Toilet Problem

Category: Maintenance
Runs every 10 – 20 minutes

Dear Maintenance Men:

I have a toilet that runs every ten or twenty minutes. I have replaced the fill valve, the flapper valve and I have even scrubbed under the rim! In other words, all the items I can think of that are replaceable in the tank are new. What else should I be looking at?


Dear Sam:

You replaced all the easy ones!! When all else fails on a toilet leak-down issue; it is time to put on your rubber gloves and get an adjustable wrench. Chances are the problem lies with the Flush Valve Seat. The rubber flapper valve seals against the flush valve seat (the big hole at the bottom of the tank.) to either keep the water in the tank or let the water out of the tank. The seat may have a burr, crack, or calcium deposits that allow a small amount of water to seep past the rubber flush valve. Sanding the seat to remove the burr or calcium deposit is a short-term solution and rarely solves the problem for long. A permanent solution is to replace the flush valve. Start by turning off the water supply, completely empty the tank and remove the waterline. Remove the two or three bolts holding the tank to the toilet bowl. Turn the tank upside down and remove the large nylon or brass nut that holds the flush valve to the tank. Install the new flush valve. Be sure the tank bottom is clean and no debris gets between the new valve’s rubber gasket and the tank. Tighten the large nut on the outside of the tank and you are ready to reassemble the tank and bowl and put the toilet back into action. When reassembling the tank to the bowl, install new rubber washers and bolts.   

Frank Alvarez Buffalo Maintenance, Inc.

Jerry L’Ecuyer Real Estate Broker involved with apartments since 1988