Toilet tank slow leak such that it runs for a few seconds periodically to refill


I've read through many of the q&a's here on the board and had already presumed my issue was a worn flapper. I ordered the replacement flapper from American Standard, adjusted as per their instructions (float placement), adjusted the chain so that there is some slack when the flapper is closed and figured I was all set. Well, not so.

The toilet is almost exactly 11 years old and this issue is a recent occurrence.

I put some beet juice in the tank (I didn't have food dye) and let it sit for half an hour. There was some tinging in the bowl. There is no sign of leakage on the outside of the tank whatsoever. I removed the new flapper, cleaned off the seat where the flapper sits and reinstalled. The issue remains.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Best Answer

Hoofbeats = horses

Which is to say a common problem like this is still probably the flapper rather than some exotic unicorn of a problem.

Here is an experiment:

  1. Get bricks or something comparably heavy and inert. Put bricks on top of the flapper in the tank pressing it down. That thing will be sealed. Beet juice or food coloring or not as you see fit. If you don't get any more leaking then it is the flapper somehow.

Why might you still not get a good seal with a new flapper? Maybe the bottom of the toilet tank around the hole is uneven - hard water deposits? A good first step for stuff not working as it should is to clean it. I will testify that one need not be a mechanical genius to clean stuff and have it work better. I would start with scrubbing the bottom of the tank where the flapper sits when closed. Maybe scrub with an old toothbrush or scouring pad. See how it works then.

Without the bricks. See how it works without the bricks. Reserve those for later use.