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Old 11-18-2011, 09:57 AM   #1
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Help a novice with toilet issues?


Hi everyone

I was hoping someone could help me out with an issue I'm having with my toilet. I was hoping to call a plumber to fix it, but it's been a month now & I just haven't been able to come up with the extra cash..

So! When I flush the thing, it won't flush all the way, and I can tell it's taking a really long time to fill back up (I can hear the water running for about 20 minutes). However even when the water sound stops, the bowl still doesn't completely fill back up every time, more like every other time. If I turn the water all the way off reallllly tight on the wall, and then turn it back on, it will fill much faster and all the way up. So every time someone uses the toilet I'm having to turn the water off at the wall, wait for it to fill, then flush it again.

I hope that description is helpful/intelligible. Any suggestions? Is it something I could possibly fix myself by buying a few parts from a hardware store? I'm *fairly* handy, but have never worked with plumbing before.

Thanks so much in advance!

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Old 11-18-2011, 10:31 AM   #2
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Help a novice with toilet issues?


It sounds like your flapper valve in the tank isn't seating/sealing properly. That will keep the tank from filling and keep the water running. Usual cause is the little chain inside getting hung up. Shake the handle to free it. Better to look inside and re-route the thing (maybe shorten it, too) so it doesn't hang up. Also the rubber hardens on these things and they start leaking by even if the chain hanging up isn't a problem. You need to go to hardware store (or even Walmart) and get a replacement flapper. Costs just a couple of $.

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Old 11-18-2011, 10:59 AM   #3
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Help a novice with toilet issues?


Thanks so much! I'll try that.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:31 AM   #4
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Help a novice with toilet issues?


Okay.. I checked it out. The chain isn't getting stuck and even when I press down on the flapper to secure the seal really tight, it's still running. In my [very inexperienced] opinion, it seems like the problem might be with the part pictured.

Sorry for the horrible picture quality.. my bathroom lighting is poor and my cell phone camera isn't great. Hopefully you can see what I'm talking about though.

See the vertical "stick" part on the right? Water is barely trickling down that as it fills, and that seems to be the only source the water is coming from. Could that be the issue?

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Old 11-18-2011, 12:44 PM   #5
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Help a novice with toilet issues?


MissRedo,
It looks like a fluidmaster fill valve from the pix. Sounds like you need to replace the rubber seal in the top of that unit (only about 2 bucks), or replace the whole thing for about 10. Putting a new seal in is an easy task, just shut off the water supply, remove that plastic top cover, Under that cap is the arm assembly, turn the arm assembly about 1/4 turn counterclockwise and it will come out. You'll see the little rubber seal/diaphram on the bottom of it when you get it out. Pull the old rubber seal off and put the new one back on, re-install the unit. turn water back on. Takes about five minutes. You can get the new seal at home depot, lowes, or any hardware store. It's fluidmaster part #242 (toilet replacement seal). Just a little rubber piece about the size of a quarter. Just ask in the plumbing department, they will know what you're talking about.

edit: make sure the small rubber hose from the fluidmaster goes in the top of the fill tube (that tall tube that comes up from the bottom of the tank). That's what fills the bowl after each flush. There should be a small clip there that holds the hose where it needs to go.
Good luck

Last edited by Lightfoot; 11-18-2011 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:04 PM   #6
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Help a novice with toilet issues?


one other thing. Maybe it just the grainy picture but it looks like you have some granular stuff on the top of that cap. It's not a bad idea to (while you have the top arm assembly off) to hold a cup over the top of that unit and turn the water pressure back on and let it flush away any crud which may be in the line (that could also be causing at least part of your filling problem). May as well flush it out good while you have it off.

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Last edited by Lightfoot; 11-18-2011 at 01:26 PM.
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