Toto Toilet "Automatic" Seat & Lid Are Just Falling Down Now

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by DECJ, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. DECJ

    DECJ New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    La Sal, Utah
    I had a couple of Toto toilets installed about 4 years ago (which are really great toilets by the way), and got them both with the "automatic" seat & lid assemblies (where, when you let go of either, they gently lower by themselves).

    Recently, the Toto in our master bath lost its gentle lowering capability and they just fall down like standard seats & lids. I don't know what the action is in these units (springs? pneumatics?), but does anyone know if there is some adjustment I can make, or is a matter of just replacing the entire assembly?
  2. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    I've had my Toto for about ten years and the seat/lid still does the slow-close like it did when first installed. The woman who scrapes my teeth once told me her sons could slam their Toto soft-close. I don't know how but...

    You may have a warranty claim.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,058
    Location:
    New England
    I think the official line is replace it. But, if you wander through the files with the search function, someone reported that they resolved it by popping the hinge and putting (I think it was) some silicon grease in there. My first one is over 10-years old, and still works fine. Guests that push it closed don't help.
  4. DECJ

    DECJ New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    La Sal, Utah
    When I previously called the local plumbing company who put the toilets in, they said that they had never heard of a failure of the slow closing seats. In the meantime, I sent an email to Toto customer support to find out if there is anything I can do on my end, or if something needs to be replaced, whether it would be covered under warranty, so we'll see what happens.
  5. DECJ

    DECJ New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    La Sal, Utah
    Thanks for the info and I'll do a search to try and find the post or thread you're referencing. And if Toto doesn't have any ideas or won't stand behind the parts, I'll try to do the same thing. And for our master bath toilet, that is just used by my wife and I, and we have never pushed the seat or lid closed over the last 4 years, so whatever happened did so on its own.
  6. DECJ

    DECJ New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    La Sal, Utah
    I got a response from Toto customer support, and they only warranty their seats (and other parts) for one year, so I am out of luck on that. I then went to their website store and replacement soft close elongated seats run anywhere from $70 to over $100, which is too rich for my budget.

    Anyway, it took quite a bit of forum searching, but I finally found the link to the Toto soft close seat repair thread from April 2009. Here's the thread ... http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...-Repair&highlight=Toto soft close seat repair

    When I get a chance, I will give this repair a shot to see if I can bring the soft close action back to life again.
  7. DECJ

    DECJ New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    La Sal, Utah
    I followed-up with Toto tech support today regarding what fluid the factory uses in their pneumatic slow close seats, and here is the response I got via email ...

    I’m sorry but I cannot suggest any type of fluids to use or ways to repair. We do not have any specs on what is used in the hinge, nor do we have ways of fixing. Your best bet is to do exactly what you’re doing by researching on the web. We do not manufacture the seats themselves.

    So, I will do the same as gerlando in the April 2009 thread and substitute a material that approximates the same viscosity (and that I have available).
  8. barbee

    barbee New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I think the fluid is SILICONE GREASE and is available at most home improvement stores.
  9. barbee

    barbee New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Basically there are two hinges, one on each side. One hinge controls the top cover and the other controls the seat. To get to the hinge you need to pull the hinge pin out of the over and seat. There are two plastic prongs that hold the pin in, but they can be bent open so the pin slides through. Once that's done there's another plastic prong that holds the hinge in the middle bracket. Once the hinge is free it can be pulled apart by removing 4 screws. The inner screws have tiny o-rings on them so make sure not to lose them!

    Once the hinge was separated I noticed it had a viscous fluid that's basically squished between two sides of a channel. This provides the slowing mechanism. But mine was leaking and most of the fluid was gone. I refilled the hinge with some automotive grease figuring it was as close in viscosity as I had in the garage, put it all back together,...but that didn't seem to work with that fluid.....


    Actually I think it is SILICONE GREASE available at home improvement stores. I will be trying this next.
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,058
    Location:
    New England
    If I was going to try this, I'd probably try some plumber's grease. It doesn't flow.
  11. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    If someone knows the applicable patent(s) for the design, a suitable material might be listed within. I'm guessing that there is/was some patent for this.
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    If the seats operate on a hydraulic principle, like door closers, then they would use a hydraulic FLUID. Grease is not that. Whether or not a passable repair could be made with silicone grease, I do not know.

    The fluid is probably silicone OIL.. It is available in a wide range of viscosities, from watery to extremely thick, like molasses and even thicker. Vicosity is measured in centistokes, so look for a high number. It will probably cost about the same as a new seat@!

    http://www.dge-europe.com/siliconefluids/high
    http://www.powerchemical.net/library/Silicone_Oil.pdf
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9BNoKM_Glc

    I found some products on line @ about $6,000 for 5 gallons. I think I see a new toilet seat in your future!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  13. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    Something I meant to add earlier: I would expect any fix involving replacement of the thick fluid to be temporary. The reason the seat is no longer working as designed is because the fluid is slowly leaking out. With luck the leak rate is slow enough (requiring many cycles) so that the replaced fluid will work for 6 months/yr/longer.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,058
    Location:
    New England
    While you have it apart, check all of the o-rings and the area where they sit for dirt, burrs, or on the o-rings, tears or splits.
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