There is nothing more annoying than a flush-tank which runs constantly, and there is hardly anything that is easier to fix. The average closet-bowl has a low flushtank with a removable lid. When this is lifted off you can see the entire operating mechanism. It may look very complicated, but if you will take the trouble to work the tank at times and observe the operation, you will see that it is an extremely simple mechanical arrangement. The main feature is a round rubber ball which fits into a hole in the bottom of the tank, thus completely closing it. When you twist the handle on the outside of the tank, a series of levers lifts the ball out of the hole and allows the water in the tank to rush into and flush the closet. When the tank has emptied, the ball plops back in place and allows the tank to fill again.
The so-called complicated and mysterious workings of the flush-tank above the average closet-bowl, is actually a gem of good, plain, mechanical engineering. Remove the tank-lid and operate the mechanism a few times, and you will see all mystery dissolve.
Nine times out of ten the trouble with a flush-tank is that this rubber ball has become worn out by use, hardened up by constant immersion in water, or worked out of shape. You will find that you can unscrew the ball from the end of the rod to which it is attached, and replace it with a new one. In most cases you will find it unnecessary to touch anything else, and in a few minutes you can complete a repair that would cost you several dollars to have done professionally. You will find that tank-balls are made in several grades. A cheap one can be had for twenty-five cents, but the very best will not be worth more than fifty cents.
On rare occasions one of the levers are bent out of line, or the float which controls the flow of water into the tank may become stuck. Either of these two troubles will be perfectly obvious to you, and by watching the operation you will see where the lever has to be bent back into position, or the float-rod bent so that the float can travel up and down without interference.