toilet flush valves


Well I'm tired of both wasting water and changing toilet flush valves. with three toilets in the house, seems like I always have one leaking None that I've ever tried give long, trouble free service, without developing leaks between the seat and flapper. Admittedly, I normally get them at the local big box home center and they might not carry the best of the best. But I would pay three times as much for quality.
So, any recommendations.
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

I have the same problem.
I think these valves must be the biggest waster of waterin the country.
Most people don't even notice the problem.
Mark
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

To some extent your local water can cause problems.
Which valve are you talking about. The one that controls the water leaving the tank or the one controlling the water coming into the tank?
I am going to guess it is the flapper controlling the water leaving the tank. There are a couple of not uncommon issues. First the seat (the one the flapper sits in when it is shutting off the water) needs to be clean and smooth. Next watch the action carefully. Is anything hanging up the action of the action?
If it is the inlet valve, I would suspect the float first. Make sure it is functioning without any problems, not rubbing on anything etc. You may want to replace the whole inlet assemble.
Note: Some toilets have come with defective design parts. There may be an updated replacement for it. Try contracting the manufacturer or an experienced plumber in your area.
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Joseph Meehan

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On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 18:20:24 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

Yes, the flush valve. Fill valves can become troublesome too and are not of that high a quality, but they can be dealt with easier. It is a PITA to change a flush valve

Done that, seats are clean and the flappers works completely free on the two that are currently leaking. can't feel or see any nicks or deposits on either the seat or flapper. One was replaced just five months ago. Had the toilet off when I was installing a new tile floor, thought I'd take advantage of the opportunity to put all new stuff in the toilet.

An earlier responder commented that leaking flush valves are the biggest wasters of water there is. I agree. Most local codes now require water conserving toilets. Many of them don't work very well so people double flush thus wasting more water. If the Gov. wanted to really have a common sense water conservation effort, they would just mandate improvements to the flush valves and that would save a tremendous amount of water.
Water in my area is not particularly hard. However, I wonder if the leaks are caused by mineral deposits I cannot feel or see. Would it hurt to pour a bottle of vinegar in the tank and let it sit for a while. Anyone ever try this.
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Frank Boettcher wrote: ...

So far the three cheap jobs the contractor put in my home still have all the original parts in them after 15 years. No leaks, an occasional adjustment, but no real problems.
Actually most modern toilets are designed with two flushes. The regular and heavy duty by holding the handle down a little longer. Even two flushes equals less total water than one of the old 3.5 gallon models. So I would guess, not counting leaks, they are saving money. I can remember the old ones, also tended to leak so the new ones don't seem to be any worse. In fact my experience shows them to be better.
I am sort of hoping that mine may fail so I have an excuse to replace them with a better quality model that clogs less. I get a clog about once or twice a year.

I am not sure I would use vinegar as I don't know what it might do to other parts in there.
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

I assume you mean the flapper.
I have switched over to "leak sentry" valves that I buy at Home Depot. They prevent the toilet from refilling if the flapper is leaking. But they are harder to adjust since the flush lever has two chains to pull.
The flappers seem to wear out fast.
Are you talking about a new flapper leaking or just the the hassle of the slow leak past the flapper when it wears out or get scummed up?
You can test with blue food coloring in the tank to detect a slow leak to the bowl. Or some hardware stores have leak detect tablets for free.

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Frank Boettcher wrote:

Strange, I have only two toilets but they have last over 5 years between changes. I always clean the seat very well. I remember buying two 99 cent flappers, I think the last one I bought was about $1.50. Some time back I did buy one of the new improved type for about $3.50. I couldn't get it to seat and bought the 99 cent kind. The new improved one is still on a shelf in the garage.
My new toilet and the newly reinstalled old toilet (after new floors) are going on 4 years with no problems.
Do you put anything in the tank, like the blue cake or whatever? If you do, then same on you, that's your problem.
Changing the flapper is a pita because you have to go buy a new flapper and unless you have done it before you can be sure of getting a flapper that fits and may have to go back and buy a new one. (that's mostly sarcasm) Of course installing it takes about 10 minutes if you are really slow and most of that time involves cleaning the tank and flapper seat and in tying the flapper to the flush handle. Nowadays, I always throw away any chain or whatever and just use heavy fish line. Took me about 15 years to learn that with numerous chain hang ups etc.
On my original two commodes, in 28 years, I think I have bought 5 or 6 flappers, repaired 1 fill valve once, and bought 2 new fill valves.
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My apartment complex installed low-flow flapperless toilets;they work very well.Google for "flapperless toilet" and you can find out more about them.
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On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 09:54:37 -0600, Frank Boettcher

Do you use 1000 Flushes, or something like that. I bought three, put them in all the toilets, and they all started leaking within 3 months, with black residue in the bowl. I sent them everything and they refunded my money and paid for 3 flappers and postage.
Thgat was 20 years ago. maybe they improved the formula by now, or not.

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mm wrote: ..

That is a good point and maybe the answer. Those in the tank cleaners have caused a lot of problems including flush valve problems. That would explain the short life the OP has reported. I hope Frank reports back to let us know if he has been using this junk.
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On Thu, 01 Dec 2005 11:09:35 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

Thanks to all responders.
No we don't use any additives in the tanks.
And it is not changing the flapper that is the PITA as one responder commented on. it is when you change the flapper and it still leaks, then you have to change the valve seat. that is a PITA. or put in one of those seat inserts which I've tried with limited success.
I'll look into the flapperless design, thanks Jim.
I think some people don't even know that they are leaking. One of my three has a super quiet fill valve. I can see the leak but the extremely small flow down the side of the toilet bowl, however it never makes any noise when refilling. The other one that is currently leaking opens the fill valve with great fanfare every hour or so and dumps in a pint. I also think most people just live with it because they don't know what to do. I know that whenever I visit relatives their toilets are doing the same thing and I usually get to fix them.
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote: ...
You may want to check with your neighbors and see what their experience is. You also many want to get your water tested and see if there is something there. If something is going in with your water supply, it could be doing more damage than to just those valves.
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Joseph Meehan

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On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 09:54:37 -0600, Frank Boettcher

And I only need a new flapper every 3 or 4 years, maybe more, in each toilet now. Baltimore water. You need them more often?

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try the black soft rubber flapper made by korky .
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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That is one advantage never mentioned of the Sloan pressure valves. Although noisy, in 8 years in a house with 4 pressure toilets with Sloan valves, I've only had to replace one part and Sloan sent me the part for free. The other advantage is that they have a backpressure sensor and your toilet cannot overflow because if they feel back pressure they stop flushing immediately.

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