CommunityWater Leaking into Toilet Bowl

Water Leaking into Toilet Bowl

Several months ago I replaced two older toilets with low water-flow ones. One of the two works beautifully. The second one kept leaking water in 3-4 places around the top, right under the rim–just minute little seeps. After being unable to fix the problem, my plumber replaced the toilet. It's an American Standard, and now there's a new problem. This one leaks water into the bowl from the tank. It started out very slowly. I noticed a “water running through a pipe” noise that lasted for only 4 seconds or so and I finally figured out it was related to the toilet, especially when I noticed there was much more water in the bowl than at first. It seemed to be about 2/3 the amount of a regular toilet. My plumber made two calls and did the following: First call: “Replaced stem on Lav faucet. Adjusted toilets, water line may be loose in wall for toilet, found that toilet needed adjusting.” Everything was fine for about two weeks, then it started in again. Second call, 2 weeks after first: “Checked all toilets in house. Tried to make toilet in master bath leak. Checked the fill hose and pulled out the restrictor to it and then reinstalled to see if anythng would leak. Nothing happened. Wouldn't leak.” It was fine for a while, and then it started up again. Again, the leaking would go on for about 4 seconds. It's worked its way up to leaking for about 15 seconds at a time. I can see the water slowly rising in the bowl, kind of bulging up the sides, and then everything stops. The leaking is utterly random. I'm at work during the day but hear the “water running through a pipe” noise maybe 2-4 times in the evening. My plumber is baffled. I'm frustrated. We both need help, please. Thank you. P.S. I'm on a septic system and went low-flow toilets to go easy on the system. Double help!!

The Money Pit Answer

I have two newer American Standard toilets in my house and really like them as they have never, ever developed clogs.  However, while some of what you describe doesn't make sense (for example, new toilets don't refill around the rim as they have direct fed jets that fill via the bottom of the bowl) it is possible that you may have developed a leaking flush valve.

The "water running through a pipe for about 4 seconds" noise is probably the water control refilling the tank and is a symptom of a flush valve leak.  This can be checked by looking inside the tank and measuring how far the water level is below the top of the overflow tube of the flush valve at different times.  It it's leaking, the water level should start at the correct level as marked in the tank right after a flush and then gradually get lower.  Right after you hear the "water running" noise, the level should be back up again.  You also put a little blue food coloring in the water inside the tank and then see if the bowl water gets a blue tint without flushing the toilet.  That would also be an indicator of a flush valve leak.  If that's the case, all you need to do is contact American Standard Customer Care for a free replacement flush valve or flapper.

Bottom line is that flush valves work hard and sometime develop leaks.  I've had to replace one or two myself over the years.  But the good news is that they are easy to diagnosis and fix.

1 Answers
lynn mav answered 7 years ago

Hello,Tom–As always, you were right on the money. Thank you for that helpful response! Ang get this. I tune you in on Sat. morning, MST, waking up to your program. I was savoring a few last minutes of laziness when I heard you announce a leading toilet topic just before a break. I wondered. . . and yes, when you came back on, you announced a question from “Lynn” and Leslie proceeded with the question followed by you with the answer. Double help. Thank you both. No more leading toilet. The ring under the flap had little blister bubbles almost all the way around, parallel to and slightly in from the outer edge. Love your program.