Category Archives: Toilet

Finding Mansfield Toilet Repair Parts

Mansfield Plumbing has been making toilets for a long time and there’s a reason why they’re still around. From classic to modern designs and everything in between, all offering quality water-efficient performance, Mansfield toilets are definitely worth keeping. So what do you do when your high performing Mansfield toilet stops performing so well? You repair it, of course!

Mansfield Magnum Toilet
Mansfield Alto Toilet
Mansfield Enso Toilet

The first step in fixing your toilet is finding out what’s actually wrong with it – and luckily for you, we’ve got a handy guide to troubleshooting your toilet. Once you’ve figured out what’s wrong, you’ll need to find the right parts to fix the problem. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes it’s not so easy, but with a little investigative work and the help of your friends at PlumbingSupply.com®, hopefully it won’t be that difficult.

Start by trying to find your toilet model number. Grab a flashlight, CAREFULLY remove the tank lid (and place it somewhere safe and out of the way), and look around inside the tank for a model number. Older Mansfield toilet model numbers are typically three digits long – most of which start with a “1” for two-piece toilets or a “7” for one-piece toilets. Newer, more water-efficient toilets are generally four digits long and most begin with a “3”.

Usually the model number will be stamped onto the back wall or side of the toilet tank, along with “Mansfield” and a gpf (gallons per flush) rating. Don’t ignore the gpf rating! As toilet regulations and water-efficiency standards have changed over the years, Mansfield has taken a somewhat different approach than some other toilet manufacturers in remaining compliant with regulations. Rather than discontinuing and replacing many of their toilet designs, they have simply re-designed the way some of their existing models flush. Thus, you could have an Alto Series toilet with a 3.5gpf, 1.6gpf or 1.28gpf rating. They may look the same on the outside, but the way they work on the inside can be drastically different.

mansfield-toilet-model-number

It’s important to note at this point, that any toilet that flushes well is holistically designed – meaning the amount of water, the flush mechanism, the way the water is delivered, the trapway, etc. (essentially the entire toilet) has been designed to work as a complete unit. What this means for you, as the owner and/or fixer of the toilet, is that in order for your Mansfield toilet to continue to flush well you need to make sure you’re getting the parts that are appropriate for your toilet’s gpf rating. You simply can’t put a flush valve that delivers 1.6gpf in a 3.5gpf toilet and expect it to work well.

So once you’ve found your toilet model number and your gpf rating, what’s next? Finding parts. We have a complete Mansfield toilet repair parts listing to help you out – just find your toilet model number, click on it, and see the parts you’ll need to fix your toilet. This listing can also be helpful if for some reason you can’t find your model number. Browse the available pictures of Mansfield toilets until you find the one that looks like what you have, then again click to see your parts.

Mansfield Toilet Flush Valves

One thing that may confuse some people at this point (especially those who have some previous experience with toilet repair), is that certain Mansfield parts are highly unique. Most notably, their flush valves. While some models may use the traditional flapper valve, others use a kind of canister-style valve. These valves use the same trip levers as their flapper-using counterparts, but the entire top of the valve is lifted up and the water flows in from all sides. Usually, if you have a toilet leak with this type of valve, you simply need to replace the seal around the valve opening. So if you look into your toilet and see something that looks like this – don’t panic!

This uniqueness of parts can actually be very helpful for those who can’t find a model number for their Mansfield toilet. If you look into your toilet and see one of the unique canister flush valves but no model number, your next step is to pull out a tape measure. Since the canister flush valves only come in three types – 3.5gpf, 1.6gpf, and dual flush (which are distinctly different from the other two) – it is fairly easy to determine which style you need, then measure your existing valve or the inside of your tank to figure out what height you need. It’s the same with trip levers, just measure to determine the length you need and then compare angles to make sure it will reach the flush valve or flapper chain.

While finding replacement parts for Mansfield toilets can be somewhat easier than with other brands, we’re always happy to help if you are confused or unsure about which parts you need. Simply contact one of our customer service representatives and we’ll do everything we can to make sure you’re getting what you need to fix your Mansfield toilet!

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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!

Can I Use a Brick In My Toilet to Reduce Water Waste?

A lot of people are finally starting to realize the impact humans have on our clean water supply and have become more conscientious about how they use water and how much water they use. One question we see frequently asked online is – can I put a brick in my toilet tank to help conserve water?

This is a valid question for anyone wanting to save water, as the toilet uses nearly 1/3 of our indoor water consumption, and technically, yes you could…but we really don’t like to recommend that. While we here at PlumbingSupply.com truly care about water conservation and try to do our part to save water and help others to save water, putting a brick in your toilet isn’t the way to do it.

All toilets manufactured after the early 90’s use only 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or less, with many of the newest models using 1.28gpf. Older toilets do use significantly more water, with most being 3.5gpf, but some using up to 6gpf – that’s a lot of clean water being flushed – but it’s important to understand that these toilets were specifically designed to use that much water and they typically won’t flush properly with less. And yes, we completely understand that your toilet LOOKS just like the low flow toilets…from the outside…and that this can be confusing for many people. Trust us, the inner workings can be significantly different. An extra bend or an extra inch of height in the toilet trap can mean a lot when you’re moving waste with only water and gravity.

