Is my toilet handle leaking?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by farmerjohn1324, Sep 3, 2016.

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  1. Sep 3, 2016 #1

    farmerjohn1324

    farmerjohn1324

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    I think this small leak from the handle is causing the pool of water on the floor. Why is the handle leaking and why does it do it intermittently? It leaked like this a few weeks ago, then stopped, then again today.
     
  2. Sep 3, 2016 #2

    slownsteady

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    If you mean the flush lever is leaking, then I have to assume your tank is overfilled, because the water should never reach that high otherwise. Is it possible that you are seeing sweat buildup on the outside of your tank that appears to be a leak. Sweating can be significant, and cause puddles under your toilet.
     
  3. Sep 3, 2016 #3

    CallMeVilla

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    Your most probable sources for leakage are

    1. Water supply hose or connection to the tank
    2. The supply shut off (angle stop)
    3. The wax ring under the toilet
    4. The bolts holding the water tank to the toilet below it
     
  4. Sep 3, 2016 #4

    farmerjohn1324

    farmerjohn1324

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    I don't know because I don't see it happening.

    I bet it will be dry when I get home today.
     
  5. Sep 3, 2016 #5

    CallMeVilla

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    Well I suggest you get home, remove the top from the water tank and flush the toilet 6 times. Observe closely. Put you hand on the supply line and feel for water. Use a flashlight to search for drips. Its not magic, its only plumbing
     
  6. Sep 4, 2016 #6

    jmr106

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    Most toilet bowls, unless they have been converter over to have lukewarm water supplies, fill up with cold water. That cold water causes condensation all over the outside of the porcelain tank, just like when you have ice water in a glass and it forms on the outside and runs down onto the table. This typically happens when someone takes a warm shower in the room and the tank has recently been flushed and is full of cold water or when the tank has been flushed a lot recently and continually filled up with a new supply of cold water back to back. The moisture keeps forming on the outside of the tank and drips down. After whatever number of hours of the toilet not being flushed, the water on the outside of the tank dries and it just leaves the water on the floor. A common issue in a lot of households. I've read that some people use a towel or something under it.

    Not sure that this is your problem, but just wanted to cover that as a potential issue, as well.
     
  7. Sep 4, 2016 #7

    farmerjohn1324

    farmerjohn1324

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    It is leaking from the handle because the toilet is overfilled. Why is the toilet overfilled?
     
  8. Sep 4, 2016 #8

    jmr106

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    There should be a plastic screw at the top of the fill valve if you have the newer one.

    [​IMG]

    It should turn by hand. Just adjusted mine a little the other day.

    Got a pic of your tank? Notice how the water level is about an inch under the overflow tube. When I installed a new one in ours, I had to hacksaw the tube to make it shorter. The water would go into the tube far before getting up to the handle. That's like another inch above overflowing into the tube. Adjust the screw so that the water stops about an inch below the overflow tube. Is your overflow tube longer than it should be? Did someone recently install a new one or something? That's odd.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
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  9. Sep 4, 2016 #9

    farmerjohn1324

    farmerjohn1324

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    I think I got it.

    What is the purpose of the overflow tube exactly?

    What is the importance of the water fill line? Other than so it doesn't leak out the handle?

    Also, I never actually mopped up any water, but it's always gone. Can that much of a puddle really evaporate? It was a pretty substantial puddle.
     
  10. Sep 4, 2016 #10

    DFBonnett

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    One thing else to check. Take the cover off and flush. Sometimes a bad fill valve or misdirected hose will spray around the inside of the tank.
    BTDT.
     
  11. Sep 4, 2016 #11

    elbo

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    if, after you find that the leak is really only condensation, you can stop it by going to any dedicated tropical fish store ( that means , not wal-mart ) and get a very low wattage submersible tank heater. remember , you only need to warm less than 2 gallons of water.If you get a low enough wattage heater, you wont need one with a thermostat. shouldn't cost but a few bucks check out amazon or read my next reply
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  12. Sep 4, 2016 #12

    elbo

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    if, after you find that the leak is really only condensation, you can stop it by going to any dedicated tropical fish store ( that means , not wal-mart ) and get a very low wattage submersible tank heater. remember , you only need to warm less than 2 gallons of water.If you get a low enough wattage heater, you wont need one with a thermostat. shouldn't cost but a few bucks. Here's one from Amazon "Marina Betta Submersible Heater for Aquarium" about $10
     
  13. Sep 4, 2016 #13

    farmerjohn1324

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    I fixed it by adjusting the fill level.
     
  14. Sep 4, 2016 #14

    jmr106

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    The overflow tube is for...say something happened to your fill valve and it goes whacky. It keeps filling up even after the float has been pushed up by the water and should tell the fill valve to turn off the water flow. A part breaks on it and it keeps filling the water in the tank nonstop. That water would reach the overflow tube and, instead of filling up so much that it started flowing out of the lid of the toilet tank, it would go into the overflow tube. The overflow tube also goes into the toilet bowl. So the water would keep cycling down into the toilet bowl. If you've ever poured a cup of water or bucket of water into a toilet bowl, it doesn't require a flush to make it go down. The pressure of the water and the toilet's design in general causes the excess water to flow out of the sewer pipe as if you flushed it. So this process keeps your house from flooding if the fill valve fails.

