Why does my toilet add water by itself about every 20 minutes. You can hear it add water for only about 5 seconds, but it does this about every 20 minutes.
LF from Littleton, CO
Your flapper is leaking. The flapper is the little rubber thing inside the toilet tank that is attached to the flusher with a chain. It lifts up when you flush the toilet and allows the clean water to flow down into the bowl. They go bad with age. You need to replace it with a new one. Very easy job. Pick up a new flapper at any home improvement store and follow the directions for replacement. Replace ASAP because this can run up your water bill very quickly!
Sometimes, if it's the old type of system, the rim, that the flapper rests on is brass or copper. All you need to do is clean the rim. If they are metal, they get tiny corroded bumps & this causes the the flapper to leak. Use a scotch brite or the like, lift the flapper with your hand & use the scrubber to clean the rim. Go around the rim with it, do not scrub in just one spot. This will cause leaking, too.
Go around the rim, 1/3 to 1/2 the way around at a time. Also, if it is an old flapper, you can disconnect it & get a cup of water & boil it, drop the flapper in it & let it sit for a min. Then rinse in cold water & reinstall it. I have done this many times. I don't always want to run to the hardware store for one of these & they are not all the same. Some work for one type or another. One time, I had to end up trying 4 different ones, before I found the one that would work on my toilet, with 4 trips to the store. I was really fed up. So give the hints a try, before going to buy one.
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