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Mr. Mike
Mr. Mike, Civil Engineer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 1387
Experience:  Homeowner and fixit fan. What works is what I am interested in.
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toilet runs for about 5 seconds every 10 minutes or so

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Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Mr. Mike replied 8 years ago.
There is a valve, usually a "flapper valve", that stops the water from running out of the toilet tank when the toilet handle returns to its original position. The valve itself is made out of rubber that deteriorates over the years. Your flapper valve is leaking.

The rubber particles are small and messy. You can try to rub the surface of the valve to smooth it, and get a few more months of use... or you can just get a new one for under $10 and replace it.

Take the old one with you to the hardware store to ensure you get the exact same model. It is easy to do, there are little rubber hinges that attach inside your toilet tank. Turn off the water, flush once, and you can see what to do from there.

Another Expert points out that, rarely, there is a problem with the seat - the place the flapper sits on when closed. If replacing the flapper doesn't work, you can check the seat that the flapper seals on. These can need to be cleaned or replaced if they are cracked. The Fluidmaster Flush Fixer 555 C will correct most any problem in that area.

http://www.fluidmaster.com/flapper_intl_products_555c.html

Hope these thoughts help.