american standard actuator/flapper problem

I've got a 30-35 year old American Standard toilet that needs to have the actuator assembly replaced. Symptom is that when I flush, the actuator tips back beyond the point where the actuator can fall back and enable the toilet to refill. As such, I have to jiggle the handle a little to get that to happen. I've looked at the plumbing supply websites and I'm "assuming" that the part I need is the "Actuator for Old American Standard Toilets". I looked at the #4 and #5 AS actuators and I'm guessing they are for more modern AS toilets than mine. So I'm basing it on the age of the toilet. So before I do this, I have a couple questions that hopefully someone could answer as this will be the first time I've replaced an actuator:
1) How do these actuators fail...in other words, what on the actuator causes the assembly to tip back beyond the point of resealing the toilet?
2) How easy (or hard) is it to replace the assembly? I've been on a couple other sites and some posters reference leaking problems at the base after replacing one of these.
3)Does the whole assembly have to be replaced or can the base of the actuator be left on and the rest of the new actuator be fitted onto the base of the old actuator?
-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony wrote:

You're right to be cautious.
The actuator or "rocking boat" can get unbalanced due to wear. A quick fix if you want to try it, is to wrap a couple turns of solder wire around the neck of the thing to add some weight. That will put it back in balance and it won;t get stuck.
Some of the flush valves have plastic hinge points the actuator snaps into. Use great care taking the actuator out.
One solution for actuator problems is the Fluidmaster 555C "FlusherFixer". The whole assembly "glues" to the existing flush valve base after the hinge pivot arms are removed.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Honestly Tony, I'm not trying to be a smart ass, but why troubleshoot and fix a 35 year old toilet when you can pick up a nice Kohler Wellworth at Home Depot for about $100?
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I agree, the newer toilets save water besides. Now setting a toilet isn't much fun I must admit. My old house had 30 year old American Standard toilets and the rubber replacement flapper worked just fine. One of the tricks to good flapper motion is to get the chain or plastic wire tension just right. If it's too tight, you will pull the flapper up too far.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I'm not Tony, but
A toilet he knows he's satisfied with instead of one that he might not be.
A half hour installation time instead of 2 hours (or 10 minutes installation time instead of an hour)
20 dollars instead of 100 dollars, compound interest on 80 dollars for 20, 30, 40 years = 500 to 4000 dollars
An extra vacation, or never being short of money, or not depending on your chidren or handouts from the government for expenses when you're old, PRICELESS.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I got fed up fixing flappers (and buying new toilets that the flapper failed on within a year or so) so I went and bought a niagara flapperless :)
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The payback for a toilet using less than half the water of the one it replaces can be very short, depending on what you pay for water.
Who takes 2 hours to install a toilet?
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Right. Depending. And that is one of the things he would have to worry about, a low-volume toilet that doesnt' flush well, should he get a Toto, etc.
My point was that frequently there are posts here that seem to think that money is not an issue, or that say "Do it right" even though there are no safety issues and wrong will be good enough (not that repairing the toilet is wrong). Saying Just spend a hundred instead of around 20 seemed like one of those.

I gave two possibilites, 2 hours and 1 hour.
Plenty of people take 2 hours and longer, especially on the first time, which this likely is. The wax ring, the supply pipe has to be rebent or replaced to fit the new toilet, it kinks when he tries to bend it partly because he's never done it before. He has to go to the store again to get a new one. He has to wait in line again to check out. You know this group is read by lots of amateurs and those who have never done it before. The OP asked questions a pro would not have asked.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I guess I am always thinking in the landlord mindset - spend $100 now to get something that will start saving me money today, and which should pay for itself eventually. The other advantage for me is standardization. Nearly all my older toilets are 3.5 gallon Mansfields, and I have switched to 1.6 gallon Kohler Wellworths with the change in the US rules. I can keep a very limited stock of parts on hand and be ready for anything. Obviously this wouldn't matter to the OP or many other homeowners, but it probably isn't a bad idea to spend the extra $3 to have a spare flapper on hand.
JK
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the replies....I had a suspicion that the actuator might be going bad in that it was original and I had just replaced the seat disk for it a couple of months ago. I have replaced toilets before, have replaced flappers and fill valves on toilets, but never an actuator like this. Yes, I did consider a new toilet but wanted to consider the option of how easy (or difficult) replacing the actuator would be. If the replies were that it was a 10 minute job with little to go wrong, then I would consider it with the decision to replace the toilet later. If the part is difficult to get, or if it is a job with the potential to do more damage if something breaks off, then I'd just assume replace the toilet. The toilet is in the basement so it doesn't get much use at all as compared to the other two in the house. Usually, since it's just 2 people in the house, that toilet maybe get one use per week just because the other two are more accessible. The one downstairs is more of a "if we have company over" toilet.
Big_Jake wrote:

-
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Actuator assembly? .......(float,disc & seat)?
Is it old style number 4 or 6?
http://www.plumbingsupply.com/amstan.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 25 Feb 2007 16:26:27 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Wow. I only know about number 1 and number 2.
You may have more apertures than I do.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Last time I looked I had 9. You having only 2 goes a long way in explaining why you talk a lot of shit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to tnom, gandlny wrote: My 2 cylinder (rocking boat) also failed to fall back down to seat after the water drained our of the vertical cylinder through the small hole in the bottom. So I took it off the pivot pins expecting to find some dirt hindering the hinge, but found the real culprit. When the chain is pulled, the actuator pivot back to vertical and rests on a small plastic tab just below the pivot pins. The plastic tab is molded into the drain/pivot assembly installed at the bottom of the tank and is about the size of 1/2 dime. This tab had broken off. I was lucky to find it in the bottom of the tank. So I epoxied a dime sized washer in place of the tab and snapped the actuator pivot back into place. I hope it holds for a few years.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Uncle Monster posted for all of us...

repair his toilet. His head became stuck in the toilet seat and he choked to death trying to free himself. Three days later his gerbils became very hungry because they hadn't been fed so they chewed through their cage, descended upon tnom and the squeaking mass of 342 gerbils ate his body. The animal control people said that putting down the cute little gerbils was the hardest thing they ever had to do. Then someone suggested that the gerbils be used to feed the homeless so the animal control people donated the dead man eating gerbils to a homeless shelter where there was a gerbil festival and barbecue. The people from the homeless shelter took to the streets and passed out barbequed gerbils to the homeless on the streets, in the parks and under bridges. So tnom lives on in the protein of homeless people. His tragic death wasn't a complete waste.(~_~;)

+1
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to Tekkie®, gandlny wrote: Even little doggies got to eat....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2SujtrL6gk

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.