Friday, May 31, 2013

Toilet Parts Replacement - Toilet Tips - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

~ If your toilet tank lid has broken or chipped edges, take a fine file and carefully smooth down the sharp edges. Or remove the lid and do not use it.
~ Secure toilet tank lids in public or institutional environments with silicone. Apply clear silicone caulking between the bottom of tank lid and the face of the tank. When access to the inside of the tank is required, cut the silicone with a razor or knife.
~ If you have a five year old living with you, show them what's inside the toilet tank before they try to look on their own. Yup - sold another lid today to replace one broken by a curious toddler.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Toilet Parts Replacement - Toilet Trivia - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

~ Enameled wooden toilet seats and croquet balls are made of the same materials in the same factory - Bemis Manufacturing, Wisconsin, USA.
~ Patent number #272369 was granted to Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York in 1883 for perforated toilet paper rolled on cardboard tubes. (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Toilet Lids - Toilet Myths - This Old Toilet - 650-483-1139

I am saving money because I have a brick, bag, 2 liter bottle, bag of rocks, etc in my tank which displaces water. 
  Really, really bad idea! Toilet manufacturers do not, nor will they ever design a toilet with the thought in mind that you are going to stick a foreign object in their tank. Toilets are designed to use the exact amount of water they are designed to use. No more, no less. First, if you place something in your tank you will end up flushing it twice which defeats the whole purpose of saving water. Second, anything you place in your tank has the potential of ruining your toilet and flooding your house. So you may of saved $10 in year right up until you spend $10,000 on damage from a flood. Also, do not place anything like cleaning products in your tank. All the parts in your tank are designed to work with drinking water only! So if you wont put it in your mouth don't put it in your tank. If you just gotta have something, put it in the bowl.
by Ed Harris

Friday, May 24, 2013

Toilet Parts Replacement - Toilet Trivia - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

If someone in Houston loves old school toilets, this is for them.

~ Low-flow toilets cause stink in San Francisco. Skimping on toilet water has resulted in more sludge backing up inside the sewer pipes resulting in a rotten egg smell in some areas. (San Franciso Chronilce 2/28/11.)
~ California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Governator) signed legislation in 2007 to implement 1.28 GPF high-efficency toilets (HETs) in California beginning in 2010.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Toilet Parts Replacement - Toilet Tips - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

~ To winterize an unused toilet during freezing conditions, add one ounce of automobile anti-freeze to both the tank and the bowl. (Be careful when handling the tank lid. Handling Tips) The next time the toilet is flushed, the freeze protection is gone.
~ If you replace your entire toilet, check with your water company to see if they offer Ultra Low Flush rebates.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Toilet Lids - Toilet Myths - This Old Toilet - 650-483-1139

~ "Toilet seats are the dirtiest thing in the bathroom". A test by Dr. Charles Gerba (aka Dr. Germ) revealed that the bathroom floor contains 200 million bacteria per square inch and is the dirtiest place in the bathroom. A sanitary surface is considered 1,000 bacteria per square inch and the toilet seat passed. "There are more germs on your hands than your toilet seat." ABC 20/20, 2005

Friday, May 17, 2013

Toilet Parts Replacement - Toilet Trivia - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

~ Beginning in 1994 all toilets manufactured are marked with their Gallons Per Flush (GPF) rating. The rating may also be shown in liters, Liters Per Flush (LPF). The markings are on the bowl where the seat attaches. If a toilet has no marking, then it is 3.5 GPF or greater.
~ Toilets consume about 25% of water inside a home. (Southern Nevada Water Authority.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Toilet Parts Replacement - Toilet Tips - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

~ Don't store cans, candle holders, bottles, glasses, vases, plant pots, etc. on shelves, ledges, or window sills above your toilet. When they fall they often survive, but according to recent customers, the tank lid might not.
~ If you occupy a rental dwelling and there is a problem with the toilet tank mechanics, it might best to leave it alone and alert the owner rather than try to remedy it yourself. We have supplied many lids to renters to replace ones they broke during repair attempts.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Toilet Lids - Toilet Myths - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

~ "Sir Thomas Crapper invented the toilet." Contrary to widespread misconceptions, Crapper did not invent the toilet, nor is the word crap derived from his name. He did, however, do much to increase the popularity of the toilet, and did develop some important related inventions, such as the ballcock. Wikipedia

Friday, May 10, 2013

Toilet Lids - Toilet Myths - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

~ "Low-flush, water saving toilets are bad because they don't work." This was true, but is no longer true. When government low-flush mandates were implemented into production, (1982 and 1994) the manufacturers had to quickly modify existing models. They did this by reducing the amount of water released by the tank. But this was not always enough for the bowl to adequately perform a full flush. The result was poor discharge performance on solid waste. Within several years of the mandates, the manufacturers were able to reengineer the entire toilet system (tank and bowl.) Performance steadily improved. After 25 years of progress, today's low-flush toilets work very, very well.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Toilet Parts Replacement - Toilet Tips - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

