TOILET REPAIR GUIDE II

Toilet Is Making Abnormal Noise

DETERMINING YOUR TOILET’S NOISE AND HOW TO FIX IT

This article defines simple solutions for:

1. GHOST FLUSHING: This can happen intermittently, cycling every few minutes or every few hours

2. FILL VALVE HISS: A noise that is constant and sounds like forced air moving through the toilet.

3. WATER RESONANCE: (constant thumping) A noise you hear when the toilet is flushed and the toilet is running water during its flush cycle

1. GHOST FLUSHING:
This refill sound is alerting you that your toilet is losing water, either internally (if there’s no water on the floor or exterior of toilet) or externally leaking if you see water outside the toilet.

Internal Water Loss:

  1. Check refill tube first: If refill tube is inserted or shoved into the overflow pipe, remove it and reattach clipping the tube to the overflow pipe. This will keep the tube from entering the overflow pipe and stop the leak.
  2. Clean bottom of the tank and flapper area and replace flapper.
  3. Replace flush valve drain (last resort if 1  and 2 do not resolve the issue).

External Water Loss:

  1. Water draining from bottom of tank around fill valve and water supply connection: Leaks coming from the bottom of the fill valve that have been in use for a long period of time (not new installations) should be removed along with the supply line and replaced.
  2. Water draining from the bottom of the tank from the fill valve and water supply connection: Remove fill valve and clean bottom of tank both inside and outside. Make sure the shank washer is placed on fill valve first (it is designed to seal tank from the inside of tank) and install valve. Hand tighten the fill valve lock nut. If using water supply line older than 5 years replace supply line.
  3. Leaks coming from under the tank onto the toilet bowl: These leaks indicate failed bolt seals. The tank to bowl gasket and toilet bolts with washers should be replaced.

2. FILL VALVE HISS:
This noise is alerting you that water is constantly passing through the fill valve and going into the tank.
Read more below or or watch this video:

Here are some steps for removing the top cap and flushing out debris from the fill valve:

  1. Turn off water supply and flush the tank.
  2. Reach inside the tank with your right hand under the float cup and lift it up. With your right hand hold onto the gray shaft keeping the float cup all the way up. Do not allow the float cup to drop or valve shaft to turn.
  3. Place your left hand on the top of the valve cap and while placing your left hand thumb on the side of the arm coming out of the top. Turn the cap and ever counter clockwise 1/8th of a turn to unlock. You should be able to lift off the cap and lever from the valve body.
  4. Once the cap assembly has been removed inspect for debris on the seal (rubber disc with pin coming through) and also the valve portion still in the tank.
  5. Hold a cup upside down over the exposed opening of the valve and turn on the water supply full force for 10-15 seconds, allowing the pressure to free any debris inside the valve inlet.
  6. Reassemble the top of the valve by placing the cap arm next to the refill tube. To lock, press the cap down while turning it and the arm clockwise.

  1. The bottom hand is lifting up on the float cup which raises the black arm under the top cap. The top hand is gripping the cap while the thumb is pressing on the raised lever arm.

3. WATER RESONANCE:
This noise is alerting you that your shut off valve at the wall has an obstruction in the flow path of the water. Here are some solutions:

  1. Use a regulated fill valve to stop noise like our PerforMAX Fill Valve: PerforMAX fill valves come with a regulator built into the valve to slow down the incoming water by reducing the speed by the incoming water we can stop the resonance noise that is occurring.
  2. If a PerforMAX Fill valve does not stop the problem then the buildup of debris in your shut off valve is so severe we recommend replacing the shut off valve at the wall.
Toilet tank won't fill up or is slow to fill

The most common reasons for a valve to slow down or no longer fill the tank after the flush are debris issues and the length of time a valve has been in use.

Debris that builds up over time inside the water system, including the valve body, supply line or shut off valve (at the wall) can restrict the flow path of water and slow down the valves filling speed.

