General Question

Jude's avatar

My toilet is making a trickling sound, is there anything that I can do myself (saving myself having to call the landlord)

Asked by Jude (32144points) October 4th, 2011
14 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

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saint's avatar

It is one of the following
The “Flap” is leaking. It is the little trap door that lifts up when you work the lever. Easy to replace after you drain the tank. Turn off water at the wall, and flush. Tank will be empty.

OR The float is set too high and never shuts off the intake valve, so the tank water is always overflowing into the drain. If it is a ball, just bend the arm down a little
If it is an object that rises up and down on the overflow drain, it is intuitive to adjust.

janbb's avatar

First try jiggling the handle up and down. That sometimes repositions the flap. Otherwise, you can lift the top and see if you can reset it properly.

robmandu's avatar

The flapper needs to make a seal around the outlet of the tank to ensure no water gets out.

If the flapper is really old and corroded, then @saint‘s suggestion to replace it makes sense.

Else, it might just be that some little speck of trash has gotten in the way of a good seal, or perhaps the chain has fallen off the bar from the handle, or some other such easy-to-remedy problem. In that case, @janbb‘s suggestion makes sense.

There’s another possibility in that the fillup cutoff mechanism might be allowing the water level to get too high and your tank is spilling excess water down the overflow tube (which prevents it from flooding your bathroom).

Remove the cover from the tank in the back of the toilet and set it aside. Then jiggle the handle and watch what happens. Finally, push the handle all the way and see how it all goes.

Home Depot offers a pretty helpful little video, too.

Cruiser's avatar

@saint is correct. But I would just call the landlord and they can do this for you in just minutes and probably has a box full of replacement valves just waiting.

YoBob's avatar

Well, there are two things that can make a toilet trickle.

1) The flapper valve – As many have pointed out, this is the most common and is very easy to fix. Go to your local hardware store and pick up a new flapper. It takes about 3 minutes to install and once you’ve taken a look at it you’ll discover that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how it works.

2) The fill valve might not be cutting off properly. This is a bit more difficult of a fix. Sometimes the cutoff valve itself becomes so corroded that it must be replaced. It’s not that hard to do, but is moderately skilled operation. However, if it is just needs adjustment, that is pretty easy. If you have one of the old school balls on the end of a brass rod you can either adjust the set screw by the cutoff valve (but these generally get so corroded so quickly as to become useless) or, the quick fix is just bend the brass rod down a bit in the middle. If you have one of the fancier valves, they generally have a screw or lever that you can use to adjust the water level.

blueiiznh's avatar

Call the landlord regardless. That is what you pay rent for.

If the water bill is their responsibility, don’t say its a trickle. Call and say the water is “constantly running and won’t shut off”. You would not be telling an untruth and the fear of water bill cost or other water damage may just get their arse in gear and fix it.
If you pay for the water, then tell them that the water bill will be forwarded to them until it is fixed.
Landlords get very motivated by costs.

Jeruba's avatar

Landlord or no landlord, rent or no rent, I would start by removing the tank lid and just investigating a little bit. Many a toilet problem can be fixed by just a little fiddling with the mechanical parts back there. All it takes is for the chain to get a little twist in it and the flap may not go down all the way.

wilma's avatar

I agree @Jeruba , I would probably feel a bit foolish if I called my landlord to come to my home to fix my toilet, and the only problem was that the chain was a bit twisted.

blueiiznh's avatar

aching for an update

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Probably the flipper. You might need a new one. My connection broke and I need to replace the whole thing now because some chuckle head *Previous owner, used PLASTIC guts! so that it wouldn’t rust, and then went and put a tank cleaner in the water that had metal screws and it all rusted out anyway so the plastic was dumb, the flapper leaks and I feel ya!

I can’t stand the sound of a running toilet.

blueiiznh's avatar

@GabrielsLamb i so agree with you on that sound. When I have had that occur, I shut the water supply off and on when needed until i get it fixed.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

@blueiiznh Sometimes that little knob in the back is a sleepy girl’s best friend! I can’t sleep with water sounds, It’s like torture!

Jude's avatar

Haven’t been home, yet. Will keep you all updated.

MissAusten's avatar

We had this problem and it resulted in a huge water bill. It cost only a few dollars to replace the flapper and was so easy I did it myself. That means anyone can do it.

If it’s been leaking for a while, you might notice a significant increase in your water bill, if you’re responsible for that. It’s amazing how that little trickle adds up. :(

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