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Toilet problems

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Feb 25, 2014, 12:01 PM
GardenSprite
Toilet problems
The handle emitted a louder sound when flushed this morning. It wasn't really a breaking sound, but more like something coming loose, or perhaps popping off, perhaps a vacuum release sound.

Checking the tank, I found that the fill tube had become become disconnected from the overflow tube.

Searched online but couldn't find an exact configuration that matched mine to reference here for display purposes.

At the end of the fill tube is a plastic device that looks like an inverted straw hat. The fill tube extends through this and apparently connects or mates to a smaller tube within and extending upward from the the overflow tube.

I can reattach the two parts easily by hand and hold them, but they won't stay together. I didn't see anything in the tank that might have broken off, and I don't know what originally held them together.

What's the EASIEST fix for this? The shutoff valve is stuck so I'd have to work that loose first if I had to change anything.

I'm wondering if I can't just tape the two parts together? (My easy way of fixing things!)

Thanks for any help.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Feb 25, 2014, 04:59 PM
nona
sprite, why not replace the whole assembly with a "flushmaster " kit It'll only take about 45 minutes, and be better than what you have now. Only costs about 5 bucks
Feb 25, 2014, 05:13 PM
Sparky617
quote:
Originally posted by nona:
sprite, why not replace the whole assembly with a "flushmaster " kit It'll only take about 45 minutes, and be better than what you have now. Only costs about 5 bucks


That was my thought too.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Feb 25, 2014, 07:56 PM
Jaybee
The only 'simple' fix is if you are talking about the 1/4" diameter tube that goes from the fill valve assembly to the overflow tube in the middle of the tank.

1. If this tube had come loose from the overflow tube, then all you need to do is somehow attach it so that the end of the 1/4" tube pours into the opening of the overflow tube. If the stock clip that holds it in place is broken, a rubber band twisted around each tube can hold it in place.

2. If it's broken at the fill valve end, then the easiest solution is to get a new valve assembly as everyone else has recommended.


Jaybee
Feb 26, 2014, 09:55 AM
GardenSprite
Nona and Sparky, I took a quick look at the flushmaster assembly; not sure what the improvement over my configuration would be but I'm most certainly not knowledgeable about this at all so I'll study it some more.

Nona, it might take you 45 minutes to make the change but it would me hours!!!

Jaybee, I haven't yet mastered a rubber band technique; can't manage to get it around the 2 tubes but am still working on it. And it is as you described in your opening comment.

I'll try again today.

I had some electrical tape holding the two tubes together temporarily but flushing creates pressure which forces them apart so that isn't going to work.

I think there must be a small spring that allows for the fill tube to open and close into the overflow tube, but I didn't see anything like that in the tank. Thought maybe it blew off and was resting on the bottom of the tank.

Thanks for the suggestions; I'm afraid I'm going to have to replace the whole assembly (for me it's a major operation!))but I'll try a few other rube goldberg methods before that -

And, BTW, any suggestions for loosening the shutoff valve? I can't enough leverage just by trying to "rock" it and loosen it.

Thanks again for taking the time to help.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Feb 26, 2014, 10:47 AM
Conrad
You could also just shut the main water supply to the house off, while you work on the toilet.
This is what I used to do, before we had shut offs on all the toilets.
Feb 26, 2014, 03:47 PM
nona
believe me sprite. It's only going to take you 45 minutes. The hardest and slowest part of the job is getting all the water out of the tank.
Once that is done, you disconnect the fill tube from the tank, remove the retaining nut, unpack the flushmaster, stick it into the tank and follow the instructions even a caveman can do it
And, yes, if the shut off valve is too stuck, just shut off the water at the whole house shut off or at the meter

This message has been edited. Last edited by: nona,
Feb 26, 2014, 04:29 PM
Conrad
I totally agree that it is just not that difficult, nor time consuming. The directions with the Flush Fixer are very clear and step by step. You will feel AMAZED at your ability to fix your toilet! LOL

If you are still worried, often a more handy friend/neighbor can come and keep you company while the two of you complete this repair. Then celebrate together with a successful FLUSH!

