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Question DetailsAsked on 12/1/2015

The flapper on the toilet wont stay down and the tank constantly fills up and doesnt flush the toilet but will flus

The bowl will flush if I pour a bucket of water in it but the flapper doesn't stay closed and the water value constantly fills up the toilet, we did a clog test and still no clues but the water goes out the tank slowly

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1 Answer


OK - sounds pretty clear that the problem is the tank draining out constantly - so a clog would not cause this. Your issue may be grit or a piece of paper or plastic or slime or a dragging flush arm chain caught under the flapper - lift the top off the tank and run your finger around on the seal - both the seal in the tank and the bottom sealing lip of the flapper - to be sure nothing is stuck there, and that there is nothing like a piece of debris hanging or sitting where it could be holding the flapper partly open. Wipe with a bit of rag or paper towel to remove any grit or slime.

Does not matter is water is left on when doing this as long as it is flushing fine - will just make the toilet "run" like it has been, with the water flowing into the toilet bowl.

If the flapper mating surface is rough or torn or highly flexible but the seal in the toilet tank that it seats into/onto is smooth and not deformed, just replacing the flapper (or gasket on some type toilets) might solve the problem.

If the type with a plastic drop-tube that the flush arm lifts up and then closes on the hole in the bottom of the tank after you flush, normally it is a very easy thing to remove it (usually after removing a top press-on or screw-on cap to lift it out and off the flush arm) and then remove the old gasket in the bottom of the tank and press a new one on.

If flapper type like it sounds like - check first that the flush arm chain has not gotten kinked or snagged on the flapper or arm - if so straighten out, and if snagging shorten as needed (resetting in slot or holes on flush arm) so there is just a bit of slack when the flapper is closed. If free end of chain (or cord or whatever lifts it up) is getting under the flapper, trim it back.

With a leaking flapper that the flush arm chain lifts up and then tilts back down to let the tank refill, usually it is very easy to detach the flapper and replace it - lots of Youtube how-dto videos - also at manufacturer and Fluidmasster and Plumbshop websites for how-to videos. You should turn off the water shutoff at the wall before doing this - or if afraid that will leak a bit (as they commonly do when old) or is pretty corroded then putting a butter dish or similar flat weighed thing over the bottom seal to hold the water (mostly) in will work till you get the replacement part. Take off the old flapper - usually the plastic/rubber hinge "ears" just pop out easily from the tangs holding them - check installation instructions at replacement kit manufacturer website for how to remove if in doubt, and detach chain from flush arm. Take to a plumbing store or box/home improvement store - there are repair kits - Plumbshop and Fluidmaster are probably the most commonly seen. - and get a matching replacement. Repair kits for flapper only, entire flapper/seal/tube assembly, and for those plus the fill valve assembly all in one are all available toi fit most tank-type toilets.

If the bottom seal under the flapper is bad or deteriorated - either the one under the flapper, or the mounting seal under the seal ring base where it goes into the tank - falling apart, lots of black rubs off due to chlorine deterioration, etc - then the entire seat unit needs replacing in most cases. Some models you can get replacement gaskets/seal for - but overall replacement kit is only about $10-25 so easier to go that way in most cases than to try to find matching outlet seals/gaskets. Requires shutting of water, disconnecting water line, and taking the tank off the toilet, so unless you have done that before or are a pretty confident light plumbing DIY'er, I would call a Plumber - about $75-1250 typically for a service call which should probably cover this cost - plus the $10-25 partw roughly, or maybe up to $50 if you have him replace ALL the parts in the tank at the same time as a preventative measure if pretty old (more than say 15 years - I get about 20 years on the moving parts in my toilets).

A recommendation - if taking tank off to change the whole flapper/outlet unit out, I HIGHLY recommend new tank to bowl seal and new tank mounting bolts and rubber washers [may take 3 or 2] or at least the bolt rubber washers if bolts are not corroding or rusting - they all come out during the disassembly anyway and old gaskets/seals taend to leak if reused, so best to replace if they are at all old or deteriorated - another $5-10 combined in parts. Sometimes but not always part of kit.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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