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Did faulty fluid fill valve cause hidden leak?

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  • Did faulty fluid fill valve cause hidden leak?


    There was a leak in the apartment beneath mine. The building engineer came into my apartment and saw that all surfaces in my bathroom were dry, and there was no sound of water flowing into my toilet.

    Days later I was informed that the building manager repaired my toiled while I was at work after determining that a faulty fill valve caused the leak. She says that the leak was inside the toilet, so I might have overlooked the problem when I looked at the toilet.

    This seems strange to me. The fill valve regulates the flow of water into the tank. If it was faulty it might cause the tank to overfill and pour onto the floor (which was clearly not the case). I don't see how it would cause a leak inside the toilet. Also I would have expected to hear a sound of water running in the toilet.

    Am I right?

  • #2
    It's possible you had 2 problems - the fill valve and the wax ring. If the fill valve leaks the water will go down the overflow tube - not out on the floor. With a trickle of water through the bowl, a damaged wax ring can sometimes allow water to seep out due to capillary action. Usually this happens when the ring is smashed out to thin and the excess hangs out in the water flow. Flexing of the floor agravates the problem and can easliy break the seal. You would think flushing would cause much more leakage but it doesn't - the flow is over a very short time. Like I said, it's possible.


    • #3

      Thanks for the response.

      Well they replaced the fill valve, not the wax ring. So it sounds as if I have a good case that they were mistaken.

      And even if the problem was with the wax ring (which was not replaced) the water would have leaked onto the floor, right? The leak couldn't have gone down the inside of the toilet straight into the floor, unseen from the outside, could it?


      • #4
        A leaking wax ring can allow water to leak through the floor without ever being visible in the room. If water seeps out between the toilet and flange, it will flow out wherever it can - usually between the closet flange and subfloor. Sometimes the wood is rotted out. Often, the toilet is caulked down around the base leaving the gap between the pipe and subfloor the only exit.
        Again, I'm not saying you had this problem but I thought it was worth noting. I do a fair amount of remodeling and I see many problems with wax rings and flanges too low or high. A small amount of leakage usually goes undetected until someone pulls the toilet to replace the floorcovering. Replacing the subfloor under a toilet is not uncommon.


        • #5
          As mentioned the overflow pipe inside the tank keeps water from overflowing. A bad wax ring will leak everytime the toilet is flushed and will eventually show itself on the floor below. One point not mentioned is condensation. I've seen many times in the hot humid summer months enough condensation on the tank to seem like a leak on the floor. Check to see if your tank is wet after it sits unflushed for a short time. Once the water reaches room temp condensation will stop.
          Len<BR>Midlantic Plumbing & Heating