There are many things in life that we take for granted. Take for instance the toilet. We expect it to flush properly when called for but if it starts flushing all on its own we have a problem. When your tank has a slow leak, it will eventually loose enough water to cause a flush. The noise of a running toilet (that is, the water and not the toilet!) can be annoying, especially during the night. Fortunately repairs are not difficult or expensive but don't put them off as the wasted water will inflate your utility bill. There are several reasons why water is leaking from the tank into the bowl.
- Not sure if the tank is leaking?
- The chain that is connected to the flapper is too short.
- The chain that is connected to the flapper is too long.
- A dirty or worn out flapper.
- Tank maintenance? Almost nobody does, but you should.
HOW TO CHECK FOR LEAKS
Sometimes the leak is very slow and you don't hear the tank filling up but still there is the "unauthorized" flush from time to time. There are two easy ways to check if your toilet tank is leaking or not.
1. Turn off the water supply to the toilet and check the water level in the tank. If, after a few hours, the water level has dropped you have a problem.
2. Add a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If the water in the toilet bowl changes color you have a problem.
FLAPPER CHAIN IS TOO SHORT OR TOO LONG
The flapper chain is attached to the trip-lever and flapper. Watch the chain movement while raising and lowering the flapper and make adjustments as required.
If the chain is too short it will prevent the flapper from closing completely and water will escape from the tank into the bowl. If possible, lower the chain one or two links on the trip lever.
If the chain is too long, it can get in the way and get caught between the flapper and drain to the toilet bowl. Just raise the chain one or two links.
If the chain cannot be made longer you may have to buy a new flapper. You can also make a temporary new 'chain' by interlocking several paper clips.
DIRTY OR WORN OUT FLAPPER
The flapper provides a seal between the tank and toilet bowl. When the toilet is flushed the rubber flapper is raised allowing water to flow from the tank to the bowl. Over time the flapper will wear out and slime will cover its surface. To check the condition of the flapper touch the bottom surface. Your fingers may get dirty with an ink like substance which may be an indication that it is time to replace the flapper.