1950's Eljer Toilet Tank Wires Question

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Peterson, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Peterson

    Peterson New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    PA
    Hi Everybody

    I'm posting this question for my neighbors down the street. They are having toilet troubles and asked me whether I could help them fix their toilet. I really don' t know the answer to their problem, so I told them I would post online here and see what the professionals have to say! :)

    They have a pretty mint green 1950's Eljer reverse trap toilet. There is no flush valve in the tank as the toilet's tank has a built in overflow tube molded into the back of the tank. On the inside front of the tank is a porcelain bump-out that has a small hole through it that for a brass lift wire guide to screw into. The end of the porcelain bump-out disintegrated or broke off, and there is nothing to guide the tank wires for the tank ball. Whenever you flush the toilet, the tank wires and ball float freely throughout the tank and never settle down on the bottom of the ceramic flush valve opening.

    Is there any type of fix for this kind of tank? Can this tank use the Eljer "Touch Flush" flapper that you can attach to one of the tank bolts - that was so commonly used in 1970's Eljer toilets? Can you use one of those FluidMaster set and seal flappers and affix it to the porcelain opening of the built in flush valve?

    My neighbors are not interested in replacing the toilet as it matches their sink, bathtub, etc - so please don't recommend replacing it. There has got to be some kind of fix for this. Other than this tank wire issue, the toilet is in pristine condition.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    Good luck. Have they called Eljer? (Think they were bought out...not sure who owns them if that did happen). Trying to find or fix a non-standard design of a 50-60 year old toilet is asking a lot. They may be lucky, but I'd not hold my breath! It also probably depends on how much Rube Goldberg blood they have in their veins. WHere there's a will, there's a way, but no guarantees.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,903
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
  5. Peterson

    Peterson New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    PA
    I don't have my digital camera on me at the moment, but I did find a video of an identical tank on Youtube. This person's tank has the lift wires in place.

    The little porcelain bumpout that holds the guide for the wires has broken off on my neighbor's toilet.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014 at 6:57 PM
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,903
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
  7. Peterson

    Peterson New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    PA
    Thanks for the reply Terry! Would you just glue the fluidmaster flush valve/flapper thing right down on the porcelain inside the tank. The directions on the link show how to glue it to a metal flush valve body. I would think it would come off if it was glued right to the porcelain.

    Here's another video of someone that fixed an older Eljer, but not as old as my neighbors. They used the touch flush system. The inside of the tank looks very similiar to my neighbors (and the first video I posted). With seeing this, I'm wondering whether the touch flush system will work for my neighbors toilet. It's amazing what you can find on Youtube!


    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014 at 6:56 PM
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,903
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I like the second video fix better.
  9. achutch

    achutch New Member

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Vermont
    When I bought that toilet back in 1998, the screw that held the guide to to the china bump out was broken. I replaced it with a brass screw, washer, and nut from a hardware store. There was a nasty foam liner in the tank that I removed, and the remnants of the adhesive is what makes the inside of that tank look bad.

    I did visit some friends who had the 1950's Eljer bowl with the forward facing trap. At some point, the tank which would have been the same as mine, was replaced with a 1970's tank like the one in the second video that featured the Touch Flush. Since the bolt holes and flush valve opening match in both the older and "newer" models, then my guess that the Touch Flush would work in the 1950's tank.

    Tried to post a link that shows a bowl of this type but is was not allowed through this site. If you want, send me a note privately, and I'll send you the link.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014 at 6:56 PM
  10. Peterson

    Peterson New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    PA
    Hi Everybody

    Thank you so much for your input and advice on how to fix this toilet. My neighbor is going to use the Fluidmaster "glue on" valve seat for his toilet. He originally was going to try to use the touch flush (which we believe will work), but after looking at the tank bolts, he decided against trying to dismantle the entire toilet. Better to leave well enough alone. I'm not doing any of these repairs as I don't want to be responsible for breaking his toilet!! So, right now he drained the toilet tank and is letting it totally dry out for a day or two before he glues this flush valve down.

    Again, thank you for all of your advice and help!
  11. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    He can use a hair dryer. With it being warm it will also help it to stick better.

    John
  12. it will work

    tell your neighbor to totally dry out that china or it will only work for a week or two.... we have had that problem when they are this old

    we have tangled with a few of them over the years,

    their is a better way to use the fluid master glue down type seal...

    you throw away that epoxy sealer that they give you and use a tube of water proof SILICONE to glue the flapper down with....

    it will take a day or two for it to set up , but once it is dry , it will work forever ,, where the epoxy bond can sometimes give way....

    also , DO NOT make the chain tight or it too can pull it out of the socket it is glued in...
  13. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,338
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    It is still a temporary fix.It will come apart in no time at all.Best option is to install the touch flush system.
  14. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Being very practical-mnded, I would comment that a 60 year old toilet it about 25 years past prime! But if you and the little lady are that attached to it, get it done right. I would recommend Rick Dale in Las Vegas. http://www.ricksrestorations.com/
    He can restore anything.

    As others have commented, most of us have used the 'flusher fixer' and had it come apart. Apparently needs a more highly skilled and talented installer!

    I think Rick would restore the toilet for in the $800 range. Be careful with the lid, because if you break or lose that, it is available for around $900
  15. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,332
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I'm going to offer an opinion that probably won't be well received, but here it is anyway. Why in God's name would you invest hundreds of dollars in restoring a 60 year old toilet and still have a water hog 60 year old antique? Would you spend that much money on a 60 year old car? I doubt it. My friend, it is my advice to sent this old beast to the landfill and buy a new Toto Drake. You will be time and money ahead, plus have a toilet that will be up to date and serviceable for the next 40 years or more.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,503
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The Fluidmaster #555 flush fixer will work for a couple of years and then come loose so you will have to do it again. Heat the tank seat with a blow dryer to get rid of any moisture or it will come loose sooner.
Similar Threads: 1950's Eljer
Forum Title Date
Toilet Forum discussions Tank equivalent to Eljer 141-7000? Jun 29, 2014
Toilet Forum discussions 1949 Eljer? toilet in need of lift rods/tank ball - with pictures! Jan 24, 2014
Toilet Forum discussions Slow toilet, Eljer, 3" flush valve Nov 12, 2013
Toilet Forum discussions Old Triangle Eljer Tank Needs New Bowl Oct 31, 2013
Toilet Forum discussions Eljer Silette toilet with china shroud. Mar 11, 2012

Share This Page