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Old 06-24-2010, 06:20 PM   #1
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Toilet Trouble


I have a toilet that won't fill up. I can turn the water line off come back a few minutes later turn it on and it will fill up, however it slowly disapears. It also sounds like it's running when I leave the water on. I have little to no experience with toilets, please help!

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Old 06-24-2010, 07:59 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome. Sounds like it could have a leak or a bad flapper. What is under the toilet? a crawl space? basement?

I'd be looking under there for signs of water. Could just need a new wax ring. Is the toilet loose?

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:44 PM   #3
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Toilet Trouble


Could also be something more serious.

Which toilet is it? (i.e. main floor, basement, upstairs)

Are you on sewer or septic?

Do you have a history of sewer or septic problems?
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:19 PM   #4
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Toilet Trouble


Sounds like you might have sediment in the fill valve. When you turn off the water, the sediment falls to the bottom of the fill valve. When you turn the water back on, it is slowly blown back up to the top where it clogs the rubber diaphragm.

To test this theory :

Turn off angle stop valve under toilet.

Disconnect supply on toilet tank side.

Using a small bucket, put the open end of the supply in it and crack the valve to see what kind of water flow you get from the supply.

Good flow = bad fill valve

Bad flow = problem with either supply, angle stop, or piping to the stop. Diagnose further at this point.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:29 PM   #5
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Toilet Trouble


If I understand your problem right, you simply need a new flapper. The flapper at the bottom of the tank is not making a good seal, so the water is running out of the tank and down into the toilet (then down the drain). They are very cheap and available at any hardware store.

Sometimes they come in different shapes, so it helps to see what your existing one looks like before you go to the store. Examples:
http://www.google.com/products?q=toi...ed=0CEMQrQQwAA
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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Toilet Trouble


I can't believe we have so many different responses to a simple toilet question. Something is wrong here. Maybe elaborate on your problem a little more please, because we all seem to be assuming something here.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:27 PM   #7
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Toilet Trouble


If you're losing water from the bowl it could indicate a soft blockage in your building sewer (main line from the house to the street or house to the septic tank) Sludge buildup due to a belly (low spot) in the line can lead to a soft blockage, suddenly clears itself, then will suck the toilet dry. Clearing the line would then require a jetter.

If it's only happened once, it could be that the city came by with a jetter to clear the city main and it sucked it dry.

If the water is being diminished from the tank then it's a simple fix. Most likely just the "water control diaphragm" aka flapper.
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:21 AM   #8
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Toilet Trouble


My vote goes to the tank not staying filled and the flapper valve is either damaged or not seating correctly. There is no physical way a toilet bowl can slowly drain just sitting there unless there is a hole or crack in the china
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
There is no physical way a toilet bowl can slowly drain just sitting there unless there is a hole or crack in the china
Engineer - You're probably right with your vote for a flapper. With all due respect however, I think you're wrong about the bowl draining. As I mentioned above a soft greasy or sludgy blockage in the line is also plausible and can create a vacuum sucking the water out of the bowl when it clears itself, or likewise a city jetter in the main going by the lateral.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LateralConcepts View Post
Engineer - You're probably right with your vote for a flapper. With all due respect however, I think you're wrong about the bowl draining. As I mentioned above a soft greasy or sludgy blockage in the line is also plausible and can create a vacuum sucking the water out of the bowl when it clears itself, or likewise a city jetter in the main going by the lateral.
Hi Lateral Concepts, What you describe is possible if the toilet is not properly vented and/or the blockage is close to the toilet outlet. However, when the toilet is flushed and after the water goes down the drain, the tank starts to re-fill and during this time a small percentage of water during the fill cycle is redirected to the bowl to fill and top off the trap. During these 20-30 seconds the waste water has already passed by the blockage and any vacuum effect would pull water out of the bowl in the early stages of the fill cycle. After the tank is filled andthe valve shuts off, the earlier flush water is already on its way out of the house. If the blockage is further down the line and the toilet is not vented, then yes what you describe is possible, but with a properly vented toilet, the vacuum effect will pull in air through the vent instead of water out of the trap. Hope this makes sense.

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