AS Plebe toilet- rebuild or go shopping?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by ben in il, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. ben in il

    ben in il New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Illinois
    After replacing 3 toilets in our main bathrooms with Totos, I'm now wrapping up the last of our projects in the basement, and have been following the board for ten years or so (Thanks, Terry and to all the regulars! The info on this board has been invaluable- really.)

    During demolition, I pulled out anAmerican Standard Plebe with a 4049 tank (likely from about 1983). The toilet sat unused for about two years during deconstruction and rehab. This past weekend, I put it down on new wax and noted a number of leaks. Most were cured by tightening up the fill valve and tank bolts. However, there was a persistent slow leak from the flush valve opening out near the seat mounts.

    I pulled the tank off the bowl and found all the gaskets (flush valve, tank bolts, spud gasket) were all severely dried out with lots of brittleness. Initially I planned to pick up a Korky universal kit and an AS tank mount kit, but have heard that I'll need a different style tank gasket (specific to AS) for it-- is this a part that is worth a trip to our plumbing supply shop for a genuine AS part? When there, I can also check to see if they've got the Dahl quarter turn valve and new rigid supply line to get everything fresh.

    Also, between the tank and the bowl on the tank bolts were two mismatched thick rubber washers. I'm presuming these were to help cushion the tank from the bowl along with the 'u' shaped gasket around the flush valve. Stock items at the plumbing supply? I haven't seen them referenced on the parts list.

    So- before I get into this gut and rebuild, is it worth the effort or is it time to be put out at the curb and go Toto shopping? It's not a frequently used toilet (as evidenced by being out of service for two years).

    Thanks for your patience on the write up and for any insights. I can shoot some pictures if it would help.
    - Ben
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,032
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The majority of replacement tank to bowl gaskets ARE the American Standard one. I would have a very hard time finding one which was not. A new gasket and replacement bolt gaskets and you are good to go, assuming you do it correctly.
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,294
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The old 80's Plebe won't be what you're used to anymore now that you have a few modern toilets in the home. You many need to keep a plunger handy for that old one.
    I had some in the church I went to, and they finally let me replace them all ten years ago, and never looked back.
  4. SHR

    SHR Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Unfortunately the Plebes are junk toilets by today's standards and consumer expectations. Replace it, do not bother re-building it.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    This would be a good time to get a new Toto. Patching up an old water user that wasn't all that good when it was new doesn't make too much sense.
  6. ben in il

    ben in il New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Illinois
    That was my initial thinking, but the thrifty side of me (reuse) was second guessing it. I think you've saved me the cost of the rebuild materials to use towards the new fixture.

    We started off our Totos with a Vespin, then two Soirees, and the Drake II comfort height/Sanagloss looks like a good choice for this spot.

    Anyone in the market for a good used AS 4049 tank and lid in T80 white? :)

    Thanks!
    Ben
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Here's a little math problem for you. Estimate of the number of times your toilet is flushed in a year. Find out how much your water costs per gallon. Multiply that cost by the number of gallons used per year to flush. Now, since that old toilet uses at least 3 gallons per flush, you can determine about how much it costs per year to use it. Next, figure how much a new low flush toilet will cost to use. Gallons per flush will range from 1 gallon to 1.6 gallons depending on the model you select. I think you will be amazed at how much you can save in just a year. Then consider that the new toilet will last for many years.
  8. ben in il

    ben in il New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Illinois
    Gary, it will definitely save a bit for us. Our current combined water/sewer rates here come out to $0.01045/gallon (for now), so for a toilet that isn't used a lot (maybe 5-10 times a week) the pay back is pretty long. But- the ease of use factor and flush quality has a less measurable, but important factor for us. Plus, I think the old Plebe may have been less used since the other more modern Totos were available. Not to mention it's a much sleeker look!

    I checked out the Drake II in our plumbing showroom today, and it's a really nicely put together piece. The glazing looked to be first class, and it seems like a good value.

    I'm going to see if I can find someone who needs an 'interesting' planter for their yard for the old one. :)
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