best replacement parts for toilet repair

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by LMHmedchem, Jul 1, 2016.

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  1. Jul 1, 2016 #1

    LMHmedchem

    LMHmedchem

    LMHmedchem

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    Hello,

    I have an older toilet that may be as old as from the 1950's. It is at least as old as 1979. The flapper had not been closing properly and the toilet was running quite often because of the slow leak into the bowl. I replaced the flapper with a cheap one that I had, but it is no longer working and needs a proper repair.

    I would like to replace at least the flush valve assembly and possibly the fill valve as well. I would like to buy quality parts that will last for a while. I despair these days of being able to buy replacement parts that will last the 50+ years that the original parts have lasted, but it would be nice if they would last at least a few years. I grow weary of nearly everything breaking in the first year.

    I am also concerned about the fit of new parts because of the age of the toilet. I have home depot and lowes nearby, and also Republic plumbing supply, FW Webb, etc. I don't mind ordering if that makes more sense, but it could be handy to be able to return something if it doesn't fit.

    Some advice about what to get and where to get it would be fabulous. If there is anything I need to provide in the way of information about the toilet, please let me know.

    Thanks,

    LMHmedchem
     
  2. Jul 1, 2016 #2

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Go to a commercial plumbing supply house, where the professional plumbers shop for materials. Tell them the make and take some pics to show the counter guy what you have and ask his suggestion for the best replacement parts. I never see the pro plumbers shopping at the big box stores, just my :2cents:
     
  3. Jul 1, 2016 #3

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    These are the only ones I buy. “Fluidmaster” everything is not what it was 50 years ago but these are inexpensive and once you install the bottom stem you can snap on the top in 10 seconds if and when it starts acting wonky. The ring you see between the black and the white part of the stem you pull up on and it releases. The rings around are so you can quickly adjust for fill height and height of your tank.

    When it give you trouble turn off the water, flush the toilet, snap the ring, pop the new one apart and use the old stem in the toilet and snap the new one on and turn the water back on. less than one minute. When you buy the new one buy 2 and stick one box in the closet. I switched both over to this fill and have one spare. No wasting gas and time when it quits on you. Unless your water is silty or has a lot of iron you should get a good 5 years out of one.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Universal-Toilet-Fill-Valve-400ARP25/100554467
     
  4. Jul 1, 2016 #4

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    I don't know if you're in a water stressed area, or if your water bills are high, but toilets are way more water-efficient now than they were 30 or 40 yrs ago. At some point in the near future, consider replacing that one.
     
  5. Jul 1, 2016 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    :agree:

    I had a well for 25 years at my old home and unlimited water and I just basically borrowed the water and then ran it thru a septic tank and it went back into the earth or the sky when I was done. I never felt like I was wasting water, maybe the electric to pump it around the circle is all. The toilet we had came over on the May Flower. Circa 1900-1920 and had a monster 5-gallon tank. I got talked into changing it as the perception was we were not green with the big old unit. I even put a couple bricks in it to save water but the perception was still there. After I changed it to the modern low usage one, I noticed most of the time one 2-gallon flush didn’t get the job done so we would give it another flush.

    I think now in most areas it is the law. Our new house we are on city water and it’s not cheap and the newer low volume toilets seem to flush better. Upgrading in most cases as SnS said is a good idea.
     
  6. Jul 1, 2016 #6

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

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    On a well and septic it is still a good idea because you really don't have an unlimited supply of water as many people with wells discover during a prolonged drought. Also, reducing the amount of water you send through your septic tank is always a good idea.

    That said, one of the problems with low flow toilets and old houses is sometimes the old cast iron waste pipes need more water to clear the solids than modern PVC or ABS pipes.
     
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  7. Jul 1, 2016 #7

    LMHmedchem

    LMHmedchem

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    The toilet tank has some numbers stamped in it and are as follows,

    F4049175 S62

    There is also the data, June 20. Could that possibly mean June, 1920? I suspect not because the style of toilet is newer than that. This part of the house was added on in 1954, so I presume that the toilet dates from that addition. The house was built 1870-1880 and didn't originally have an indoor bathroom. I know that the current water and sewer hookup were installed in 1922. It is possible that was the data when the bathroom was originally moved indoors, but it's hard to say for sure

    The sewer main pipe is old cast iron pipe. The water main was steel lined with concrete and I had that replaced last summer when it finally stopped working. I have had issues with the sewer line all year and have had to snake it several times and pour in a gallon of Main Line Cleaner on several occasions. The cleaner has worked, but the backups keep coming back. I am going to have to dig out the clean out from the basement floor and see if anything can be done from there. There must be a partial clog somewhere that keeps accumulating waste.

    We generally have no lack of water and the rates are not bad. I am not opposed to using as little water as possible but I do need this to work. All that said, I don't think I can go too light on the water in my case. This bathroom is also due to be remodeled, but that isn't going to happen this year. At this point, I am looking for decent replacement parts that will last for a few years and work well. At Republic Plumbing Supply, flush valves run from about $4 to about $40, so there are definitely some options.

    This is the link to the available flush valves, though I have no idea which of these will fit.
    http://www.republicsupplyco.com/Bathroom-md4/Toilets-d40/Toilet-Repair-Parts-c440/Flush-Valves-sc1409/Page-1

    The home depot list is similar but only goes up to $20 or so in price,
    http://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing...Toilet-Parts-Repair-Flush-Valves/N-5yc1vZc6b8

    There are just as many fill valves as flush valves on the homedepot list which I find both annoying and par for the course.

    LMHmedchem
     
  8. Jul 2, 2016 #8

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    Interesting point. I never thought of that before.:clap:
     
  9. Jul 2, 2016 #9

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Equally important to the surface inside the waste pipe is the fall of the pipe. Waste lines can go straight up and down with no problems but on a horizontal run you would think more angle would be better but that’s not the case. You are trying to push or roll solids down a pipe with water and what you don’t want to happen is the water running away from the solids and that will happen depending on the type of pipe and the pitch. If the water runs away from the solids the solids stay in the pipe and move along with the next flush along with more solids and eventually you may get a clog. :thbup:
     
  10. Jul 2, 2016 #10

    LMHmedchem

    LMHmedchem

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    Thank you for all the kind responses so far.

    I ended up getting a Fluidmaster Pro Series Pro45K from Republic Plumbing Supply. This is what they recommended to fit my toilet and it only cost about $20. I have it installed and the process went pretty smoothly all things considered.

    The problem I have now is that the toilet sounds like a freight train going by when it refills. The kit says "Ultra Quiet" on the box, so I would hate to hear the loud version. It was loud enough to get me running all the way up from the basement because I thought for sure that something had burst and was spraying water all over the place. I don't see what could be wrong. I replaced everything, including the flex hose from the fill valve so everything is brand new. It's hard to tell where the sound is coming from.

    ...well, I decided to check a few things before sending this post along and now it seems to be working fine and is not at all noisy. Maybe there was some air in the system the needed to be purged with a few flushes?

    Anyway, it seems to be fine now. I will post back if that changes.

    Thanks again,

    LMHmedchem
     
  11. Jul 2, 2016 #11

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Sounds like another happy ending.👍
     
  12. Jul 2, 2016 #12

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    :thumbup: sounds good
     

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