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?
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.
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.
I'm not Tony, but
A toilet he knows he's satisfied with instead of one that he might not
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
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.
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
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.
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"
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.
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.(~_~;)
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