Sloan Flushmate Leaking Water In The Tank? (Fix It Now!)
You notice that your Sloan Flushmate toilet has developed a leak in the tank. Immediately after flushing the toilet and the tank has refilled, the valve begins to trickle water into the tanks causing an overflow into the toilet bowl. What can cause a Sloan Flushmate to leak water into the tank?
The most common cause of water leaking into the tank of a Sloan Flushmate toilet is insufficient water pressure or flow into the flush system. Sloan recommends that the water’s static pressure be between 20 and 125 PSI on most models of Sloan Flushmate toilets.
Several issues can cause water to run or not shut off after a flush cycle. Other problems may cause a weak or absent flush in the toilet. Sometimes, the vacuum breaker is the culprit in slow water leaks in the toilet tank. Diagnosing and repairing these problems are jobs most homeowners can complete easily.
Diagnosing the Problem with your Sloan Flushmate
The first challenge is to determine the cause of the problem with your Sloan Flushmate. To diagnose a slow persistent leak in your Sloan Flushmate tank, follow a few simple steps.
Step 1 – Make sure the Water Supply Valve is Fully Open
Check the valve at the wall behind the toilet. Close and then reopen the valve fully. These valves can become partially clogged with debris. If the valve is only partially open, a water flow restriction can cause the Flushmate system to operate erratically.
After you close and fully open the water supply valve, flush the toilet, and see if your leak or the flush problem persists.
Step 2 – Turn the Water Off and Flush the Toilet
If the problem is still present, turn the water supply off and flush the toilet to relieve the pressure in the Flushmate system.
Step 3 – Check the Water Inlet Filter Screen
With the water off and the Flushmate system de-pressurized, remove the water supply line from the water inlet on the toilet tank. Check the inlet screen inside the supply shank. Remove the inlet screen carefully and examine it closely.
There should be nothing blocking the water flow through the inlet screen. Clean the screen thoroughly and reinsert into the water supply shank.
Step 4 – Turn on the Water and Test the Flushmate System
Turn on the water and allow the Flushmate system to refill and pressurize. Give the toilet a flush to see if you still have a leak problem in the Flushmate tank. If your problem is solved, replace the toilet tank cover.
If the problem leak continues, you must investigate your Sloan Flushmate system further.
Step 5 – Check the Air Inducer
Turn the water supply valve off once again and give the toilet a flush to remove the pressure in the Flushmate system. With the lid removed from the toilet tank, locate the air inducer cap at the top of the Flushmate tank assembly.
Step 6 – Remove, clean, and examine the Duckbill Valve
The duckbill valve is inside the air inducer cap. Remove it and check for cracks or deformations. The duckbill valve may also have debris inside that can keep the valve from operating properly. Clean the valve and reinstall it into the air inducer cap.
Step 7 – Replace the Air Inducer Cap
Replace the air inducer cap on the Flushmate system. Make sure the duckbill valve is installed in the cap properly. Don’t overtighten the cap. Finger tight is plenty.
Step 8 – Turn on the Water and Test
Turn on the water valve and give the Flushmate system time to refill and repressurize. When the system is ready, flush the toilet to check the water flow. If this solves the leak problem, replace the toilet tank lid.
Step 9 – Check the Flush Valve Cartridge
If the leak continues, the flush valve cartridge on the Sloan Flushmate system may be defective. If the water supply static pressure and water flow are good, check the flush valve operation.
Pour a small amount of water into the flush valve cartridge housing. If you see bubbles coming into the water around the flush valve cartridge, the flush valve is defective. Replace the flush valve cartridge.
My Sloan Flushmate Is Leaking a Spray Inside the Tank
If the leak in the tank on your Sloan Flushmate is more than a trickle, you have more serious problems that require immediate attention. A rupture in the tank bladder usually causes a spray of water inside the tank. A ruptured tank bladder is no minor problem.
If you notice water on the floor or around the joint where the tank lid sits, you should immediately turn off the water supply valve. Give the toilet a flush to relieve the pressure in the Sloan Flushmate system. In most cases, the entire Flushmate system inside the toilet tank requires replacement.
We highly recommend that if this is the problem with your Sloan Flushmate toilet that you hire a plumber. Replacing the entire Flushmate assembly can be complicated and difficult, especially if the toilet is older and has significant corrosion on the tank bolts.
Understanding How a Sloan Flushmate System Works
The Sloan Flushmate toilet is a pressure-assisted flush system. As the tank fills with water, it traps air inside the bladder. The rising water in the tank compresses the air. When the flush valve actuates, the trapped pressurized air pushes the water in the tank into the bowl. The air pressure push provides a much more energetic water action. More energy in the water is better to move solids into the house’s waste pipes.
The Problems with The Sloan Flushmate System
Older Sloan Flushmate systems have a history of failures in the tank bladder. A failed tank bladder can leak water under pressure causing water to escape around the tank lid. These types of leaks and bladder failures eventually caused Sloan to issue a recall on some models of the Flushmate toilet.
Pressure Equals Problems
The Sloan Flushmate system uses an air pressure system to assist the flush action in the toilets. Anything under pressure has the potential to rupture or fail catastrophically. There are documented instances of Sloan Flushmate systems failing suddenly and damaging the entire toilet. A few incidents have resulted in physical injury.
If you are working in or around a Sloan Flushmate toilet, follow all the recommended safety steps, including turning off the water supply and flushing the toilet to remove the pressure in the tank.
Is Your Toilet on a Recall List?
Determining whether your Sloan Flushmate toilet is on the recall list is as quick as a phone call to Flushmate or a visit on the internet to the website. To check the Sloan Flushmate website, you can visit this link.
To check by phone, call the Sloan recall hotline at (800) 303-5132 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. In most cases, if your Sloan Flushmate toilet is part of the recall, Sloan will ship you the necessary replacement parts free of charge.
Can I Put a Regular Flush Valve in my Sloan Flushmate Toilet?
In short, no. The Sloan toilets equipped with the Flushmate system are not compatible with a normal gravity flow flush mechanism. There are no adapters or kits that will allow a normal gravity-fed flush system to retrofit into a Sloan Flushmate toilet.
If you want to do away with the Sloan Flushmate system, the only option is to replace the entire toilet.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Sloan Flushmate System?
In general, to replace the entire Flushmate system in your Sloan toilet will cost between $150 and $170 for the parts. If you have a plumber install the new parts, the cost will go up by what the plumber charges to do the work.
In many cases, you can purchase a new toilet and have it professionally installed for the cost of the parts to repair a Sloan Flushmate system. You will lose the power flush features. Overall new gravity-fed toilet designs are almost as efficient at flushing waste as the Flushmate systems.
Keeping the Water Flowing and the Flush Operating
We hope that this article helps you diagnose and fix the leak problem in the tank of your Sloan Flushmate toilet. With a little work and some diligence, you can have your Sloan Flushmate system running back to specifications. Work safely.
Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.
More by Dennis Howard