Hi. Louie and I are part time plumbers (because we have to be), and today, we each took a turn at fixing our ‘terlet’ as Louie’s calls it. Our toilet is a Sloan Flushmate toilet. We have had it for a little over 9 years, and it has ‘served’ us well.
As you can see,on my messy counter, I have a bag which has two ‘not so good’ flush handles (might have to click and enlarge picture to see). One broke right after we bought it, because the part that connects to the handle, and also goes through the wall of the side of the tank was plastic, and well, it just wasn’t designed well for an air pressurized water tank, so we got a replacement.
We must have ordered two, because I installed a new one this morning. The toilet wasn’t flushing like it usually flushes. It seemed kind of weak and tired, so I investigated. Actually, the handle has been in pretty bad shape for quite awhile. I don’t know why we put this off so long. Yes I do. Plumbers always take a long time getting things done (sorry if there are any plumbers, or wives of plumbers reading thing…this also applies for mechanics as well…as I am the wife of one).
So I decided that this is the day that I finally investigate our problem. This is the new handle attached.
Another problem we had, was that the nut that held the handle to the side of the tank was metal. It was not staying tight, and that was probably the reason the old handle finally gave out. I replaced the handle, and replaced the metal nut it with a plastic one, so I could get it tighter and it would stay tight. (Note white plastic nut on side of tank.) Another problem, was the makeshift clip (piece of wire hanger) that holds the two metal rods together. The original clip didn’t last very long, and I have been making my own clips since. Plastic wire ties didn’t work, as they broke quickly, so for the last several years, a piece of coat hanger bent in a circle has served it’s purpose.
The way the Flushmate works, is you push down on the flush handle, just like any other normal toilet handle. The bent metal rod on the inside of the tank, that is part of the handle, pulls the rod that is clamped to the top of the air tank UP, which then pushes DOWN on the white plunger located in the center of the tank. (Click HERE to see how it works, and click HERE to see a real one in action.There are neat little videos on this website to watch if you so choose.) When the plunger is pushed down, the air pushes the water into the bowl at a high rate, and carries the waste farther down the sewer line than regular gravity toilets.
Anyway, I took off the piece of wire hanger, and in it’s place, threaded a small key ring loop through the hole in each rod to connect them. One ring worked fantastic, so two must work better, right?
After the handle was fixed, it didn’t seem to flush any better, and still sounded weak, so I got out our handy dandy Owner’s Service Manual, called for my plumbing partner, Louie, and passed the baton to him.
See where the yellow tag on the hose is? Follow the hose over just past the hose clamp. See where there is a little white circle. That’s lime on top of the Air Inducer. When you flush the toilet, you should hear air being sucked down into the tank through the opening of the air inducer. The air inducer was plugged. Thanks to the invention of toothpicks, the air inducer is now clear, open, not plugged, and it SUCKS AIR!
My toilet is happy, so am I, and we didn’t spend any money. How much better could things be? I might just see if the Flushmate company will send me a couple new clips, just in case my key rings don’t hold out.
(We actually have a new model of the Flushmate in our basement bathroom, and it has been maintenance free from the day we installed it.)
Boy, I bet you didn’t think you’d be reading about toilets in blog land today, did you? Thanks for humoring me and staying with me. I love ya!