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Plumbing: Overhauling a Toilet Tank



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It's often easier to replace the entire working mechanism inside the toilet tank rather than to replace it piecemeal. A universal replacement kit and a few tools will soon silence the annoying watery sounds keeping you awake at night. First, shut off the water supply at the shutoff underneath the toilet or at the home’s main shutoff. Be prepared to replace the toilet shutoff -- corrosion or disuse frequently causes it to seize or not close completely.

With the water off, flush the toilet to drain the tank. Sponge up the remaining water in the tank. Be sure the tank is completely empty before you remove any parts.


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Disconnect the water supply tube located under the tank’s bottom left side. Inside the tank, attach locking pliers to base of old fill valve to keep it from spinning. With adjustable pliers, remove locknut on out side of tank. 1. Disconnect the water supply tube located under the tank’s bottom left side. Inside the tank, attach locking pliers to base of old fill valve to keep it from spinning. With adjustable pliers, remove locknut on out side of tank.
Remove old fill valve by lifting it out of the tank. Float ball and refill tube are attached and will come out with it. Clean area around the hole where the fill valve mounts to the tank.

2. Remove old fill valve by lifting it out of the tank. Float ball and refill tube are attached and will come out with it. Clean area around the hole where the fill valve mounts to the tank.

Adjust the length of new fill valve by twisting fill valve base stem until the critical water mark (see Step 4) is 1 in. (2.5 cm) above top of over flow tube. Install rubber gasket and test-fit height by setting valve in place. Orient fill valve so bowl refill tube points toward overflow tube. Secure fill valve with locknut. 3. Adjust the length of new fill valve by twisting fill valve base stem until the critical water mark (see Step 4) is 1 in. (2.5 cm) above top of over flow tube. Install rubber gasket and test-fit height by setting valve in place. Orient fill valve so bowl refill tube points toward overflow tube. Secure fill valve with locknut.
Trim bowl refill tube to length to avoid kinking and install it. Push refill tube over stem on valve and clip it to rim of overflow tube so water will be directed straight into overflow. Install and tighten water supply tube and turn on water to test toilet. 4. Trim bowl refill tube to length to avoid kinking and install it. Push refill tube over stem on valve and clip it to rim of overflow tube so water will be directed straight into overflow. Install and tighten water supply tube and turn on water to test toilet.
Clean out new valve to remove any dislodged mineral deposits. To do this, turn off water, take off cap, and then open water shutoff valve slowly to let water bubble out. 5. Clean out new valve to remove any dislodged mineral deposits. To do this, turn off water, take off cap, and then open water shutoff valve slowly to let water bubble out.

Wax Rings

When water leaks out from under a toilet, the wax ring must be replaced immediately to avoid water damage. Shut off and drain the water, and loosen one end of the supply tube. Remove the two flange nuts holding the toilet in place -- be prepared to use a hack saw to cut them if they’re frozen in place. Plug the drain temporarily with a rag, then scrape the old wax from the toilet base and flange. Install a new wax ring with a rubber or plastic collar. Remove the rag and lower the toilet straight onto the bolts. Sit on the toilet to compress the wax; it will reseal the connection between flange and toilet bowl. Reinstall the nuts, washers and supply tube. When water leaks out from under a toilet, the wax ring must be replaced immediately to avoid water damage. Shut off and drain the water, and loosen one end of the supply tube. Remove the two flange nuts holding the toilet in place -- be prepared to use a hack saw to cut them if they’re frozen in place. Plug the drain temporarily with a rag, then scrape the old wax from the toilet base and flange. Install a new wax ring with a rubber or plastic collar. Remove the rag and lower the toilet straight onto the bolts. Sit on the toilet to compress the wax; it will reseal the connection between flange and toilet bowl. Reinstall the nuts, washers and supply tube. (continue...)

Special Advertising Section

If you're going to invest in a new tank or related equipment, we highly recommend these products:

Cadet Toilet Tank With Right Hand Tank Lever, White

Cadet Toilet Tank With Right Hand Tank Lever, White

A timeless look you'd expect to find at an academy. It reflects a tradition of practicality and function. No bells. No whistles. Just very soft lines and rounded curves. A classic style befitting any bathroom.


Wellworth  toilet tank with Insuliner  tank liner, Biscuit

Wellworth toilet tank with Insuliner tank liner, Biscuit

Wellworth toilets have been an American benchmark for innovation and performance for over 65 years. This toilet tank features Insuliner tank liner to prevent condensation, and is available in a palette of KOHLER colors to complement any d cor.


Tank Mate Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner - 3 Refills

Tank Mate Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner - 3 Refills

Tank Mate is the revolutionary new way to keep your toilet clean and sparkling, while keeping your bathroom smelling as fresh as can be. With every flush, Tank Mate safely cleans the toilet bowl, repelling stains without chlorine or other harsh chemicals – it’s completely safe for all toilet components, septic systems, children or pets. With an adjustable dial, you control the amount of cleaning and freshness power Tank Mate discharges, and with its simple installation, you’ll have the system hooked up and running with just two easy connections. No plumber required! Tank Mate is delightful, dependable, and built to last. Available with one refill package (Blue Mist), or three (Blue Mist, Lavender Garden, Powder Fresh). Please see drop down menu for more information.This item ships directly from the manufacturer. It usually ships within 1-3 business days and arrives within 2-8 business days depending on destination.


