flushfilter: why is my toilet having a hissy fit? video inside
October 24, 2007 11:58 AM   Subscribe

All of a sudden my toilet hisses when I flush it. As well as being an annoying sound, it also refills the tank very slowly. I'm no handyman but I'm loathe to pay a plumber if it's something simple I can fix myself. In the video I push the float down to demonstrate what happens on flush. Any ideas? flush video
posted by razzman to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have particularly hard water? Maybe it could be lime deposits? If it is, soak in something like CLR (after making sure it won't eat your plastic toilet hardware) to break up the minerals.
posted by Xoder at 12:09 PM on October 24, 2007

It's probably a limed-up gasket inside the float assembly. But really, those assemblies are like $10-20 and replaceable in under an hour. Just get a new one.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 PM on October 24, 2007

Turn your water off, and make sure it's off by opening the valve (pressing the lever you were pressing in the video). Unscrew the big nut a half inch, and check the rubber valve inside. It might have come unseated, it might be damaged. If you go to the store for a new one, take the old seal with you. What's probably happened is that the little rubber seal has gotten damaged and stuck somewhere, which should be easy enough to fix. It's a matter of picking the old one out and putting a new one in.

In the UK, the valve you might need is called a Torbeck valve. I'm not sure of that's the case in any other country.
posted by Rabulah at 12:21 PM on October 24, 2007

You can replace the entire float assembly for $20 or so. Buy a new one at Home Depot (or where ever) and simply replace the entire old one.

New ones may look really different (can't see your video as we block video sites at work) but they will work the same in the end.

This will require an adjustable wrench and about half an hour.
posted by GuyZero at 12:39 PM on October 24, 2007

Good advice on the float assembly above, but before you go that far, check the water valve on the wall behind the toilet in case it has somehow been adjusted to a low flow rate.
posted by yohko at 12:57 PM on October 24, 2007

Normally, when you flush, the float goes right to the bottom of the tank which opens the refill valve all the way. When refill is nearly complete, the float begins to close the refill valve, and you hear the hiss and get the low flow. Properly adjusted, the hiss only lasts for a moment, but it is normal.

There may be an obstruction under the float, preventing it from falling all the way down. Also, that thing you are pushing on in the video probably has an adjustment screw, which you could try playing with.
posted by Chuckles at 2:14 PM on October 24, 2007

This page has UK specific commode information.

or this one we Colonials don't have siphon diaphragms

good luck
posted by Megafly at 3:06 PM on October 24, 2007

If you replace the toilet innards (recommended), be aware that the shutoff valve under the commode doesn't get used often, and it's common for them to leak a while after it's turned back on until it reseats itself. You might want to put a small container under it for a few hours if you see drippage.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 5:36 AM on October 25, 2007

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