Dripping inside toilet tank

Discussion in 'Toilets and Sinks' started by PlumbMark, Jul 7, 2019.

Help Support Plumbing Forums by donating:

  1. Jul 7, 2019 #1

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    ,
    Last time I had a toilet drip (years ago) it cost me big time!
    I was away on vacation and came back to a huge and costly mess (months later).

    This time I am at home and would like to nip this one in the bud (before I go away again).

    I just started hearing a drip last night. I took off the tank cover and can hear an intermittent drip,
    but can't see where it is coming from!

    Can someone please give me some guidance as to how to proceed?
    This low-flush ball-float toilet is about 20 years old.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jul 7, 2019 #2

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    ,
    I think I might be onto something...
    A few things.
    First, I disconnected the refill tube and the dripping seemed to come to a stop...
    ...for a while. It continued after that but not as frequently.

    Then I noticed that the water level is about 1/2" or more above the mark where it should be.
    I noticed also that the water level was even above the overflow tube.

    Am I getting close?
    My intuition tells me that if I could adjust the water level to meet the level line, it might fix the problem?

    Suggestions, tips?
     
  3. Jul 7, 2019 #3

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    ,
    More info...

    There are two adjustment screws at the top of the fill valve.
    I probably adjusted the wrong one to start.
    I went for the metal one that the ball attaches to.

    I screwed it down too much and the water didn't fill up very much at all.
    So I unscrewed it a bit and then the water started to fill up.
    Only halfway, so I unscrewed it some more and this time the water stopped about
    half an inch below the water line.
    But after it stopped I could still hear some water movement. It was a very faint sound but it was there.
    After a few minutes the water level rose to the water line and even crept above it.

    I adjusted the second screw (the plastic one) but didn't notice much difference.

    Currently, the water level is about 1/4" above the line. I can hear the very faintest of water flowing.
    And the dripping seems to have stopped.
    But the faint water flowing is bothersome.
     
  4. Jul 7, 2019 #4

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Professional Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    211
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    when you adjust the water flush the toilet that way there is less pressure on the leveling screw get it close to 1" to 1/2" below the tube then check the length of your fill hose it should clip above the tube or maybe an inch or so in the tube
     
  5. Jul 7, 2019 #5

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    ,
    Thanks for helping Geof.
    I played some more with it last night (before your reply).
    It didn't matter how much I adjusted the screw(s).

    When the main water stopped flowing at 1" below the tube, you could still hear a very very faint water flow.
    After a few minutes the water level would always eventually get to level or just above the tube.
    It would be about 1/2" above the water line marker.
    And I could now hear the dripping once again.

    My intuition now tells me that the seal at the bottom (flapper valve/valve gasket)
    is continually letting in water, so the flow never stops.

    What would you recommend I do next?

    Around 6 years ago I tried a float cup fill valve on this toilet, but no matter how I adjusted it
    I always got a noisy clunk sound at some point during the flush so I went back to a ball cock valve.

    It was much quieter.
     
  6. Jul 7, 2019 #6

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Professional Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    211
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
     
  7. Jul 7, 2019 #7

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Professional Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    211
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    lift up on the rod that threads into the fill valve if it stops you need a new fill valve there is a rubber disc inside the top that wears out if you think its the flapper pu a little food coloring in the tank and see were it ends up
     
  8. Jul 8, 2019 #8

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    ,
    Sorry but this is turning into a royal PITA!
    I went to the hardware store and the plumbing guy recommended changing the fill valve cap.
    I took off the old one and the rubber gasket was certainly worn.
    It looked like this might do it.

    But it HAS NOT!
    Installed the new valve cap and I have the exact same problem as described above.

    At one point I was able to get the water flow to stop completely, but the tank was only half filled!

    Suggestions for my next step? :(
     
  9. Jul 8, 2019 #9

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Geofd

    Professional Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    211
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    yes replace the fill valve I use fluidmaster they can be found at any hardware store
     
  10. Jul 8, 2019 #10

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2017
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    ,
    I agree with Geofd. Buy a new Fluid master fill valve for $10 and replace it. Yours is worn and not fully closing off the water.

    It's a simple job. Turn off the water supply to the toilet, flush it, hold the flapper up to drain the remaining water, and then use a sponge (or better yet a shop vac) to remove the little bit of water left in the tank. Then, under the tank, unhook the water supply line, and remove the nut holding the current fill valve to the tank. Install the new on in reverse order. Adjust as necessary to get the water to the fill line on the tank, or to approximately 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube.
     