Valves in use for a period of 7 years or more can have their working parts start to wear out.

 

Flushing debris from your water supply:

Fluidmaster recommends flushing debris out of the valve / water system first in order to resolve the issue.

Steps for removing the top cap and flushing out debris from the fill valve:

  1. Turn off water supply and flush the tank.
  2. Reach inside the tank with your right hand under the float cup and lift it up. With your right hand hold onto the gray shaft keeping the float cup all the way up. Do not allow the float cup to drop or valve shaft to turn.
  3. Place your left hand on the top of the valve cap and while placing your left hand thumb on the side of the arm coming out of the top. Turn the cap and lever counter clockwise 1/8th of a turn to unlock. You should be able to lift off the cap and lever from the valve body.
  4. Once the cap assembly has been removed inspect for debris on the seal (rubber disc with pin coming through) and also the valve portion still in the tank.
  5. Hold a cup upside down over the exposed opening of the valve and turn on the water supply full force for 10-15 seconds, allowing the pressure to free any debris inside the valve inlet.
  6. Reassemble te top of the valve by placing the cap arm next to the refill tube. To lock, press the cap down while turning it and the arm clockwise.

The bottom hand is lifting up on the float cup, which raises the black arm under the top cap. The top hand is gripping the cap while the thumb is pressing on the raised lever arm.

2. Repair parts and replacement valves:

When flushing debris does not seem to correct the next step is to repair or replace the valve. Fluidmaster Repair Parts and Fill Valves are available at most local retailers and we recommend genuine replacement parts. Repair Models sold:

Replacement Parts recommended:

  • 242 Replacement Seal
  • 385 Replacement Top Cap Assembly (with seal 242)
  • Replacement Valves Recommended
  • 400A Universal Toilet Fill Valve
  • 400AH PerforMAX® Fill Valve (High Performance Fill Valve)
Choosing The Right Flapper (Flush Is Weak)

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FLAPPER FOR YOUR TOILET

Selecting the right flapper for your toilet is very important since the flapper valve is what regulates the water to the bowl. Fluidmaster has developed a universal design set of flappers to help stop the confusion and select the right flapper. The flapper valves we offer are categorized by Frame, Size and Type.

1. Frames: Fluidmaster currently has two styles of flappers

  1. Flexible Frame (All- Rubber): These flappers will fit most Flush Valve Drains and the all rubber-style flappers can stretch to fit oddly sized flush valves, angled seated flush valves and flush valves that do not have mounting posts for a fixed attachment.
  2. Solid Frame (Hard Plastic Frame): The plastic frame forces the flapper ball to consistently center onto the drain to seal every time. Solid Framed Flappers are designed to stop toilets from leaking for longer periods of time. This flapper style does not work with all Flush Valve Drains; however, the key to using this one is to know what you are currently using. There is a good chance that if you are using a plastic framed flapper already then the Solid Frame can be used as a replacement.

2. Size: Currently Fluidmaster offers two sizes of flappers for the two most common size Flush Valve Drains, 2-inch drains and 3-inch drains.

  1. 2-inch flappers are available in both styles: Flexible and Solid Frame.
  2. 3-inch flappers are only available in the Solid Frame style.

3. Types: There are two types of flappers, Adjustable Flappers and Non-Adjustable Flappers, and these flappers are designed for specific flushing capacities of toilets. There are 4 main toilet flushing capacities that are commonly used in the United States today; 5 gallon per flush and larger; 3.5 gallon per flush; 1.6 gallon per flush and 1.28 gallon per flush toilets.

  1. Toilets that are manufactured from 1994 to present come in both styles and in both size categories; Adjustable flappers are designed to flush toilets that flush 1.28 and 1.6 gallon per flush (GPF) toilets.
  2. Toilets that were manufactured before 1994 are all considered to be the larger gallon per flush toilets and are still in use. Non-Adjustable Flappers are designed to flush toilets that flush 3.5, 5 and larger gallon per flush (GPF) toilets. Non Adjustable Flappers come in both Styles but only in 1 size category, 2-inch.

