Difficult to Find Parts &
Specialty Parts for Difficult Situations
A-Ball's current mission originated in 1977 when Kent and Jan purchased a run down 1880 Victorian farmhouse. In their search for quality vintage fixtures, they discovered an exciting new business opportunity. They began work on their first catalog, which was printed on newsprint by a friend in the news publishing business, and assembled by Kent's oldest son, Jason, then seven, and his friends. In the early stages of production, before they had even gone to the bank to secure financing, they mentioned to Clem Labine, then editor and founder of The Old House Journal, that a catalog was in progress. With the bank loan application still in hand, requests for the catalog started rolling in. Today A-Ball Pumbing Supply is known around the world for their extensive knowledge of vintage plumbing restoration.
A cracked, chipped or broken bathroom soap dish, towel bar or sink in a vintage color may be very frustrating or even impossible to find, but don't giveup until you have checked eBay's auctions. I recently found a complete set of 1960s blue American Standard bathroom fittings for sale including a toilet with a tank lid. The toilet had a $10 bid on it with less than a day to closing. No matter what they had to pay for shipping, someone rescued their vintage bathroom for just a few dollars.
In addition, Tim's Sales sells new & used toilet tank lids plus other plumbing supplies through their eBay store. For example a replacement Toilet Tank Lid for a 1969 Kohler Wellworth # k-4552 is listed as "Buy It Now" at $59 plus shipping. Tim claims they have 100s of tank lids from 1920s to the present day. Once you get to eBay Auctions do a search on "Replacement Toilet Tank Covers / Lids" and you'll find Tim's store.
Toilet Tank Lids
Toilet tank lids are notorious for being difficult to replace. For a quick solution to a broken toilet tank lid this Fit-all white plastic replacement cover may just fill the bill. It measures 21-3/16 inches x 7-7/8 inches and the manufacturer claims it is universally adjustable to fit most toilet tanks.
If a white plastic lid cover is not what you have in mind for your vintage blue toilet, the folks at ToiletTankLids.com will do their best to find you a matching lid. They have 1,000 used toilet tank lids in stock spanning 370 different models/colors from 39 manufacturers going back 75 years. And they will deliver safely to your doorstep in a double-walled carton via UPS. If they don't have the one you need in stock, they will keep your name on file and contact you when one comes in. Also they now carry toilet tank replacements.
For OEM and difficult to find replacement parts (toilet tank lids, seats, flappers, etc.) check out www.PlumbingSupply.com, an on-line plumbing supplier at ~~
They claim they ship in 24 hours via UPS, and you can order by Fax, phone or e-mail.
Vintage Plumbing 9645 Sylvia Avenue, Northridge, CA 91324. Or call us at 818-772-1721.
We normally have unusual Victorian era toilet bowls, tanks, complete sets, shower units, sitz baths, foot baths, and odd-ball items available. We are one of the few shops that ever has embossed ornamental toilet bowls in good condition available for sale. We think they define Victorian ornamentation in the bathroom. We will display them and other bathroom oddities in this corner of the warehouse. But, if there is something you want and you do not see it, please inquire- we might have it. Click on the photos above to visit Vintage Plumbing.
For CASE Toilet replacement parts go to the One-Piece Toilet Page. CASE, the Cadillac of its day was a toilet known for its style and quiet efficiency. This classic is a rare and valuable find.
Specialty Parts for Difficult Situations
There are some situations that require a creative solution to remedy, and there are a number of clever products for such problems.
One such product is from one of our advertisers, Fluidmaster. The
Wax-Free Bowl Gasket is a reuseable replacement for the wax ring normally used for connecting a toilet to the drain pipe. It will seal to a flange that is below the floor level, and can accommodate fixture and structure movement.
QuikFix (a Division of the Forbes Companies of Myrtle Beach, SC) has a collection of products that promise to fix a number of tricky problems caused by wobbly toilets to broken flanges.
Quick, easy installation for toilets
The DryLock installation system used by Kohler on their new Cimarron Comfort Height Toilet makes installing a toilet fast and easy without fear of breaking the tank or leaking water onto the bathroom floor. Traditional installation of a 2-piece toilet usually requires a socket wrench and a screwdriver to be used simultaneously to tighten two to three bolts that went directly thorough the vitreous china tank. Obstructions in the tank, such as the fill valve, made this process awkward, and installers would need to be careful not to over-tighten the bolts and break the vitreous china tank. Additionally, if the bolts were not tightened enough, water could leak out onto the bathroom floor.
The new DryLock installation system uses a metal bracket plate that snaps easily around a rubber gasket on the bottom exterior of the tank. Two bolts slide and snap effortlessly into the bracket plate rather than sticking through the vitreous china tank. The tank is then set down on the toilet and only one tool – a 1/2-inch socket wrench – is needed to fasten the tank tight. The absence of holes in the tank for the bolts ensures a dry installation and no damage to the tank. (Kohler Press Release, January 2004)
Color Matching Toilet Seat
Bemis Manufacturing has been in the family since 1901, and although they do not sell directly to the public, their internet site is a goldmine of information for replacing old toilet seats with a matching color.
You'll find a toilet seat color chart that lists dozens and dozens of colors by name. If you ever wondered why it is so difficult to find a blue toilet seat like the old one you have, this chart solves the mystery. There are at least ten different blues from New Orleans Blue to Cerulean Blue. Then there is a link at the top of the chart to most major toilet bowl manufacturers that lists each manufacturer's color numbers. For example an American Standard Colonial Blue is the Bemis #364. Then there is a page where you can insert your zip code and find out where there is a local retailer that sells Bemis toilet seats. They recommend calling your selected merchant to make sure the item you need is in stock. Individual stores determine what colors they keep in stock. You'll also find a page on how to measure your old toilet seat in order to get a proper fit.
At PlumbingWorld.com and at ToiletTankLids.com you can order a special kit to help match your old obsolete colored toilet seat. This is program where you can pick your own seat color at home from 94 color possibilities! These seats are limited to normal, standard, regular, typical style toilets having round or elongated bowls. They are not compatible with special, unique, irregular or designer toilets.