View Full Version : The chain was too long

12-16-2011, 05:16 PM
I live in a two family house. The upstairs apartment is rented to another family, and my family lives downstairs.

Lately I've been hearing water running. Now I pay the water commission by the cubic foot for water, so any time it's running for no reason it's a problem. God only knows what my water bill for this quarter is gonna be.

It's not in my apartmente or the basement, so I asked the tenants once. They said, oh yeah, sometimes the toilet doesn't shut off. I go to Orange Apron and buy new guts for the toilet, but haven't gotten around to installing it yet.

So last night I was down the basement, and I hear water running. I mean running hard, like a faucet was open. I checked at the meter, and sure enough, there was a water flow. Nothing is on, everyone but me is asleep, and where is this water going? Upstairs toilet again, I guess. The problem is, there's no way to shut off the water to just that toilet from outside the apartment, so I shut off the water to the whole house, left a note under their door to tell them what I did and how to reverse it if they needed water before I got up, woke up Mrs Shalom to tell her what I did (she gets out earlier in the morning than I do) and try to go to sleep.

Of course I had to get up when the Mrs did, because she couldn't figure out how to turn a gate valve. I guess not all of us are mechanically inclined. Fortunately when I turned it back on, I didn't hear water running again.

So today I went up to the tenant's apartment with the new toilet guts. Installed all that (it's not as hard as it looks, the instructions are pretty comprehensive) and lo and behold, the same problem recurs: toilet keeps running. I investigate this situation, and what do I find:. . . .

There's a chain that goes from the flush lever to the flappy thing that closes off the outlet of the tank. When you flush, the chain yanks up the flapper, which then floats until the tank is empty, then it falls down and closes off the outlet again.

BUT! It does NOT do this if the damned chain is so long that the end of it gets caught under the edge of the flapper!

I got the shears and chopped off the end of the chain right past the clip that attaches it to the flapper. Problem solved. Such a damned simple thing, and I don't think they warn you about this in the instructions either.

So to any of you who have to replace the toilet's workings, make sure that chain isn't too long. Save yourself a whole lotta trouble.

12-16-2011, 06:54 PM
This occasionally happens with my upstairs toilet. Usually you can adjust the chain so that it's hooked up a little higher up the chain. I find that it happens if someone has to flush the toilet again soon after the last flush, before the tank has completely filled again.

12-16-2011, 10:08 PM
We used a paperclip on ours when we had that problem.

12-17-2011, 12:00 AM
Thanks for the advice! It's an obscure problem, but I bet it sticks in our heads and comes to the forefront if we hear that 'toilet is filling' sound.

12-17-2011, 02:00 AM
We had that problem in our upstairs hall bathroom. It never occurred to me or Mr. Mis that the chain was too long. Maintenance told us what the problem was when they came out to fix the toilet.

After they fixed it the problem went away and our bill went down quite a bit when maintenance fixed the chain.

12-17-2011, 05:05 AM
Hmm...I'll have to check that again next time our toilet does that. After going through like half a dozen flush levers and having them all break within a week (some were cheap, others not so much), we've given up and just have the chain hanging there. Sometimes the toilet keeps running, and flushing it again usually works, but since there's nothing holding the chain up, I wonder if this is our problem...