Toilet Tips:
~ To avoid clogging your toilet or waste pipes, follow this advice, "If you didn't eat it first, don't put it in the toilet!"
~ If your toilet does become clogged, try adding a few squirts of liquid dishwashing soap to the toilet bowl. Let it sit ten minutes. Then apply toilet plunger. The dishwashing soap will greatly increase your odds of success.
~ The threads on the nuts holding toilet tank trip levers (aka flush handles), are opposite of normal. That is, clock-wise to loosen, counter-clock-wise to tighten.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Toilet Replacement Parts - Toilet Trivia - This Old Toilet Los Altos 650-483-1139

~ It was estimated by Fluidmaster in 2006 that there are 250 million toilets installed in private households in America. This does not include public facilities, offices, hotels, stadiums, schools, dormitories, resorts, etc.
~ Gallons-per-flush (GPF) over the years: 1920s to 1950s 7 GPF ~ 1960's & 1970s 5 GPF ~ 1982 3.5 GPF ~ 1994 1.6 GPF ~ 2010 1.28 GPF.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Toilet Lids - Low Flow Toilet - This Old Toilet Los Altos

Low-Flow Toilets

A closer look at these water-saving commodes.

 Low Flow Toilet - cross section

Contrary to popular myth, plumber Thomas Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. One of his contemporaries, though, did create the first toilet that prevented sewer gases from entering the home. Englishman Joseph Adamson's 1853 design — the siphon flush — eventually made obsolete both the chamber pot and the outhouse. Adamson's invention, like all modern toilets, relies on the tendency of a moving liquid to continue flowing, even in defiance of gravity: The tank is kept full, and during a flush, the water rushes into the bowl, creating a surge over the weir (or dam). The flow stops when the bowl is empty, and the tank refills in preparation for the next flush. Originally, tanks were placed high above the bowl to get water moving forcefully enough to clear the weir, but by 1915, narrower, smoother porcelain passageways allowed quieter, 5- to 7-gallon tanks to be mounted on the backs of bowls. The next giant leap in toilet technology came in 1994, when federal law restricted tanks to 1.6 gallons per flush, but to those who used the first generation of low-flow toilets, this leap seemed more of a stumble. "They often needed two flushes," says This Old House plumbing and heating consultant Richard Trethewey. Manufacturers largely fixed that problem by further modifying the passageways to move a reduced amount of water more vigorously into the bowl.

Anatomy of a Low-Flow Toilet

FLUSH LEVER: Pulls the lift chain. LIFT CHAIN:Opens the flapper. A chain float limits the flush to 1.6 gallons by closing the flapper when the tank has drained to a set level. OVERFLOW TUBE: Protects against an accidental overfilling of the tank. FLOAT:Shuts a valve on the supply line when the tank level reaches a predetermined depth. FLAPPER:Releases tank water into the bowl. When released by the chain float, drops against the flush valve seat, sealing the tank so it can refill. TRAP: Holds water in the bowl, blocking the entry of sewer gases, until the flow from the tank pushes the water over the weir. SIPHON JET: Concentrates flow from the tank, jump-starting the siphoning effect. RIM HOLES (not shown): Release water during the flush, cleaning the sides of the bowl.

 By Max Alexander, This Old House Magazine

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Toilet Replacement Parts - Easy Fix for a Leaky Toilet - This Old Toilet Los Altos

Easy Fix for a Leaky Toilet

leaky toilet repair, step-by-step


Everything should be as reliable as a toilet. It's not unusual for one to last more than 40 years with only a minimal amount of care. But, occasionally, water will begin to leak out from under the toilet and spill onto the floor, which can lead to serious water damage. But this type of leak is easy to diagnose and fix, even if you've never attempted a plumbing repair.

The leak is usually caused when the seal under the toilet fails. Even if this hasn't happened to one of your toilets yet, this "Home Care" is for you. You'll learn how to install a new wax gasket to create a watertight seal between the toilet and the closet flange and install a new flexible water-supply tube.

Finding the Problem
Water pooling around the base of the toilet is a good indication that the wax seal has failed. But in some cases the problem lies elsewhere. Soak up the water from the floor with a sponge and dry off the toilet with a towel. Wait until a new puddle appears on the floor, then check to make sure the water is seeping out from under the toilet and not coming from a loose supply tube, faulty shutoff valve, cracked tank or sweaty bowl.

If water is leaking from beneath the toilet, you might be able to stop it by simply tightening the closet bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. Use a putty knife or slotted screwdriver to pry off the caps that are covering the bolts. Then use a wrench to alternately tighten each bolt, a little at a time. Be careful not to apply too much pressure; you can crack the toilet's base.

If you're lucky, the leak will stop. If tightening the bolts doesn't help, you'll have to remove the toilet and replace the wax gasket. 