  11. Jul 8, 2019 #11

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    ,
    https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=0&facet=pickup_and_delivery:FREE+Pickup+Today&max_price=10&min_price=5&page=1&query=fluidmaster+400&sort=price_low#searchProductResult

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Fluidmaster-400A-Toilet-Tank-Repair-Fill-Valve/15788352

    Installed a Fluidmaster 400 , yesterday . Purchased it locally at our Walmart store for < $ 7 . I had all the tooling .

    Took 30 - 45 minutes . Most of that was getting the water shut off in the alley . Gathering up tools . Setting up a box fan to help dry out the water I knew was going to end up on the floor . Then reversing the process .

    The water line to the fill valve was / is flexible plastic , so it was easy to work with . Did not even have to get in the floor . Sat on the side of the tub , laid a towel in the floor to soak up water .

    Took a pair of 12" Ideal brand " channel-locks and unscrewed the water line nut , then the nut holding the valve to the tank . Removed the old fill valve & installed the new one . Tightened the plastic nut down to secure the valve to the tank ( make sure the rubber washer is on the inside , side of the tank to seal water from leaking .

    Re-attach the water line & tighten the water line nut to the bottom of the fill valve . Caution , most / all of the parts are plastic . You DO NOT have or want to get anything " oilfield tight " .

    Go outside & turn the water back on . Come back inside and check for leaks . Have not found any , yet , Praise the Lord ! :)

    Put all the tools and other stuff away .

    Actual swap out time was not over 15 minutes .

    If you think the flush valve is bad , replace it too . The parts are not that expensive .
     
  12. Jul 9, 2019 #12

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Everything Geofd suggested is right on the money.
    That little trickle of incoming water, after the main refill is over, usually means that your fill valve won’t shut off 100%.

    After the fill valve shuts off, lift up slightly on the big float ball, to put more pressure on the fill valve seal, and you should hear that little trickling sound stop.

    This tells you that you have to either replace the seal parts on the very too of your fill valve, or just change out the whole thing.

    Changing the little rubber and plastic seal parts with a rebuild kit will often fix it, but sometimes not, and also if you screw it up the fill valve can start shooting water out the top, and causing flooding or at least big water waste.

    Most new fill valves are cheap and easy to install.
    But some toilets, such as Kohler, need expensive and more complicated replacements.
    You can get the exact model of your toilet from the info molded into the porcelain inside the tank, sometimes it is printed instead.

    Google that, you will get info on what parts to buy and how to do it.

    The flapper still might be a part of this problem also. But with a bad flapper, or flush valve, the level in the tank will very slowly drop, until the fill valve has to come on again and refill to the correct water level again.
     
  13. Jul 9, 2019 #13

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Changing the flapper is easy, but once again use the tank info to get the right one, or bring old one to the store for exact match.
    Some toilets have very unique flappers, longer or wider or fatter or hard frame or flexy, etc.

    Changing out the whole flush valve, which include the main part that the flapper drops onto to make a seal, is usually NOT easy.
     
  14. Jul 9, 2019 #14

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    ,
    All this is an excellent reason for buying generic fixtures / appliances .

    Yes , take the original part with you when going to purchase a replacement . Learned this , purchasing auto parts when I was a teenager .
     
  15. Jul 9, 2019 #15

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Yes, never buy a Kohler, unless it is one of their low priced basic toilets that have normal, simple guts inside.

    The fancy Kohlers are ridiculous, overly complex engineering, bizzare expensive parts, and even the toilet seats are often well over $100.00!
     
  16. Jul 11, 2019 #16

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    PlumbMark

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    ,
    Thanks Geof, Jeff and all the rest for your help!

    I have good news, I got her fixed. :)

    A few days ago I went to a hardware store and rounded up three fill valves.
    A ball cock fill valve, and two float cup fill valve.
    One of the float cup fill valves I bought was the Fluid Master that was recommended.

    I was sure the ball cock fill valve would do the trick but I wanted to start with one of the
    two float cup fill valves, just to see how they'd perform.
    Recall that I had tried out a float cup fill valve several years ago (mentioned this above).
    It was a Fluid Master but I was getting a nasty banging noise in the pipes at the very end of the fill.

    The first float cup fill valve I tried was a Korky QuietFill Platinum.
    It was relatively easy to install and since there was no banging noise this time at the end of the fill I decided to stop and just keep this one.
    To me it didn't make any sense to keep uninstalling and re-installing the others just to see which would be quieter, since this one was OK.

    So all is well once again. No more dripping noise. All fixed. :)
     
    jeffmattero76 likes this.
  17. Jul 12, 2019 #17

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    WyrTwister

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    ,
    Have not had problems with Fluid Master valves , but if the other brands fixed it , that is what matters ! :)

    Wyr
    God bless
     

Share This Page