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Toilet tank often refills by itself

Hi, I'm looking for a solution to fix a toilet that flushes by itself at regular intervals. It seems as if the water level was slowly going down - although I don't se any leak inside or outside the bowl - triggering the system to "refill" a bit once the level is under the threshold.
I'm pretty sure this is a recurring problem and I had it fixed by a plumber some couple years ago - but it's coming back, so I'd like to see if I can understand and fix the problem myself... with your help :-)
I can't find the brand or model on the ceramic, but I'm attaching a picture of the inside of the tank if that helps.
Thanks!!! JJ.

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  • J.J. Enser
    J.J. Enser Sep 12, 2008

    Thanks for the input, it looks like I should be able to manage. I'm no expert (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be posting this) and I'm also not an English native speaker, so let me ask you for some terminology clarification to avoid any major damage :-)

    The faulty part, the "flapper" is the grey round piece of rubber that keeps the water from going down?
    Also, I'm not sure what you call "eyelet" to be careful not to cut... is it the little "arms" of the flapper that keep it attached to the vertical pipe?

    Finally, you're talking about replacing the handle. It that the metal arm.

    For more clarity, I've annotated my initial picture. I have also indicated what I think I remember being replaced the last time (clearly the part that looks newest in the tank).

    Thanks for confirming or correcting my assumptions. It's possible that I got everything wrong!!


  • Anonymous Nov 25, 2008

    One of four Eljer Canterbury one-piece toilets refills itself every 15-minutes or so. Thinking the problem was a bad flapper valve, I replaced it (and the ones in the other three toilets as well not knowing how old they were). Still refills. I have cleaned the flapper valve seal seat area and replaced the flapper valve again. Still refills. I removed the whole flush valve assembly, cleaned its seal surfaces, added Vaseline to the seal surfaces, and reinstalled the valve. Still refills. Today, I purchased a whole new flush valve assembly and installed it. Still refills. Water is leaking out of the tank into the bowl. The water level in the tank goes down and then the fill valve kicks in and fills the tank. You can actually see water trickling into the bowl after the tank stops filling. Any ideas on how to fix? Thanks.



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Hi jj4help

I'm Harvey the Master Plumber.

You're looking for a solution to fix a toilet that flushes by itself at regular intervals.

No sweat. Sending me a picture was a great idea. I can see that you have a very common setup in your tank. Although there is no "permanent" solution, it is very inexpensive to fix every few years! Just buy a "flapper" anywhere. There are different colors to choose from, which reflects the different materials they are made from. Personally, I find the red ones tend to have the longest life span.
Proceed by carefully cutting off the center ring. Don't cut off the eyelets! The center ring would be used in a different toilet (this is where the picture really helps). Now the flapper will match the configuration of the old one.
Simply turn off the water, flush, remove the old and install the new. Take note of the chain length. Set the new one the same by simply moveing the clip down to another link, let the extra chain hang. While you're at it, replaceing the handle at this time might be a good idea. It looks pretty old. If you do, remember that the hold down nut on the handle has reversed threads. That means it loosens clockwise (standard would be counterclockwise to loosen).

Feel free contact me again!
Please give me a rating here at before you sign off
Thank you,
Harvey your Master Plumber

Posted on Sep 11, 2008

  • Harvey Goldberg Sep 12, 2008

    Hi JJ

    Thanks for responding.

    I've got answers for your questions:

    1. The "flapper" is the grey round part.

    2. Also correct about the "eyelets. When you buy the new red one you'll see the

    round piece between them, compare to old one and you'll see.

    3. Yes! Wheh buying a new handle it can be metal or plastic.

    Anyway if you own the house you'll know what to do next time, hopfully many years from now.

    Feel free contact me again!
    Please give me a rating here at before you sign off
    Thank you,
    Harvey your Master Plumber



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