Removing The Toilet
The first step is to turn off the water at the shutoff valve, which is usually located behind the toilet, or in the basement or crawl space directly below it. Turn the handle all the way in a clockwise direction.

Remove the tank lid, flush the toilet and hold down the handle to drain as much water as possible from the tank. Use a sponge to get up the remaining water in the tank; a small paper cup will help you remove any water left in the bowl.

Next, disconnect the water-supply tube by loosening the compression nut on the shutoff valve (step 1). Pry the caps from the closet bolts, then use a wrench to remove the nuts (step 2). If either bolt spins as you turn the nut, hold the top of the bolt with needle nose pliers.

Grab the rim of the bowl directly below the seat hinges, and gently rock the toilet back and forth to break the wax seal. Lift the toilet off the floor (step 3) and lay it on a blanket or piece of cardboard. Use a narrow putty knife to scrape off the old wax gasket from the bottom of the toilet and from the closet flange in the floor (step 4).

Check the condition of the flange to make sure it isn't cracked or bent. After we scraped off the wax, we discovered that a large piece of the flange had broken off. If this happens, you can replace the entire flange (no easy task), install a full replacement flange or fill in the missing piece with a repair strap

To install the curved metal strap, first loosen the two screws that secure the flange to the floor. Insert a new closet bolt into the slot in the strap, then slide the strap under the flange (step 5). Tighten the flange screws to lock the strap in place. Install the remaining closet bolt in the flange. If the bolts won't stand upright, pack a little wax from the old gasket around the base of each one.

Take a new wax gasket and set it down on the closet flange, making sure it's perfectly centered (step 6). Most wax gaskets are simply a ring of solid wax, but we used Harvey's Bol-Wax No. 5 (about $5). This one has wax surrounding a core of soft urethane foam, and it easily conforms to the flange and toilet to create a superior seal.

Replacing The Toilet
If the toilet is fitted with an old chrome-plated copper supply tube, consider replacing it with a new flexible one made of stainless steel-enmeshed polymer. It makes the installation a whole lot easier, and it will virtually last forever. We installed a 12-in.-long Fluidmaster supply tube (about $5); other lengths are available ranging from about 8 to 24 in.

Apply a light coating of pipe-joint compound to the fitting at each end of the supply tube, then tighten one end onto the fill-valve shank protruding from the bottom of the toilet tank (step 7).

You're now ready to set the toilet back in place. Grip the bowl near the seat hinges, lift up the toilet and walk it over to the flange. Set the toilet down onto the wax gasket, using the closet bolts as guides. Slip the washers over the bolts and thread on the nuts. However, before tightening them, press down on the rim of the bowl with all your weight to compress the gasket (step 8).

Check to make sure the toilet tank is parallel with the back wall. Alternately tighten each closet bolt until both feel snug. Then, press down on the bowl again and tighten the nuts a little more. Continue in this manner until the nuts no longer feel loose after you press down on the toilet. Again, be careful not to exert too much pressure with the wrench or you'll crack the toilet. Use a hacksaw to cut the closet bolts nearly flush with the nuts (step 9), then snap on the bolt caps.

Your final step is to tighten the loose end of the water-supply tube to the shutoff valve (step 10). Open up the valve and flush the toilet several times. If a leak occurs, press down on the bowl and tighten the nuts a little more. If it isn't leaking, use the toilet for a couple of weeks, then pry off the bolt caps and retighten the nuts. The toilet will often settle after several uses.

The Caulk Question
There's a long-standing debate in the plumbing world over whether you should caulk around the base of a toilet. Most plumbers don't because they're concerned that the caulk would conceal any leaks. However, in some municipalities, the local building code requires homeowners to caulk around the toilet to keep bacteria from growing in the joint.

Check with your building department for the code requirement in your town. If you do decide to caulk, be sure to use a high-quality, mildew proof tub-and-tile caulk.

Step by Step
1. Disconnect the supply tube from the shutoff valve using a wrench. Be sure the valve is closed and the toilet is drained.

2. Pry off the rounded caps that cover the closet bolts, then use a wrench to remove the hex nuts.

3. Very carefully lift the toilet by the bowl, not the tank, and set it down on an old blanket or cardboard sheet.

4. Scrape off all of the old wax gasket from the closet flange. Note that a section of the flange is broken off.

5. Slide a repair strap under the closet flange after loosening the screws that secure the flange to the floor.

6. Set the new wax gasket down on the closet flange, making sure it's centered. Note: Both closet bolts are in place.

7. Connect the new water-supply tube to the threaded fill-valve shank on the bottom of the toilet tank.

8. Press down on the toilet bowl rim to compress the gasket. Tighten the closet bolts, then press down again.

9. Use a close-quarter hacksaw to trim off the tops of the closet bolts. Tighten the nuts before replacing the caps.

10. Connect the supply tube to the shutoff valve. Then open the valve, flush the toilet and check for leaks.