Category Archives: Showers

Finding Universal Rundle Toilet Parts

Universal Rundle toilets are some of the best out there in terms of balancing performance and water usage. Pioneers in their industry, Universal Rundle (UR) was making water efficient 1.6gpf toilets that actually worked well long before water conservation efforts made it mandatory. Add to that some of their truly unique styles and a variety of designer colors and many homeowners would much rather repair than replace their old UR toilet. However, finding toilet model numbers so you can find the right parts can be tricky business – especially with this particular brand.

Universal Rundle unique tank lid Adara toilet
Universal Rundle one-piece Bordeau toilet in green
Universal Rundle gray Atlas toilet

As always, the place to start is inside the tank. So grab a flashlight and go exploring. Exercise caution when removing the tank lid, as it is fragile and can be easily broken if stepped on or dropped. Inside your tank on the back wall of the tank or sometimes in the very bottom of the tank, you will see a model number stamped or painted on the porcelain.

Typically, for Universal Rundle toilets, you will see a four-digit number starting with a ‘4’. There may be more numbers indicating specific features, or – this is where it can get confusing – more than one model number. Elsewhere in your toilet tank, you should find a date stamp that will tell you when the toilet was manufactured. This can be important because once Universal Rundle was bought by Crane and became Universal Rundle Crane (URC), many of the internal components changed. For example, a Saturn 4012 made in 1987 may use very different components than a Saturn 4012 made in 1992.

Another problem unique to Universal Rundle toilets is that some newer series of toilets re-used a model number from an older series of toilets. The Astoria toilet made after 1995, for instance, has a model number 4470 – the same number that was used for the New Venus series toilets in the 1970s and ’80s. Additionally, be aware that not all tanks may have a model number or date stamp, and sometimes the model number can be difficult to find. In other instances, you may have multiple numbers in various locations.

Finding your UR model number isn't always easy

In these situations, try to compare as much information as you have available with the pictures, parts diagrams, and model numbers we’ve provided to help you find the right parts. If you can find your model number and pretty good idea of what you need, all that’s left is purchasing the parts, but as with most things in life, sometimes it just isn’t that easy.

Please keep in mind that sometimes you simply may not be able to determine your toilet model number and may need to purchase “will fit” replacement parts. If this is the case, we recommend snapping a picture or two of the internal toilet components and grabbing a tape measure. If you’re replacing a fill valve or flush valve, measure from the bottom of the tank to the top of the valve and note that height. There are a variety of “will fit” valves that could potentially work for you, but first you’ll need to be sure it will fit inside your tank at roughly the same water level. Flappers are much easier to replace, as there are so many generic varieties, but trip levers will also need to be measured to ensure the arm is long enough and angled properly so things will flush properly.

Even if you have your model number and aren’t looking for “will fit” parts, it is important to remember that Universal Rundle and Universal Rundle Crane have been out of business for quite a while now, so many of the original parts have been discontinued. Sometimes we are able to offer you OEM repair parts as a replacement, but there are other times where a “will fit” is the only option simply because nobody makes a part exactly like the original anymore.

Now you know pretty much everything we know about finding Universal Rundle replacement toilet parts, but if you’re still confused or need help, please feel free to contact us and one of our top-notch customer service representatives will be happy to help you find what you need. And if you’ve got your parts, but need a little help installing your new Universal Rundle toilet parts, check out our Guide to Toilet Repair for video tutorials, FAQs and answers, troubleshooting help, and more!

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The Power of the (Outdoor) Shower

outdoorshower

Imagine yourself standing in a cool rainfall of water with the stress of the day releasing itself from your tired muscles. Now add the feeling of sunshine on your face and the smell of freshly cut grass or a verdant, thriving landscape tickling your nose.

You’ve just experienced the power of an outdoor shower.