Same model, made in different years. Can you tell the difference?

Old Toilet

Old Toilet

New Toilet

New Toilet

For sanitary reasons, you really want all that waste to be disposed of properly and not stuck in your toilet trap or your home’s sewage line. So, it’s important that the correct amount of water is used to help that waste move along the sewage lines and help prevent clogging – which means you really shouldn’t use a brick, or anything else for that matter, to reduce the amount of water in your tank.

We’re aware that there are plenty of articles out there telling you otherwise – that it’s perfectly fine to displace the water in your toilet tank to help conserve and that your toilet will flush either way. Which is true, in most cases. Your toilet WILL flush, but it won’t be doing so effectively. And that opens up the potential for serious problems in your home or community sewage system down the road.

If you’re concerned about water conservation and have an older toilet with a higher flush rate, we strongly recommend you replace the toilet with a newer, water-saving model. That is the most effective method of saving water when it comes to toilets. Also, regardless of whether your toilet is new or old, making sure you check periodically for leaks and repair them quickly can also save significant amounts of water.

However, IF you choose not to replace your older toilet and you choose to use the “brick method”, it is a better idea to take a plastic water bottle and fill it up with sand or small pebbles and place that in the tank instead of a brick. Even a brick wrapped in plastic can break down in the tank, especially if you get a hole or loose seal in the plastic wrap.

Want more water-saving ideas? Check out our Guide to Water-Saving Plumbing Products for tips to help you conserve!

 

10 Tips for Preventing Toilet Troubles

This article can now be found at thePlumber.com

5 Easy Plumbing New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year is a positive time for most of us. We’re inspired with hope by the idea of a fresh start and what the year may bring. Then there’s all the New Year’s Resolutions. So many of us resolve to save money or get our bodies in shape – but what about also getting your plumbing in shape this year? Here at PlumbingSupply.com® we’ve come up with 5 nifty plumbing-related resolutions that we think everyone should try over the course of the new year!

 

Drawing of trees 1. Go green.

Water is one of our most precious natural resources – we cannot live without it, and yet there is a very limited supply. If you’re thinking of doing a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room remodel this year, choose water-efficient faucets and low flow shower heads or place a point-of-use water heater in areas where you consistently run the taps while waiting for the water to heat up. Outdoors, you can install a drip-irrigation system instead of a new sprinkler or consider setting up your own rainwater harvesting system to collect water to use in watering plants or washing your car.

 

picture of toilet2. Fix your toilet.

It can be helpful to think of your toilet as another appliance in your home. Anything with moving parts can break or wear down – and that includes the moving parts of your toilet. Save water and avoid costly problems later with good maintenance this year.

 

image of water heater tank 3. Flush your water heater.

Ideally, your water heater should last between 10 and 15 years, but without proper maintenance many fail after 5 or 6 years, leaving you frustrated and sometimes causing significant damage to your home. An annual flush and all-around check to make sure all the parts are functioning well can help you avoid cold showers, save you money, and extend the life of your water heater.

 

image of drain4. Keep your drains clog free.

Nobody wants to deal with the hassle (and often major expense) associated with clogged drains. This year, take steps to prevent clogs before they happen by placing mesh screens or strainers in your sinks, tub or shower, etc., not putting anything down the drain or toilet that doesn’t belong (i.e. grease, baby wipes, razors, etc.), and by using non-corrosive, septic-friendly bacterial drain cleaners regularly.

 

image of sand separator5. Install a water filter.

While we’re blessed with an abundance of clean drinkable water in the United States, there are still some things we can and should filter out of our water, like sand, dirt, and unhealthy chemicals. Whether you need a whole house sand separator to keep your drains, faucets, and water heater free of sediment build-up, or just want to eliminate chlorine in your shower with a filtered shower head, purer water is always a good thing.

 

We would like to encourage you throughout the new year to follow these and other plumbing maintenance resolutions you may form, for the benefit of yourself and your family, your neighbors, and our environment. As always, PlumbingSupply.com® wishes you a safe and happy New Year!

 

Will This Part Fix My Toilet?

guy-inspecting-with-tool-box-looking-leftOne of the most common questions our customer service specialists field is “will this fix my toilet?” Unfortunately, the answer is a definite “maybe.”

Toilets develop problems over the years. It’s a basic fact of anything with moving parts: things break. It’s also a basic fact of seals and gaskets: they eventually break down and wear out. Toilets contain both moving parts and various gaskets. Fixing a toilet is completely dependent on figuring out what the problem is. After all replacing a gasket when a moving part is the culprit won’t solve the problem, right?

Fortunately, we can offer a few simple ways to check on what the problem is. For example, if you hold the flapper down firmly and the leaking stops, the problem is your flapper. Isolation is key. Isolate the part you want to test and see if that’s where the water leaks from. This often involves removing most of the water from the toilet tank, a little food coloring, and some patience. While less common, sometimes you can see right away where the problem is: an obvious crack or water spraying from the top of the fill valve are hard to miss! Check out the rest of our troubleshooting tips here.

Once you know what the problem is, you also know what part you need to fix the problem. If you know the make and model of your toilet, you’re pretty much home free! If you don’t, well, that’s the subject of another post…

Your turn: what’s the easiest and most difficult toilet leak you’ve had to troubleshoot?