newprotest.org: TOILET REPAIR ON THE IDES OF MARCH

TOILET REPAIR ON THE IDES OF MARCH

March 16, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
If Shakespearean history is any predictor, my recent toilet-repair adventure should have ended in some sort of midnight disaster. There are tons of warning notes all over the installation instructions of the new toilet valve repair kit, warning me of cracking the ceramic tank and bowl, as well as this ominous message in bold about "potential flooding." Scary. But so far, everything is fine. No flooding.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the water in my guest bathroom toilet was constantly running. I tinkered around with it to see if I could figure out what was wrong, but nothing seemed to work. I ran to my local Home Depot to look for some kind of repair kit, and found a complete toilet repair set for just under $20. It's the Fluidmaster 43WAK Complete Repair Kit with Whisper Fill Valve(TM).



Since this is the first time I've ever taken a toilet apart, I figured I'd take some pictures and document my journey.



First things first. The inside of my toilet tank looked like just about everybody else's toilet tank: black float ball with corroded arm attached to a plastic tall thing covered in toilet-tank-gunk; worn-out rubber flapper; scuzzy ring around the inside of the tank; and things floating around in the water. mmm boy delicious. I started taking things apart before I thought to take a picture, but this is the inside of the tank with just the flush valve attached, minus the rubber flapper.

Taking everything out of the tank was fairly simple. Removing the fill valve (the part that's normally on the left) requires disconnecting the water line going into the toilet. There's a plastic coupler that has to be twisted off, and that's the only thing holding the fill valve on. The flush valve (the one that's connected to the flapper) can only be removed by pulling the tank off of the bowl -- that requires pulling some nuts off the bolts. I guess newer toilets use wing-nuts instead of your regular hex nuts. My toilet is old, so I had to try to wrench off the hex nuts with no success. Fortunately, the top of the bolts can be turned with a screw driver, and I was able to loosen the nuts that way and then just turn them by hand.

The bottom of the tank is shown here, with the flush valve sticking out. Unscrewing the bottom of the flush valve was an interesting task -- I don't have a wrench that can open up to 4 inches, and it was too tight to turn by hand. I ended up getting a C-clamp and after struggling with it for a few minutes, I managed to turn it and pull it off.



Installing the new parts was simple -- everything just went on the way the old stuff came off. The instructions are very clear that when you tighten parts, you MUST tighten them by hand, or you'll crack the ceramic. As a side note, the flush valve tube was made too tall for my tank, so I had to use a hacksaw to cut it down to size. After that, it went in just fine.





Here's a picture of the water filling up the tank for the first time with the new guts installed.



And here's the first flush.


np category: DIY
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COMMENTS for TOILET REPAIR ON THE IDES OF MARCH


Allison Baker said:
Dear jovial_cynic,

I woke up this morning to find my toilet flushing, but not filling back up with water. Since I am currently out of "majic dust," ;) I found my Fluidmaster Repair Kit. I've never done any type of plumbing repair, but after reading your notes and after (thank you so much) seeing your pictures of your toilet repair, I am getting ready to embark on my own toilet repair journey. Thank you very much for posting this on the internet!!! You're a life saver!!!

February 23, 2009


jovial_cynic said:
Allison -

Glad I could help!

February 23, 2009


Allison Baker said:
Dear jovial_cynic,

Mission accomplished. Although I have a few minor cuts and bruises and it took me most of the day to finish the job, I installed the Fluidmaster Repair Kit successfully. At least that is what I thought until about an hour ago. It seems that the rubber gasket that is located between the tank and the toilet seat has began to leak quite a bit. I'm not sure if I tightened the tank and seat bolts too tightly or if perhaps the rubber gasket is not a sufficient seal. If you can advise me or even send/post a picture of your rubber gasket and the place where the tank and seat attatch, I certainly would appreciate it. I am a 33-year-old single mom, and shelling out (I'm guessing) around $200 is something that I just can't do right now. Thank you so much for your time and help!!!

February 23, 2009


jovial_cynic said:
Hey Allison -

The only thing I can think of is that 4" tube on the bottom of the tank might not have been sufficiently tightened, or it might have been tightened too much. That rubber seal that came with the kit should be sufficient -- the only other leak point I can think of is at that 4" tube. I'll see if I can get under my toilet tonight and get an idea of what else might be causing the leak...

February 23, 2009


Allison Baker said:
Dear jovial_cynic,

You truly do not understand how much I appreciate you doing this and for all of your help. You're a perfect stranger - out in the world somewhere - helping people. You are an angel!

My rubber gasket looks somewhat squished or flattened, and I am thinking that I may need to remove it and use the original gasket and O-ring - if it will fit. But, my hands are swollen tonight, and I just don't think I can start unscrewing all of those bolts or draining the water -- again.

If you don't mind, I may send you a picture of my rubber gasket and ask your opinion of what you think. You've been a great help!!!

February 23, 2009


jovial_cynic said:
Allison -

Ok. So, after looking at my toilet, I see that there are studs that come down that require nuts attached. This is what pins the tank to the toilet seat.



If those are tightened properly (and not overdone), and if the gasket is good, that should be all that's required.

Anyhow, go ahead and send me pictures. If possible, send me pictures of both the new and old gasket so it's easy to see a comparison.

February 23, 2009


Allison Baker said:
Wow! You're fantastic!! Your rubber gasket fits into the seat hole in the back. Mine didn't fit so well. That may be the problem. I will take pictures for your opinion...if you don't mind. What e-mail address can I send them to? Thanks....once again!!!
February 23, 2009


jovial_cynic said:
Allison -

You can send pictures to jculley - at - newprotest.org

February 23, 2009


darnell williams said:
Great job looks like that will last for awhile.
December 08, 2010


jovial_cynic said:
darnell - thanks!
December 08, 2010


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