper portion of the problem fixed.
     
  12. ToiletFlapper

    ToiletFlapper New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2015
    Location:
    Kent, Washington
    Guess what? While cleaning the area around the tube of grit and letting it dry, it snapped, right at the base! So my flapper repair was all for nothing. At least if I replace the entire assembly. Maybe I can get away with finding a smaller tube that will fit in the spot where it broke off and seal that. Ugh...what a PITA.
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    You might want to think about if you want to upgrade your toilet since you will be doing some work anyway.
     
  14. r.g.

    r.g. New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Location:
    Paradise, California
    Is the overflow tube brass? If so then it is threaded into the flush valve. Very thin walled brass. easy to wear through. Also. When you buy the flapper is there a neopreme ring attached? Do not use that and slide over the overflow. I know they tell you it works... But no way. As an aside. If it is a brass overflow and you replaced the flapper by sliding it over that tube .. Do you think there's a chance you cracked the brass tube? I think.. probably. If it is an old 'drop ball' flush valve that someone repaired by putting a flapper on then.. two choices. go back to the drop ball or replace the flush valve. Not that hard if you listen to a smuck that did it for 45 years
     
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