4. Keys to understanding how to select a flapper can be as easy as:

  1. Know the age of your toilet (if you don’t know, guess the age of the home).
  2. Know if the flapper has a Solid Frame or if it’s a Flexible Frame.
  3. Know the size of your flapper, 2- or 3-inch (measuring the drain hole your flapper covers will tell you the size you need).
Water Hammer And Pipe Knock

HOW TO FIX WATER HAMMER OR RESONANCE CAUSING LOUD NOISE

Read below for information on how to fix:

1. WATER HAMMER: A loud bang in your pipes after a fill valve shuts off. Water hammer can be caused by worn or damaged faucet washers as well as heavy build up of minerals and rust inside shut off valves (located on the walls of your home).

2. RESONANCE: The rapid banging or “Jack Hammering” sound in a pipe during the fill process, during the flush.

1. WATER HAMMER:
Follow these steps to try and resolve water hammer:

  1. Shut off water supply to the house at the main.
  2. Open all the cold water faucets, start with the highest faucet (2nd or 3rd floor) and work to your lowest faucet (first or basement floor).
  3. Flush all the toilets in the home.
  4. Let water drain from open faucets. Wait approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Turn on water supply to the house at the main.
  6. Wait 5 to 10 minutes to let faucets regain a strong stream and flow water.
  7. Close all the cold-water faucets starting with the lowest faucet (first or basement floor) and to the highest faucet (2nd or 3rd floor).
  8. Toilets will automatically refill.
  9. Once all faucets are closed and toilets filled, flush toilets to check for water hammer.

If this does not resolve your issue, try these tips:

  1. Reduce flow from shut off valves (wall or floor valves).
  2. If you are not using a regulated fill valve (a toilet valve that regulates flow into the toilet tank), try replacing the toilet fill valve with a Fluidmaster PerforMAX Fill Valve.
  3. If reduction of shut off valve does not resolve issue, Fluidmaster recommends calling a plumbing professional to help resolve the issue

2. WATER RESONANCE:

Follow these steps to try and resolve resonant noise (resonance) or watch this video:

  1. Turn off water supply and flush the tank.
  2. Reach inside the tank with your right hand under the float cup and lift it up. With your right hand hold onto the gray shaft keeping the float cup all the way up. Do not allow the float cup to drop or valve shaft to turn.
  3. Place your left hand on the top of the valve cap and while placing your left hand thumb on the side of the arm coming out of the top. Turn the cap and lever counter clockwise 1/8th of a turn to unlock. You should be able to lift off the cap and lever from the valve body.
  4. Once the cap assembly has been removed inspect for debris on the seal (rubber disc with pin coming through) and also the valve portion still in the tank.
  5. Hold a cup upside down over the exposed opening of the valve and turn on the water supply full force for 10-15 seconds, allowing the pressure to free any debris inside the valve inlet.
  6. Reassemble the top of the valve by placing the cap arm next to the refill tube. To lock, press the cap down while turning it and the arm clockwise.

The bottom hand is lifting up on the float cup which raises the black arm under the top cap. The top hand is gripping the cap while the thumb is pressing on the raised lever arm.

If cleaning out the water system does not resolve issue Fluidmaster recommends calling a plumbing professional to help resolve the issue.

How "Adjustable" Toilet Flappers Work

This article will address both how adjustable flappers work and instructions for adjusting an adjustable flapper.

How Adjustable Flappers Work

  1. Traditional flappers use air to hold the flappers open, adjustable flappers don’t allow the flapper to trap or hold air inside their cone/bulb.
  2. Adjustable flappers are designed to flush toilets that use a flush volume of 1.28 and 1.6 gallon per flush (GPF)
  3. Adjustable flappers should not be used on toilets made before 1994.
  4. Adjustable flappers may use a float to delay the flapper from closing right away.
  5. Adjustable flappers may use a dial in place of a float. The dial sets a secondary hole in the flapper cone to release air and force the flapper to close.

