Author Topic: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube? (Read 4783 times)

Bearded Man

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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.




« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 08:57:52 AM by Bearded Man »

Uturn

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2015, 09:29:04 AM »
The flapper lets a whole bunch of water into the bowl, the tube lets a little bit of water into the bowl. Basically, the tube partially fills the bowl while the tank is filling.

1. Can you hear the water shut off when you lift the float? (big black ball) If not, the valve is bad
2. When you changed the flapper, did you make sure there was no build up around the edge of the hole the flapper covers? this can let water leak past
3. Is the tank leaking anywhere? There are 3 rubber washers at the bottom of the tank, and rubber does dry out sometimes and lets water through.

If all else fails, you can get rebuild kits just about anywhere, and are easy to install. No need to replace the toilet, unless you just want a different color or more water efficient.
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Bearded Man

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 09:35:01 AM »
Will try filling the tank and lifting the float right after I post this, but wanted to post this 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 the assembly for this contraption (sorry, not a plumber, just trying to fix this on the cheap) is solid, and that the problem is in fact with the flapper?


Spork

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2015, 09:48:38 AM »
That tube serves another purpose: It's the overflow if your toilet is over filling. In other words, if you have the level set too high, it will run over the top of that tube and into the bowl instead of pouring over the top of the tank and onto the floor.

So: if the flapper was replaced (and it fits)... the next step is to look at the fill mechanism. (I say "and it fits" because some older toilets seem to have different flapper mechanisms that are not the same size as today's toilets.)

The fill mechanism may either be out of adjustment... or it may just not be shutting off. They're pretty easy to replace (if you can't adjust it to get it to shut off) and the new ones are much more compact than that old one you have.

Try just lifting up on that float with your hand... see if that makes it all shut off. If that is the case, you can probably fix it by just adjusting the float height.
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Fishindude

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 10:10:32 AM »
Clean all of the "guts" and moving parts inside the tank real good with some "the works" or similar muratic acid based cleaner.
My tank components get lime and iron build up, then start acting up such as you have described.

Papa bear

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2015, 10:19:23 AM »
You have old insides. Just buy a new flow master (or whatever your hardware store sells) replacement kit and change out all parts. Rubber gaskets and washers go bad over time, especially if you use those chlorine tablets and the such.

If you are leaking elsewhere (outside of the tank to bowl) and need to diagnose, put 2 different food color, one in tank, one in bowl. See what color ends up on the floor!


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lthenderson

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 07:30:11 AM »
The tube you are referring to is the overflow tube. You have a leak between the base of the overflow tube and the flange and gasket that helps tighten it to the bottom of the tank (which you referred to as another tube in your post). That long tube is threaded and has a flange on it. On the bottom side will be a nut that pulls the flange and gasket to the porcelain to create a seal. I'm guessing there is a crack in the base of the tube up next to the flange. It happens with age.

The only way to fix this is to replace that entire assembly. I would just buy a full kit and redo everything, the flapper assembly, fill assembly and the linkage connecting it to the handle. You will have to remove the tank from the bowl to do this procedure but it is a fairly easy job and most kits I have used have pretty good instructions on how to do so.

sisto

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 03:32:37 PM »
I'm in agreement you need to replace the guts. They make one that's really easy to install that's a retrofit and European style that saves water. I'm a big fan of these and installed them in both my bathrooms. They are push button, press 1 for number 1 and 2 for number 2.
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Bearded Man

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 03:43:12 PM »
Not sure if it is the tube. I noticed it is draining right down to the edge of the slanted flapper/seat. After that, the tank doesn't drain. This spot is well below the overflow tube joint. So if it doesn't drain anymore past this point, at th edge of the flapper, then it's the flapper, no? Read on, the mystery deepens...

I tried another flapper recommended by the plumbing resource at Home Depot, but as suspected, it didn't work. Why would it, I told the lady it was identical to the one I had other than color and brand.

I also tried another one that has a clay like substance that you can stick onto the seat. So I emptied and dried the tank, cleaned the existing seat, and plunked this puppy in there, pressed firm, etc. Instructions didn't say to let it sit, but just to be sure, I let it sit overnight.

Well, NOW the water stops draining a half an inch or so above the flapper. Hmmmm....so the flapper is now holding water just not when the tank is full.

In any case, changing the guts sounds really involved. How do I get rid of that plumbing crap on the screws/bolts? This sounds really time intensive. I've already spent hours on this driving to the store, working, testing. How many more hours? The reason I ask is because at my pay rate of $72+ an hour, it may be cheaper to hire a plumber...

Imonaboat

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 04:09:25 PM »
Have you seen how much plumbers cost? ;P Take this perfect opportunity to learn how to repair it, and next time it breaks you will know exactly what is wrong. You may lose a bit of efficiency the first repair, but gain a bit of self sufficiency.

Look up a few youtube videos, drain the water out, and get to work! Toilets are not very complicated once you understand what is going on.

Uturn

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 04:45:09 PM »
If this was the very last time you will ever need to fix a toilet, then it would be worth it to hire a plumber. Must like almost everything you will ever do, in any capacity, the first time is for learning and fucking things up. Suck it up, fix the toilet.
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Bearded Man

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2015, 07:59:35 PM »
If this was the very last time you will ever need to fix a toilet, then it would be worth it to hire a plumber. Must like almost everything you will ever do, in any capacity, the first time is for learning and fucking things up. Suck it up, fix the toilet.

Hmmmm....good way to think about it. Can apply to other things. 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) the flapper holds water. The tank still drains, but only to the very EDGE of the tube joint! 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...

Papa bear

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2015, 10:17:53 PM »
It's really not hard to replace anything unless you can't get the bolts undone from the tank to the bowl. If those are corroded shut, I have had to drill out the heads of the brass tank bolts to get the thing off. Otherwise it's a 30 minute project under 20$. Not difficult at all.


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libertarian4321

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Re: Toilet still running/leaking after replacing flapper, what is this tube?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2015, 12:00:47 AM »
Might also want to make sure the intake valve (the one you used to "turn off" the water) is still good. Older ones might not close 100%, so you will get a small, continuous leak.

Just replaced one recently. It's not too hard to do, just check youtube for help videos.