Fluidmaster 5403 Flapper: Any difference between red or green unit?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Ladd2, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Ladd2

    Ladd2 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    I'm considering purchasing a replacement flapper for my Toto Drake, purchased in 2013. The Fluidmaster 5403 is recommended on these boards and I see that it appears to come with red plastic or green plastic.

    The Fluidmaster web site shows it in red plastic, as does Home Depot. Walmart shows it in green plastic as does eBay.

    Any difference between these two models?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2017
  2. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Apr 27, 2012
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    New York, NY
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  4. Ladd2

    Ladd2 New Member

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Thank you for your suggestion.

    I note from Toto's website, that the original model flapper for the Drake toilet (THU331S) has been discontinued and replaced by a newer model with a different design (THU499S). Perhaps it was to improve longevity or performance, perhaps it was for cost reasons. I realize that the original design is still widely available.

    I have also read here one posting where Terry says that he prefers the Fluidmaster over the Korky, although it is possible that there are more factors in his decision than the average homeowner would consider.

    As part of my research, I am investigating alternative solutions and was wondering about the differences of color available in the single Fluidmaster model. Among other things, why would Fluidmaster add the extra manufacturing expense?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  5. Fluidmaster Tech

    Fluidmaster Tech New Member

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    Both are the same item. Color changed from material used, sometimes just to change things up. Red and green are fluidmaster colors. This flapper is really good Very adjustable and its stiff bracing makes it a very consistent flapper. Never have problems with this flapper replacement. I dont comment on which company is better. Customer decides, I am not in sales or marketing.
     
  6. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    No, no, no. The flapper that comes in the toilet hasn't changed to the 499S, the flapper that they want you to use as the replacement has changed to the 499S. For every toilet, regardless of what flapper comes in it. They got tired of stocking eight-million replacement flappers, and went to a universal one. That's the one that Terry doesn't like. They still use specific flappers in specific toilets at the factory.

    They did the same thing with the fill valve, which was a success. Don't stock a million of them as replacements, just stock one Universal one. The toilet comes with whatever fill valve they put in it, but there is one universal replacement fill valve, which is basically a Korky 528MP, which Terry does like. That is the valve that Terry recommends (and uses a similar but more-expensive one, the Korky 528PRO, on his jobs).

    I didn't read Terry to say that he doesn't like Korky flappers, just that Korky flapper, the new Toto Universal one. The one that I recommended requires no flow adjustment; you just replace the old one with the new one and voila! If that Red Korky Flapper for Toto is one that fits your toilet, then it's the easiest solution. (Tip: count the number of links in the chain on the one that's already attached, so you can get the chain length right the first time.) (Geek note: Toto did change the materials in some of the flappers that they are using in their toilets, but the good old THU331S/Korky 2021 (they are literally exactly the same thing in different boxes) works like a champ if it is the appropriate one for your toilet.
     
  7. Ladd2

    Ladd2 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    OK, I understand. The Toto replacement Universal flapper has some points against it. The identical flapper to the one in my Drake is OK.

    FWIW: before reading your message, I had ordered a Fluidmaster 5403 off of eBay for $9.45 shipping included. It was listed as "open box" and the photo was of a green one. Today I received a taped shut "previously opened" card with a red flapper that physically appeared unused. Set the dial for "Toto Drake" at level 6 and it installed in less than two minutes. It works *much* better than the four year old original Toto flapper, allowing a full flush as opposed to "maybe I'll get a full flush".

    Not sure why the old flapper didn't work as well as it did when new. It didn't leak and I have well water with an acid neutralizer followed by a water softener so water chemistry shouldn't have been a problem. The flapper just didn't stay up long enough to allow sufficient water to flow down to enable a full flush.

    I wish all of my problems were so easily solved.

    Thanks to all the folks who offered advice and to Terry for hosting this board. Gotta love the Internet!!
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
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    IL
    I took a look at the 5403 instructions. I was surprised to also see a "Chain Length" column.
     
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Apr 27, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    If by a "full flush", you mean that you're emptying the tank, the setting on that flapper is using about 3.5 gallons of water. If you mean the quick burst of water for no more than a second, which makes the toilet work fine, that's what I call a "working flush" (as opposed to what I call a "misfire", where it never really opens all the way and then doesn't evacuate the bowl). Emptying the tank is what I call "wasting water". ;-)

    It is true that over time a flapper may start producing misfires. Once replaced, you're back to what I call a "working flush".
     
  10. Ladd2

    Ladd2 New Member

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    Sep 24, 2014
    I did read the chain length blurb, but it was not clear to me what it meant exactly. Was the 4.45" just for the length of the chain or did that length also include the hook that attaches the chain to the lever? So, I did what I usually do: install the unit, then adjust the length of the chain. I ended up shortening it by three links.
     
  11. Ladd2

    Ladd2 New Member

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Using your definitions, I have achieved "working flush" Nirvana. No more "misfires". Certainly no need to empty the tank; most of the water there is simply to apply pressure.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I don't know either. I was guessing that you could cut the chain to that length and still have some links to droop down from the clip.
    Are you saying that your uncut chain only had 3 links drooping from the clip? Or did you cut the chain?
     
  13. Ladd2

    Ladd2 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    No, I didn't cut the chain. Removed from the package, the clip was attached to one of the chain links a couple of inches from the end of the chain. I just moved the clip three links closer to the flapper to shorten the distance from the clip to the flapper.

    As an aside, I was pleased to see that the flapper chain came with the stiff covering over the last two inches of chain next to the flapper, so as to help prevent the chain from slipping under the flapper. This stiff covering was *not* shown in the sales photo.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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