As a long time DIY person, I normally will start any plumbing repair like this early on a weekday morning, so if by chance something went wrong (it never did), I could always get a pro out to help.
Feb 26, 2014, 04:45 PM
Sparky617
quote:
Originally posted by nona:
believe me sprite. It's only going to take you 45 minutes. The hardest and slowest part of the job is getting all the water out of the tank.
Once that is done, you disconnect the fill tube from the tank, remove the retaining nut, unpack the flushmaster, stick it into the tank and follow the instructions even a caveman can do it
And, yes, if the shut off valve is too stuck, just shut off the water at the whole house shut off or at the meter


Quickest way to get your tank drained so you can remove the fill assembly without dumping water all over your floor: Turn off the water, flush the toilet, holding the flapper open to get rid of as much water as possible, take your wet/dry vac and suck out the rest of the water. Easy, peasy, no fuss no muss, no mess. If you need to pull the toilet bowl for some reason, the wet/dry vac does a really quick job of getting the remaining water out of the toilet trap. I'd start by quickly pouring a bucket of water in the bowl, which should empty most of the water out, and then use the wet/dry vac to get the rest. No splashed water on the floor as you move the toilet out of the room.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Feb 27, 2014, 04:59 PM
GardenSprite
Thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement.

Shutting off the water at the main is certainly an option; I just never thought about it (duh!).

I used to have a neighbor who would quickly volunteer to help if not do the work himself but his wife divorced him and he is rarely around any more. Frown

My father normally would want to help if not do the work himself, but as I think some of you know he's not able to do much of that kind of work any more.

Right now I've found a simple workable solution, but I suspect Murphy's Law will become operative and sooner or later there will be more problems, so I'll plan on visiting the plumbing section of Lowe's when it's a bit warmer. I'm saving all of your responses for that time.

I also will do it at the beginning of the week so I can get help if necessary. I've learned over the years never to clean drains on the weekend for that reason.

It's interesting that that option was never a concern before this winter, when there's now so much snow on the edges of the narrow driveway that nothing but my small car can get through. Any plumber's truck would definitely get stuck in the piles of snow and ice.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me. I'll report back when I get the system changed out, but assuming I do it without help, be prepared for some crowing and bragging about my newfound plumbing capability! Big Grin

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Feb 27, 2014, 06:47 PM
Conrad
We are all pullin for you!

20 years or so ago I took several classes home repair at our local community college. One on plumbing, another on basic home repairs. The home repair class was the best. We did work at the local children's zoo (Building interior walls, insulation, drywall, simple pre-wiring) and for a couple of weeks we divided into groups and went to each others homes to tackle small but needed projects. An instructor came or met with each group. Toilets were included. That class paid for itself many times over!

Figuring out that one can read/follow simple directions and have the confidence to attempt the project is often more than half the battle. We are sure you will do what is needed!
Feb 28, 2014, 07:00 PM
GardenSprite
I should probably take some classes too; I think our Lowes or HD had them, perhaps still does. I'm not sure if our community colleges have them but I'll check it out. That's a good idea.

There are 3 campuses of one community college locally, each with a different focus (medical, scientific and sort of a mixed bag of courses).

Thanks for the words of encouragement; I really appreciate it. Right now I'm trying to encourage myself to go and tackle the piles of snow keeping the driveway too narrow for anything but my car Frown just in case I have to call for help. But with the support that's here I don't think I will.

Thanks again to everyone! Smile
Mar 01, 2014, 03:46 PM
swschrad
when I was a teen, we got the whole series of Time-Life homeowners books. really learned working hospital maintenance. so I have a general idea what is DIYable legally and what I have to make a call for.

if you have to replace the flush assembly, and there is no shutoff, install one. quarter-turn if you can, they are better made and don't gunk up over time. over bare copper, check to see if a Shark Bite type unit is allowed in your jurisdiction for bare copper pipe, beats soldering next to a wall.

the old-time brass sillcokc assembly is long-gone now, which is a boon for DIYers. much easier to just put in the Fluidmaster, whose little hose to the elevated vent pipe inside the tank usually slips into a ring on most toilets. an Ideal hose clamp and a tie-wrap could be fiddled into place if you don't have that ring to hold the hose.

that likely would become, I suppose, a "maintenace item..."

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Apr 04, 2014, 12:24 PM
nona
well sprite, to rejuvenate an old post, how did you make out with the toilet valve problem ? Did you replace it yourself ?
Apr 06, 2014, 02:33 PM
GardenSprite
Nona, I decided not to do anything until there was enough room in the driveway for my plumber's truck to get in if I needed help. It's only been in the last few weeks that the snow finally melted and there's more than just a cow path to get in and out of the driveway.

But then the kitchen sink became a bigger problem, then and now it's more medical issues, so the toilet valve issue remains unfixed, but it's not that much of an issue as I just hold the fill valve after flushing to keep it from spraying the bathroom walls.

Thanks for asking.