Removing stubborn Flushmate cartridge

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by SteveW, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    [​IMG]

    I have an 8 year old Crane Flushmate toilet, and I think the cartridge needs replacement - the flush is very inconsistent, sometimes does what I would call a partial flush which is ineffective, and we need to hit the lever 2 or 3 times.

    I have a new cartridge, but so far haven't been able to budge the old one. I used the handles of a long pair of Channellock pliers as the instructions specify but it felt like the pliers would break before the cartridge would move.

    I have ordered the "official" cartridge wrench from Sloan, but wondering if there's any other tricks to unscrewing the cartridge?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2007
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,891
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I had one repair where I had broken the tabs at the top of the cartridge using the pliers method, and wound up just replacing the Flushmate tank.
    It would be better to have the tool.

    Some interesting comments here too.
    http://www.enonhall.com/html/journal0705.html
    Last edited: May 8, 2007
  3. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Turns out the "trick" is to buy the official cartridge removing tool - got mine from eflushmate for about $13. Works great and would recommend to anyone who services Flushmate-equipped toilets.
  4. loverboy

    loverboy New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Steve -

    I have noticed the cartridge might bind up over time. The trick is either get a wrench from eflushmate (best choice) or when you place your piliers in the cartridge make sure the handles are as close to the center hold as possible. This will prevent any breakage. You might check to verify you have clearance between the rod and top of the cartridge. This might be the cause of your issue. If all else fails I would suggest calling the 800 number for Flushmate. I have normally had great response from my calls. If time is limited you can also email them from there site and they can call you back. Hope this helps.

    Steve
  5. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Thanks for the info!

    My cartridge apparently was bad - replacing it has made a world of difference. Flushes every time, and only takes a fraction of the effort to push the lever as it used to.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,891
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Went to repair a 1999 Gerber toilet with Flushmate today.
    I will say that repairs can be a challenge.

    I don't care what CR thinks, they don't have to repair them like I do.

    I tried to remove the cartridge using the Flushmate tool. Using as much strength as I could, without breaking the tool, or the fins of the cartridge, I got it to move about 3/8"

    I turned the water on for a bit, hoping that somehow that would help to loosen things, then turned the water off, flushed it again to relieve the water pressure, tried it some more, no go.
    Turned the water back on, and yes, the leaking water that the homeowner said was there was leaking pretty good, but noticed a spray of water too. I put my hand down behind the tank, and it felt like the water was leaking from a seam in the plastic tank.
    I asked the homeowner, and yes, it has been spraying.

    OK, looks like a bad tank, maybe that's why the supplier said the cartridge should work,

    "As long as the tank isn't bad."

    Well, I had the cartridge, which I could have used if I could have gotten the old one out, but since the tank had a bad seam, and was leaking anyway, I realized it need a new flushmate inner tank. I didn't have one on the truck.
  7. DSM2362

    DSM2362 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    flushmate cartridge removal tool is a p.o.s

    if you have a stuborn cartridge that just wont unscrew from the tank. try a little heat. i stress little heat again. i got soaked for $13.65 for the cartridge removal tool. when it arived i was extreemly disappointed. its made of plastic, looks almost like a hole saw minus the teeth with slots cut in it for the ribs on the flushmate cartridge. so far so good. but it goes downhill from there. on the top of the removal tool is a 5/8 plastic nut that is part of the tool. needless to say if you have a tough cartridge that does not want to budge. the 5/8 nut on the top of the tool twists and breaks off. piss poor design. anyone with a 2nd degree education could have designed this tool better. the nut needs to be beefed up to a larger size and add some ribs on the inside of the tool for strength. but after some cussing and swearing at the genius who designed the tool. i figured you only have to be smarter then the cartridge. afterall heat works for almost anything, if you use it in moderation.
    just remember the tanks are made of polyproplene and they melt real easy. so use extreem caution, or you will be buying a new tank. i aplied some heat from a small propane torch at a good foot away from the cartridge and just watched for any plastic that looked like it might be distorting. be real carefull. i heated it up for about 2 minutes max. and i was almost able to spin the cartridge out by hand with my 13 dollar broken tool. just a thought before you spend some money on usless tools.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2009
  8. Scott

    Scott Flushmate

    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    A hand-held blow dryer found in most bathrooms will provide the same results with less chance of actually melting the plastic. It's not as much fun as firing up a blow-torch but it works. Applying a little vegetable oil or aerosol "cooking spray" is another effective method to loosen a resistant cartridge.

    I've changed out hundreds of cartridges with the same "Quick-mate" wrench and never broken the socket nut or any of the "wings" that straddle the cartridge "fins".

    If you do break the cartridge "fins" and the Flushmate is under warranty they'll gladly send you a replacement tank and return shipping label for the original; all you have to do is call the tech support number on top of the Flushmate. They'll need to know the serial number, fixture info, etc., but they honor their warranty better than most manufacturers.

    I'm sure they'd be willing to replace a broken wrench, too.
  9. plumbingdoctor

    plumbingdoctor Plumbing

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    MN
    hmm, never had a problem with the cartridge removing tool. better than pliers! I found one for $3.50 on flushmaterepairparts.com, but I'm sure you can find one off flushmate's site too.
  10. mgroff

    mgroff New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Dracut, MA
    Ridgid makes a universal faucet and sink installer which fits perfectly...

    http://www.*********.com/h_d1/N-5yc...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    At ~$20 it won't save you any $$$, but as stated its a universal, so it might be helpful in other situations as well. Most importantly, it fits the C-100500 perfectly. So perfectly, in fact, that I was able to put enough tork on one to shatter it (not just breaking the "clips" but the entire core of plastic which houses the spring & actuator).

    -Marcus
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