Strange contraption: Toilet flapper built into middle of overflow tube

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by proviso, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. proviso

    proviso New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    NJ
    I'm trying to replace the fill valve and flapper, and I opened up my tank to find this. The overflow tube appears to be slanted, and is attached at the middle to the flapper. The whole overflow tube/flapper contraption is attached to the flush handle (I removed the chain in the pictures). I'm really confused... should I be worried about possible overflow? How would I replace the flapper?

    Pics: http://imgur.com/a/43DgB

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2014
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,047
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Itis an American Standard "tilt flush' The overflow is the opening under the handle in the corner of the tank. There are several versions depending on whether the hinge is plastic or brass and if the disc has a bolt into it or snaps on. Yours probably snaps on but every photo has something in the way so I cannot be sure. You need a new "disc". If yours pushes on, then slice it off with a knife. If you try to pull it off you will probably destroy the unit and have to buy a new one. there are some things to be careful of. 1. DO NOT tilt the unit too far back while removing the mechanism or it will snap off the "limit stop" and you will need a new flush valve. 2. As stated do not try to pull the disc off or you will need a new tilt unit. 3. be sure to push the chain grommet into the hole in the tilt unit or the chain will over balance the tilt unit and it will not flush properly., Because the overflow is cast into the tank, it cannot overflow.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,661
    Location:
    IL
    That thing you have your finger on is not an overflow tube. I think the overflow tube is molded into the ceramic and the opening appears to be under the flush lever nut.
  4. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,936
    Location:
    New York, NY
    The disc is either snap-on or screw-on, as HJ indicates. (HJ is the forum's "plumber's plumber", a brilliant guy with encyclopedic knowledge -- when he gives you tips you can take them to the bank, so heed his suggestions.)

    Here's a universal disc that will replace either type, available at Lowe's:

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_330407-143-...ntURL=?Ntt=plumb+pak+toilet&page=2&facetInfo=

    There is a similar Danco one at HD, but the reviews indicate that it may not work as well as the Plumb Pak one at Lowes.

    Your toilet looks like a one-piece, so installing a modern flapper flush valve is a little more involved, in terms of aquiring the parts and installing them, than just going to Lowe's and buying a Korky flush valve kit, which you could do with a two-piece toilet. Best just to try (carefully) to fix this one with a new disc.

    Korky also makes a replacement disc, Model No. 421BP: http://www.korky.com/index.php?p=Product&i=1001#.U5jMUvldUeg It is likely a little harder to find locally than that Plumb Pak at Lowe's. Look at the link because the instructions there may be helpful regardless of brand (even if they are a bit schematic).

    PS The way that tilt-flush works is that there is a weight in the bigger piece of tube; when you pull on the handle, the chain lifts the assembly vertical, and water pours out of the tank into the flush valve opening. What you thought was the overflow riser is actually a piece that, when full of water, counterbalances the weight. Water runs out a hole in the bottom of it as the level in the tank falls, and when the water in the tube (which is holding the valve open) gets down to a certain level, it no longer counterbalances the weight and the valve flops closed and positions that disc over the opening, thus sealing it. Not too long ago, I replaced the tilt-flush with a regular flapper system in one of our toilets, which had come with the tilt-flush when it was installed in the 1970s (maybe even the late 60s).
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
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