Instructions for Adjusting an Adjustable Flapper

Fluidmaster flappers can be adjusted by:

  1. Turning the flapper cone from a minimum to maximum setting, so you are moving the secondary hole away from the top of the tank which traps the air in the flapper cone for a longer period of time.
  2. Moving a float (a float is placed on the flapper chain) up the chain, so you are setting the flapper to close faster. By lowering the float on the chain you are causing the flapper to stay open longer.
  3. Pulling slightly on the cone and turning the cone from a minimum to maximum setting, so you are closing the cone window and causing the flapper to stay open longer.

 

How To Check If The Bowl Is Overfilling

SOLUTIONS FOR TOO MUCH WATER IN THE TOILET BOWL

Fluidmaster fill valves are UPC (Universal Plumbing Code) certified and are designed to dispense water through the refill tube to the overflow pipe. This refill supplies water to the bowl during the filling cycle and is used to refill the water spot that is needed for the next flush. Fluidmaster uses a Roller Clamp device to control water going into the toilet bowl

Read below if you want information on:

1. How to check if the toilet bowl is overfilling with water or to adjust the Roller Clamp.

2. Toilets that do not require refill water into the bowl.

1. Toilet Bowl Test: Check bowl water level by flushing toilet. If bowl appears to be full but continues to fill, the valve may be overfilling the bowl causing excess water to siphon down the trap way. Adjust the amount of water going into the bowl by using these steps:

  1. Fill the bowl with a gallon of water. Wait 1 minute until the bowl water level recedes down and stops.
  2. With a pencil, draw a line at the top of the water level in bowl. Now flush the toilet.
  3. If the valve is still filling and the water is up to the line in the bowl, then the amount of water going into the bowl is too high and needs to be adjusted.

Adjusting the Roller Clamp: Watch this video

Or follow these instructions for adjusting the Roller Clamp:

  1. Adjust the Roller Clamp by pushing down and rolling the pin forward.
  2. Engaging the Rolling Clamp restricts the flow of water to the bowl. Repeat this action until the toilet bowl fills to your pencil mark at approximately the same time the tank water turns off.
  3. The “0” setting means that you have completely turned off the refill hose and no water is filling the toilet bowl.

2. Non-Required refill toilets: For toilets that do not require refill water to the bowl, Fluidmaster recommends using our model 215 Water Savings Roller Clamp with Refill Tube that comes with Hose Clamps.

If you do not have a Roller Clamp device, redirect the refill tube to the overflow pipe so that the water flows back into the tank.

CAUTION: If you do not have Hose Clamps on your refill tube, do not squeeze the tube shut completely. This will cause the refill hose to blow off from fill or flush valve connection.

Toilet Flushes On Its Own (Ghost Flushing)

SOLUTIONS FOR A TOILET MAKING REFILL SOUNDS ON ITS OWN

Sometimes you can hear a toilet refilling without being flushed. This sound can happen intermittently and occur every few minutes or every few hours. Such a refill sound is usually alerting you that your toilet is losing water, either internally (if there’s no water on the floor or exterior of toilet) or externally leaking if you see water outside the toilet.

1. Here are some solutions for internal leaks (water draining into bowl):
  1. Check refill tube first: If refill tube is inserted too far into the overflow pipe, pull it out and reattach to outside of overflow pipe. This should keep the tube from entering the overflow pipe and often stop an internal leak from the tank to bowl and prevent “ghost flushing”.
  2. Inspect flapper for visible damage/debris: Wipe flapper and surface area of flush valve clean. Replace flapper if this does not resolve toilet running.
  3. Replace entire flush valve if steps a and b do not resolve issue.