Portrait  Toilet Tank, Mexican Sand

Portrait Toilet Tank, Mexican Sand

This Portrait toilet tank offers performance-enhanced flushing and a charming, traditional style that integrates with the Portrait Suite to carry the understated elegance of French Provincial throughout the room. The tank combines with the K-4317 Portrait elongated toilet bowl, and is available in a palette of KOHLER colors and Artist Editions designs to complement any d cor.


More more plumbing products
Never underestimate the damage a faulty or poorly sealing water-supply tube can do to your home. When you replace a supply tube, you have three basic choices. The chrome type is reliable but must be cut to exact length and can kink easily when you attempt to bend it. The plastic type is the least expensive and is easy to install, but also must be cut to exact length and looks, well, like plastic. The no-burst type has a flexible inner core with a woven metal or plastic skin and built-in nuts and rubber seals at each end. It costs a bit more, but is reliable and easy to install, since it can be bent or looped by hand, so things line up right.

What Kind of Water-Supply Tube?

Never underestimate the damage a faulty or poorly sealing water-supply tube can do to your home. When you replace a supply tube, you have three basic choices. The chrome type is reliable but must be cut to exact length and can kink easily when you attempt to bend it. The plastic type is the least expensive and is easy to install, but also must be cut to exact length and looks, well, like plastic. The no-burst type has a flexible inner core with a woven metal or plastic skin and built-in nuts and rubber seals at each end. It costs a bit more, but is reliable and easy to install, since it can be bent or looped by hand, so things line up right.

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Recommended Reading

Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to Choosing, Planning and Maintaining Composting Toilet Systems

Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to Choosing, Planning and Maintaining Composting Toilet Systems

Book Description

by David Del Porto, Carol Steinfeld

This book is intended to educate you the consumer, on all aspects of drain-cleaning, and maintenance, you can do your self. It will describe to you in detail everything from preventative maintenance to unplugging your own drains using a hand snake or electric snake.

Topics include:

toilet system book, composting toilet systems, urine composter, composted human excrement, solar pasteurizer, composted human waste, drying toilets, urine diversion, batch composter, toilet chute, central wastewater treatment plants, ecological sanitation, graywater system, composting microbes, leachate drains, evapotranspiration beds, excess leachate, septage hauler, composting reactor, squat plates, soil absorption system, toilet stool, composting mass, composting organisms, composting toilets

Reviews:

The Definitive Composting Toilet Book
Del Porto's book is the definitive composting toilet book at this time. There is nothing even close. His book covers all aspects of composting toilet systems and touches on graywater issues as well. He treats the composting toilet as part of the home system. If a person is seriously interested in installing/having a composting toilet, this guide can save him/her all of the mistakes people usually make. He even (carefully) explodes some of the advertising myths that the purveyors of composting toilets would have us believe. The book covers ready-made systems as well as home built sytems. As trite as this sounds, the book truly is a must for someone considering intstalling composting toilet.

The best book out there
I would venture that the authors have forgotten more about toilets than most of the rest of us will ever know. There is no possible toilet configuration that does not receive at least cursory discussion. I only have 2 complaints about the book, both of them minor. First there were a couple of systems that I felt were described incompletely and critiqued a bit unfairly. Second, much of the book seemed to be a compilation of other writings without a lot of editing. Consequently there is significant repetition, and a presentation of information that's sometimes slightly disorganized and confusing. I definitely think that the book is worth reading.

Most complete and credible book on the topic
After reading a couple of books about composting toilets and graywater systems that were either suspiciously poetic or a little too humorous, I was happy to find this guide. As someone who needs a variety of systems for a variety of high-use sites, I was glad to find a book that deals with this topic in technically and responsibly (in terms of public health). I showed this guide to my local health agent, and he was far more amenable to permiting an "experimental system" afterwards, saving me a lot of money. Also, after experimenting with various systems over the years, I am aware that some systems still described in books and magazines just don't work well. The authors of this guide have apparently had the same experience, and I appreciate their researching this so completely.

Impressive, comprehensive, reader friendly, practical.,
The Composting Toilet System Book is an impressive, comprehensive, reader friendly, and practical guide to choosing, planning and maintaining composting toilet systems for those seeking an alternative to traditional sewer and septic tank systems. David Del Porto and Carol Steinfeld collaborate to explain the technologies, sources, applications, graywater issues, and regulations relevant to a composting toilet system for the home, whether manufactured or site-built. Highly recommended.

This is a great book to read while your sitting on the pot.
This book was well worth the wait. Whether you want to buy a system, or build one, if it's not covered in this guide, then chances are it doesn't exist. It covers wet and dry toilets, self-contained composters and also cental units. What I like about this guide is that it discusses the pros and cons of each type of design in a very straight forward manner. The authors did a very nice job on this guide. If you ever plan on, or are even thinking about a compost toilet system, buy this one now. I leave my copy on my coffee table for guests, it always stirs up a conversation. No sh_t....

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Last modified: Thursday, 2008-08-07 9:50 PST