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Toilet woes.
blaisepascal
It turns out my downstairs toilet has some problems.

1. The fill valve has failed in an "open" state, so that no matter how much water is in the tank, it continues to fill. Manually operating the fill valve (to rule out problems with the float) show that it's the valve, not the float, which is at fault.

2. The overflow tube is too long, so that it does not limit the water level until it is significantly over the fill line, almost overflowing the tank itself.

3. The flush lever is not water tight, so that if the tank fills to significantly over the fill line, it will leak water through the flush lever.

4. The water supply cut-off valve is not working well either, and I cannot turn it enough (even using Channellock-knockoffs to help) to completely cut off the flow of water to the toilet.

5. There is no up-stream cut-off, short of killing water to the entire house. I have a leaky valve in the basement which suffers from this same problem.

On top of that, my budget is shot for the week so I can't even get a replacement fill valve until Friday at the earliest. Until then, I have turned off the water as much as I can, wedged open the flapper valve (to prevent overflows), and have declared that toilet non-functioning.

When I can afford to get a plumber in here, I'm going to ask him to install a bunch of ball valves so I can more selectively cut water off in the house.

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The valve seals may be shot not the whole valve. You may be able to replace the insides. The hot side tends to corrode more.

(1) My toilets, at least, use only cold water. However, I agree that replacing the seal, not the whole valve, ought to do it.

(2) All my fixtures, including toilets, have their own shut-off valves. I thought this was standard procedure, because otherwise you have to kill water feed to the whole house in order to do anything.

My toilets are fed by cold water.

I agree that the valve seal on the filler valve may be shot. However, a quick scan of the Lowe's website shows that a new filler valve assembly is about $10 and I couldn't see any new valve seals available for the filler valve.

My toilet does have a shut-off valve, and this is probably required by code. However, after cranking it off as much as I could by bare hand, water was still flowing into the tank, albeit reduced. Using a washcloth to protect my hand allowed me to reduce it further. Using a wrench allowed me to turn the shut-off valve another quarter turn, reducing the flow to a trickle. The next valve upstream from the shut-off valve to the toilet is the main valve for the house.

Toilets are always fed by cold water. Or at least they are when they're working correctly. (See my post of January 26, 2006 for at least one good reason.)

There are now ball valve toilet shut-off valves available. They look like the same silly-looking oval-handled toilet shut-off valve that we're all used to, but it's a ball valve instead of a gate valve.

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