2. Here are some solutions for water visible outside toilet:

Water visible to rear of toilet is most likely coming from the bottom of the fill valve, the water supply line or the seals between the tank and the bowl (in 2 piece toilets).

  1. Water dripping from bottom of the tank: Observe and ensure the fill valve locknut, located under the tank, is tight against the ceramic tank. If necessary, remove fill valve and clean bottom of tank (both inside and outside) ensuring shank washer is placed on the fill valve first before inserting valve through hole in ceramic (it is designed to seal the tank from the inside the tank). Reinstall existing valve or replace with new one. Hand tighten the fill valve lock nut.
  2. Observe water supply line for visible leaks. It is always a good idea to replace the water supply line if it’s older than 5 years.
  3. Leaks coming from under the tank onto the toilet bowl or down back of toilet base usually indicate failed tank to bowl seals, either at the bolts or on the center drain. The tank to bowl gasket and toilet bolts with washers should be replaced.
Installing / Resolving Leaks At The Tank Bolts

INSTALLING / RESOLVING LEAKS AT THE TANK BOLTS

Installing the tank bolts can be done in a variety of ways. Each professional has their own preference as to how this should be accomplished.

Read more for Fluidmaster’s recommended installation and to see a diagram of the recommended installation.

Recommended order of sealing and installing a tank to bowl toilet bolt:

  1. Bolt Head
  2. Rubber Washer
  3. Toilet Tank
  4. Metal Washer (Optional, use only if there is a gap between the tank and the bowl)
  5. Thin Metal Hex Nut (Optional, use only if there is a gap between the tank and the bowl)
  6. Toilet Bowl
  7. Rubber Washer
  8. Metal Washer
  9. Metal Hex Nut

DO NOT use a metal washer directly under the bolt head inside the tank as this will cause a leak.

For Kohler 3-bolt tanks, Fluidmaster recommends that you use Kohler’s triangular tank to bowl gasket and bolt kit.

Recommended Installation Diagram

DO NOT use a metal washer directly under the bolt head inside the tank, as this will cause a leak.

For Kohler 3-bolt tanks, Fluidmaster recommends that you use Kohler’s triangular tank to bowl gasket and bolt kit.

Prevent Flooding - Ensure Proper Adjustment

PREVENT FLOODING – ENSURE PROPER ADJUSTMENT

This article will explain the importance of both the flush valve and fill valve, along with a diagram showing the placement and height requirements needed to build a safe toilet.

The Importance of the Flush Valve

The most important safety feature in a toilet is the flush valve overflow pipe.

  1. The overflow pipe is critical because it is a defense against water exiting the toilet tank.
  2. Plumbing codes require toilets to be equipped with overflow protection of sufficient size to prevent tank flooding at the maximum rate at which the tank is supplied with water under normal operating conditions.
  3. In the event the toilet fill valve does not completely shut off at the end of a flush cycle, the overflow pipe is designed to transfer the water from the toilet tank to the toilet bowl and out the drain line.
  4. Preventing water from exiting the tank can beachieved through proper height adjustment of the overflow pipe.
  5. Fluidmaster instructs setting the height of the overflow pipe at least 1 inch below the opening of the tank lever.
  6. In most applications it will be necessary to cut the overflow pipe to achieve a proper fit.

The Importance of the Fill Valve

  1. Proper height of the fill valve in relation to the overflow pipe will ensure the toilet cannot siphon water from the tank back into the water supply.
  2. Proper fill valve height also allows for proper water level in the tank and bowl.
  3. Critical Level Mark (Indicated with the letters CL on the fill valve) of the fill valve must be 1 inch above the top of the overflow pipe.
  4. When the fill valve height is set correctly it is possible for the top of the valve to be positioned above the rim of the tank.
  5. This is normal in most applications and will still allow the tank lid to fit properly on the toilet tank.

Placement and Height Requirements Needed for a Safe Toilet