Tilting Flush Valve
<-- Valve with screw on disc
<-- Valve with snap-on disc
The American Standard tilting flush valve has two fairly large plastic cylinders (black sometimes white) at right angles to each other with a disc attached to the bottom. One type disc unscrews, another pulls off a stub on the bottom. In the illustrations it's difficult to see the difference; it's even more difficult when you are looking down into a tank at the top of the valve which makes it very hard to see what you are doing here.
Replacement discs come in the two different styles either snap-on or screw-on, so you should know which one you want before leaving for the hardware store. Fluidmaster has recently made it easier with a single American Standard replacement seat-disc that fits both the snap-on and the screw-on styles.
It's easy to push back too hard on the top of the valve or pull sideways on the disc and break the valve. So please be CAREFUL with this one. It is best to remove the entire top of the valve so you can see what you are doing. The top part of the assembly on the unit without a hinge bolt is removed by gently slipping a wide bladed screwdriver between the hinge connections and spread them apart while you lift the top off. The other type has a small bolt that hold the top in place; they are devils to unscrew, but it can be done.
When you find the flush valve overflow pipe rises as you turn the flush handle, you have to unscrew the small (one inch) disk on the top and lift the entire overflow pipe up and out of the toilet in order to remove the replaceable valve seal on the bottom. This type of valve comes in both plastic and metal. But both have a large rubber disk on the bottom that pulls off.
Clean and Polish
After removing the old tank ball, flapper or whatever your tank uses as a plug, clean and polish the edges of a metal seat with fine steel wool. If the seat is plastic, use a non-scratching scourging ball. Examine the surface of the seat for any pit marks or groves before replacing the ball, flapper or whatever. If the surface is not perfectly smooth, the valve will continue to leak after you replace the ball or flapper. In which case, the next step is to cement a new seat and flapper over the old one. (More about this later.)
For now let's assume the seat looks good. Take the old ball, flapper, disk, etc. with you and go buy a replacement.
Anytime you have worked inside a toilet tank always check and make sure the thin refill tube is directing water into the top of the overflow pipe before you put the tank lid back on. It's very easy to overlook this little connection. This water running into that overflow pipe is what refills the bowl after a toilet is flushed. A low water level in a bowl is a sympton that the tube has come loose or was not reinstalled the last time someone worked in the tank.
Also check to make sure that when you turn the flush handle that it does NOT hit the underside of the tank lid. If it does the chain to the ball or flapper is too long and must be shortened. When the handle lever is in the resting position with the flapper closed, the chain or strap should have just a tiny bit of slack in it.
How to Renew a Flush Valve Seat
Using a Flusher Fixer Kit (Fluidmaster, Inc.), you can cement a new seat directly on top of your old, worn flush valve seat. The Flusher Fixer Kits are inexpensive, durable, available widely and adjustable to fit both new 1.6 gallon tanks and the older varieties. Replacement flapper balls and chains are also available that stretch over the frame ring of the flapper.
While the kits can't be used with every type of flush valve, they can be used with most of them. There are four tiny little pictures on the outside of the package that show which valve won't take a Flusher Fixer. So before you go to the hardware store, take a good look at the type of flush valve you have, and maybe save yourself another trip. Complete directions are inside the package, but you can't read them until you open the kit. So, I'm giving them below, in order for you to know what's involved before you make a purchase, and what other supplies (steel wool, sandpaper, etc.) you may need to buy at the hardware store.
turn the water supply off to the toilet, then flush it. You will have to sponge up the remaining water in the bottom of the tank. Next, remove the old flapper, tank ball, chains, links, etc.
Determine what material the seat is made of. For a brass seat, clean it with steel wool or wet/dry sandpaper. For a plastic seat, use a non-abrasive nylon scrub ball or sponge. Then completely dry the seat. Paper towels work fine, but keep using a fresh dry towel until the towel no longer picks up moisture. You can also use a hair dryer, but make sure you don't direct hot air at any one spot for extended periods.
Study the installation illustrations to determine the position for the Flusher Fixer over the old seat. This is very important. Remove the protective paper from one side of the sealant ring and press it lightly down over the seat. Remove the remaining protective paper cover and press the Flusher Fixer over the sealant ring. Apply firm, even pressure to the seat.
With the flapper closed and the trip lever (handle) in a relaxed (down) position, connect the chain to the hole of the trip lever, leaving a slight bit of slack. Trim off excess chain and turn the water supply back on.
Photographs on this page courtesty of:
P.O. Box 4264
Anaheim, CA 92803
More help with flush valves ...