There’s nothing like the bold, invigorating, and dare we say tiniest bit naughty feeling you get from showering outside. Whether you live in the warm, tropical Southeast, the arid Southwest, or the chilly climes of the Northern states, an outdoor shower can offer you a way to reconnect with nature right in your own backyard. Now here comes the big but – BUT as with any plumbing project, there are certain things you need to consider before you purchase or install an outdoor shower.

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, your friends at PlumbingSupply.com® have you covered with a useful Outdoor Shower Buying Guide that will walk you through the process of choosing your location and your shower, as well as provide design suggestions and ideas.

Teak My Bath!

Teak has been the hot “new” thing lately with the trend toward luxury bathrooms. And why not? Teak has all sorts of fantastic qualities, which is why ship builders used it way back when, and still use it now. We’ve just gotten smart and brought it home with us to improve our homes.

Teak folding bench in showerSo what makes teak so amazing anyway? Well, beyond the terrific reddish-brown color of new teak products, which is simply gorgeous, its naturally weather resistant as well as highly resistant to mildew, fungi and rot.  As if this wasn’t enough, teak is pretty strong. All together, it’s a great wood for almost anything that will be exposed to the elements on a regular basis, which it was used by shipbuilders even way-back-when.

These days, we see teak mainly in outdoor furniture and on boats. If oiled and maintained, teak will maintain that lovely distinctive color. If left to age naturally, it loses none of the exceptional qualities that make it so desirable, but will age into a lovely silvery color rather like driftwood.

So what’s this have to do with a plumbing supply company?

Teak porthole mirrorWell, since this stuff does so well with water, we thought you might like it in your bathroom. Tired of cold tiles and slippery rugs? Get a teak bath mat. To coordinate, add towel bars, shelves, perhaps a robe hook or two. Don’t worry, the teak will handle being in a steamy bathroom just fine.

Naturally, teak and boats are simply made to go together, so there’s quite a few teak accessories specifically designed to make your boating life easier. For those of you who prefer to do your traveling on land, those accessories also fit fantastically in an RV or motor home, keeping your dishes, spices, and other necessities stowed away neatly.

Gorgeous organization can make a real difference in smaller spaces, so the same things that work so well on boats and in motor homes can make a cabin or small apartment more comfortable.

Teak folding tableLove the look of teak but running short on ideas outside of the bathroom? Teak benches will withstand the rigors of a busy household, and are incredibly versatile, making them an ideal gift for parents. Set just inside the entryway as a seat for pulling off wet boots and coats and add a few teak hooks for an instant organizational solution for jackets, hats and scarves.

How about using a teak waste paper basket to hide an ugly pot for your favorite plant for an instant visual upgrade? Or a folding teak table for convenience? Tired of struggling with a flimsy plastic step stool? Try a teak one!

We’re sure when you put your mind to it, you’ll find all sorts of places you could tuck a little teak around your home.

Your turn: what’s your opinion – love the teak, or leave it?

Valley Single Handled Shower

Do you have a dripping Valley shower? Not sure what type of shower you have, much less what parts you need? Don’t worry, we have years of experience with Valley repair parts and are here to help.

The most common Valley shower has a single handle that controls temperature and volume. There are three basic categories of Valley single handled showers: standard tub/shower, pressure balanced and back-to-back.

The standard tub/shower units have handles that operate using an up-and-down motion to turn the water on and off. There are two styles, units made before 1993 are dubbed “old style” with the post 1993 models being the “new style.”

The old style uses a small set screw on the bottom side of the handle to attach to the cartridge stem. So, if you are standing in front of your shower and run your finger around the bottom of the handle, you’d feel a slight indent and if you can look closely you’ll see there is a very small screw in there – that is the set screw.

The new style uses a different screw that goes straight through the top of the handle. There is usually a plastic index button that covers the screw.

The pressure balance and back-to-back models both operate by simply turning the handle clockwise or counterclockwise. These two look very similar to each other, and even use the same type of handle. However, many of the other internal parts, including the cartridges, are very different.

Everything connects to the cartridge, so knowing which cartridge you’ll need is half the battle!

Ready to tackle your Valley shower? First step: cartridges!