next home plumbing project...
replace fill valve and flapper in toilet and main bath. also remove
toilet, replace wax ring, and reinstall PROPERLY so it doesn't wobble on
the floor (I assume shims will be involved.) It's a Kohler toilet,
although I haven't a clue as to the model. I had a thought of going to
Kohler's web site and trying to get "genuine" replacement parts, as I
know some aftermarket stuff is iffy. But that looks like a royal PITA.
Are the "fluidmaster" parts that most hardware stores sell decent?
Any tips on the R&R of the whole toilet? I consider myself reasonably
handy but I have never done this before.
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I have generally had good luck with the Fluidmaster parts. One very
important thing is to be careful not to shim and tighten so much that you
crack the toilet. They are intended to be set on a level floor and snugged
down good so they will not stand a lot of stress.
I guess the reason for my question is all the web tutorials of doing
this remind me of the Studebaker factory shop manual - showing two
smiling gentlemen in white lab coats with step by step "instructions"
on how to, say, replace the rear window on a '55 coupe. (next time
you see a Studebaker Hawk or other C-K body, look at the back window
and imagine trying to replace it without a) breaking it b) hurting
yourself) The instructions generally show 3 or 4 pictures and at no
time are the technicians a) not smiling b) sweaty c) dirty. I KNOW
that it's not that easy in real life... is the same effect true for
toilets? Or is it really as easy as the instructions imply?
In addition to other's advice, sometimes a double wax ring is helpful.
One with the flange or horn that goes into the waste line and one
without the flange atop that. Especially good when the waste line is a
little lower than it should be. Old timers use plumbers putty sometimes
I read here that there's a difference between installing the toilet on a
tile floor added after the house was built versus installing on an original
linoleum floor - something about the height of the tile and the need for
something called an extended wax ring or something and not to just use two
wax rings - and that tip about NOT over tightening was a good one, too.
When I did a valve replacment, it took about half an hour. Since it's just
wobbly, pop the caps off the two bolts that hold the toilet down. Snug them,
and see if that helps. If not, get some shims in the paint department of the
hardware store. Cram them under the sides, and break them off, maybe score
them with a utility knife at the edge of the toilet. Don't pull the entire
crapper cause of a rocking problem.
Christopher A. Young
"Nate Nagel" < email@example.com> wrote in message
Call Kohler customer servce. They are some of the most knowledgeable
and helpful I have ever dealt with. Web sites are OK, but it's nice to
have a live person to explain things for you. Plus they can send you
original documents on parts for your model.
Yes, but not for Kohler. Tried one once, failed missrably, got the
real deal from Kohler for about the same $$ and we're still working
Read up on it, and just do it. Have a helper nearby, keep the mop pail
handy. You'll be an expert in just a few hours. Good luck.
Turns out that the original Kohler part is a "fluidmaster 400" so I just
went to my local big box and bought one. Have not replaced the wax ring
yet but everything else was cake easy, and now it refills without
hammering the pipes (the original problem, there was some debris in the
old valve that was "fluttering" while it was filling, causing a hell of
a racket in the basement. Had to replace the stop valve as well; old
one (probably late 40's vintage) no longer stopped, $6 later all is
good. (draining down the plumbing in this house is becoming a regular
procedure, it seems.) Currently have flexible hose connecting it to
fill valve, but I'll replace it with a proper chromed copper hard line
when I get it set properly.
I found this funny... SWMBO wanted a new toilet seat while I was in
there, so I dragged her with me to the store so she could pick one out.
She apparently has been paying attention to me working on my old
Studebaker, she insisted on buying a pack of stainless steel wood screws
to attach the seat to the hinges because "zinc plated steel rusts."
Yes, I spent ten minutes replacing the hardware on a new toilet seat.
I'm not sure if I should be proud or amused.
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