    The purpose of the fill line...if I remember correctly, the code states that it should generally be about an inch below the top of the overflow pipe as a buffer zone. Not sure of the exact reason "why"...but I would reason that if you adjust it to fill nearly to the point of overflowing...any little bump/knock of the tank, a kid jumping on the floor, etc, could cause water to slosh around in the tank. Since it would be so close to overflowing into the tube, it would overflow and lose a bit of the water in the tank, which might cause the fill valve to kick back in and start filling back up. I've actually seen that issue before. Plus...it isn't necessary to have the water level filled to the brim of the overflow pipe in order to get a good flush. It really doesn't take that much water and would just be a waste.

    I'm not quite sure how the newer fill valves work when it comes to spraying the water into the overflow and filling up the tank and bowl at the same time. It used to be that the little fill hose clipped onto the outside of the overflow pipe and filled up the tank by spraying water down into it directly. Now, they tell you to clip it so that it sprays into the overflow pipe and fills up the tank somehow by that method. At the same time, you can see some water going into the toilet bowl until it stops filling up. Yet the overflow pipe still has the same function. If water were to keep filling up the tank, that overflow pipe would save you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  15. Sep 5, 2016 #15

    farmerjohn1324

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    The water in my toilet flows directly into the overflow tube. This means that there must be a hole from the tube into the tank that I can't see.

    But back to toilet problems. I just looked at it and it was leaking out of the handle. The tank was almost filled to the top. I have no idea why. When the toilet initially fills after a flush, it fills to the fill line. Apparently, the tank has been filling on it's own for some reason.

    I can manually make the tank fill by pushing down on the float adjustment screw. Does that offer any hint?
     
  16. Sep 5, 2016 #16

    jeffmattero76

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    The purpose of the overflow tube is, as its name suggests, to direct water into the bowl and ultimately the drain line if something should happen and the water supply to the tank not shutting off. As the water builds up in the tank it goes down the overflow tube. In theory the overflow should be able to get rid of water faster than the supply can deliver water. The water level in the tank should never get above 1inch below the top of the overflow tube. Also, make sure that the small rubber hose is also shooting water down into the overflow tube. That helps to both clean and refill the bowl.
     
  17. Sep 6, 2016 #17

    jmr106

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    Of course, as you know, that water shouldn't be anywhere near high enough to cover the handle inside. Mine is about 2-3 inches below the handle and would hit the overflow pipe far before reaching the handle, which would cause it to loop and keep trying to fill up as it drains. Sounds like something is wrong with your fill valve and possibly the overflow pipe is too long. Did you just move there or something?


    Pick a day when you have a good bit of time and drop by a Home Depot, Lowes, etc. For about $15 to $20 max, you can get a full kit with every kind of washer, bolt, etc, that you would need.. It has the fill valve, flapper, overflow pipe, new bolts/washers for where the tank joins the toilet, etc. Everything that you would need. Its like a tuneup for your toilet. Very easy to install, just can be time consuming.

    You may as well check where the tank joins the bowl. Use a cell phone or cam to take pics of the bolts. I'll bet they are rusty. There are only two bolts that go through the ceramic and tighten down to hold the tank on. There is only a simple seal that keeps all of the tank water from pouring out of the tank. A lot of people sit down and lean back pressing on the tank, but aren't aware that over time the bolts rust. When I changed outs a while back, one of the bolts had virtually rusted through. Those have to be changed after typically a high x number of years, particularly if the tank sweats from cold water that runs down onto the bolts constantly. You may not have any issues with that now, but if you're going to change one thing (sounds like the fill valve is having issues and I'd just replace it considering how cheap it is), you may as well change it all and not have to worry about anything else.

    I took my whole tank off a few years ago, washed out all of the crud out, dried it, changed all of the washers, valve, flapper, etc. If I can do it, anyone else can.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
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  18. Sep 6, 2016 #18
  19. Sep 7, 2016 #19

    Mastercarpenty

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    The top of the overflow tube must be below the opening for the handle, or a fill valve problem will flood the floor instead of running safely down the overflow. Many 'universal fit' parts have the overflow long so you can use it in any toilet, but many DIY types figure that if it fits under the lid it must be OK. The overflow should optimally be about an inch above the water line in the tank, but anything between there and the handle will work.

    The best way to find a leak on a toilet is to dab each area with a small wad of toilet paper one spot at a time, checking the paper for visible wetness between each spot checked. You can 'see' moisture like this that you can't see by eye or feel by hand. If condensation is a problem, first wipe the whole toilet down outside to dry it, leave it sitting idle for 10-15 minutes, then checking for leaks with the wadded TP.

    Phil
     
  20. Sep 7, 2016 #20

    nealtw

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    The last time I had water coming out of the handle hole, the top of the filler valve was leaking a spraying water..
     

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