Most of today’s modern toilets are Close coupled toilets, meaning the tank is physically bolted to the bowl. There are some variables in design, but most all are easily repaired. The first thing to do is to determine the problem…
My Toilet Is Running ALLL The Time, What Do I Do?
First, lift the lid off the tank and make sure that nothing is blocking the float ball or flapper. If that is clear, water is probably flowing into the overflow (the tank will look extra-full). Your Ballcock is bad. Shut off the water to the toilet, using the stop valve on the left side of the bowl. Then, flush repeatedly to empty tank. Remove the supply line to the ballcock, then remove the locknut to the ballcock. Have a pan or suitable container ready to catch the water. Installation is the reverse, but be ready to replace either the cone washers on the supply line, or possibly the entire supply. Most all Close coupled toilets use a similar ballcock, we recommend the Fluidmaster 400A for it’s incredible reliability. Other versions are made by Coast foundry, Fillpro, and others. They may look different, but they all work the same.
There's A Ghost Up Flushing My Toilet Every 2-3 Hours... What Do I Do?
Several thing could be leaking and causing this. First, make sure there isn’t water on the floor. If there isn’t water on the floor, you either have a bad flapper, tankball, or possibly a bad flush valve. Replace the Flapper or tankball. While Bathroom Machineries tries to avoid using Flappers as they are not “antique”, some of our reproduction close-couple toilets do use them. Flappers will be available at your local hardware store. Be sure to take in your old one as there are a couple of different designs. When installing the flapper or tankball, run your finger around the flush valve where the flapper contacts it. If you feel any roughness, the flush valve might need to be replaced. Here again, we do not carry the plastic flush valves, but they will be available at most any hardware store. Do note, if you must replace the flush valve, you’ll have to unbolt the tank in order to do so. Replace both the bolts and cushion washer while doing this.
Yes, There’s Water On The Floor, Now What?
Well, either the washers sealing the bolts that go through the tank have rotted away, or the tank is cracked. First, shut off the water and unbolt the tank. You’ll have to remove the supply line and either 2 or 3 bolts that retain the tank to the bowl. Again, replace the bolts first, but closely inspect the tank while you have it off. If you see discoloration, mineral build-up, or a crack in or on the tank, it’s time for a new toilet. Bolt patterns vary by manufacturer, and if the toilet is more than a few years old, replacement tanks probably will not be available.
There’s Always A Wet Spot Around The Base Of The Bowl, But I Can't Find Anything Leaking. What Gives?
This is a repair that can be critically important to do ASAP. If there is dampness or water around the base of the toilet, but no leaks from the tank, stop, or supply, most likely the wax ring between the toilet and the floor flange is bad. Do not delay in this repair as sub-floors are costly to replace. It can be a $5 seal now, but in a year, it’ll be a $10,000 remodel.
Shut off the water, drain the toilet. Remove the supply line, then unbolt the toilet from the floor. Sometimes this can be difficult and can only be done with a hacksaw. Carefully set the toilet into a tub, or other safe place, then prepare to get dirty. You’ll have to remove the old wax ring from either the floor flange or the bottom of the toilet. Take care to not crack the tank if you must check the bottom of the bowl. Once the old wax is removed (it takes some hot water and scrubbing) be sure to inspect the flange for damage. It isn’t uncommon to have one or both sides of the flange to be rotted out or cracked. If this is the case, these is a repair flange made that will slip under the existing flange and allow you to re-attach a floor bolt. Otherwise, you’ll have to replace the flange (at this point, call a plumber). Also, be sure that the flange is slightly below floor level. If it is above floor, you’ll have to shim the bowl, if it is more than 3/8” below, you might have to use an extra-thick wax ring. All of these item are available at most plumbing supply stores or hardware stores. I usually mount the bolts into the flange first, put the wax ring onto the flange next, then set the bowl down onto the wax. Press firmly downward, and wiggle the bowl side-to-side to help it seat. It will go down to the floor, but it does take some effort. Do not over-tighten the nuts as you will crack the bowl. The nuts shouldn’t be anything more than snug.