How To Wreck A Mansfield #35 In 10 Easy Steps... Help Needed!

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by MFfan310, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. MFfan310

    MFfan310 New Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Ladies and gentlemen... I present "How To Wreck A Mansfield #35 in 10 Easy Steps".

    Step #1: Find out that 1993-vintage Mansfield #35 3.5 gpf toilet runs on for about 10 minutes after flush, wasting water in process.
    Step #2: Go to M*****s to pick up Mansfield parts, as they sell Mansfield toilets.
    Step #3: Realize that M*****s doesn't have genuine Mansfield parts, even though they sell Mansfield toilets. Salesperson pushes a hecho-en-Mexico Fluidmaster 400A fill valve along with a store-brand copycat Mansfield-type flush valve made in China.
    Step #4: Purchase parts from store for under $20.
    Step #5: Have household handyman take off tank and old, leak-prone guts from tank. Bowl stays on floor.
    Step #6: Household handyman finds out that instructions on package and on Fluidmaster website are for flapper-based toilets and not Mansfield toilets, leading to yelling galore.
    Step #7: Household handyman gets out Sears Craftsman tools to crimp supply tube between Fluidmaster 400A and store-brand flush valve.
    Step #8: Mansfield #35 is fully reassembled, and water starts running into the tank. Still, the water level isn't at the pre-new-guts level.
    Step #9: Do a test flush.
    Step #10: Realize that water is leaking from the tank due to some reinstallation screwup (but which one?)

    Anyway, I have some questions, too:
    -What was likely the (re)installation screwup?
    -Is it likely that the tank--to-bowl or water supply connections were misconnected, the bolts weren't tightened strong enough, or the china was cracked? Or was there a failed seal?
    -Is the toilet dead, or is it salvageable with different types of parts?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and next time, I'll go to a plumbing store (or for the smaller things, the hardware store down the street).
  2. thebigsee

    thebigsee DIY Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    Southern California
    Sorry for not answering your questions, but why go through all this hassle? Why not ditch that waterhog and get something that uses less than half the water? Most municipalities offer big rebates to get rid of such toilets, it probably will cost you next to nothing to install a new, water-efficient toilet that you won't have to fix! :)
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  4. MFfan310

    MFfan310 New Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    First off, the municipality I live in (Fort Wayne, Indiana) doesn't offer toilet rebates. I've checked many times.

    Secondly, the household handyman doesn't believe in throwing the baby out with the bath... I mean toilet water, even if it means a long, tedious fix that turns into a disaster.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    1. Mansfield toilets do NOT have to be repaired with Mansfield parts. In fact I would never do it.
    2. A conventional flush valve with a convention flapper replaces the Mansfield proprietary one, as any competent repair person should realize.
    3. I ONLY replace the fill valve with Fluidmaster 400A's. What was your problem with it?
    4. Anyone who could turn the simple replacement of a fill valve and a flush valve into a 10 step process is a very talented untalented person.

    The proper steps.
    1. Remove the tank.
    2. Install the new flush valve and a new trip lever to operate it
    3. Install the new fill valve
    4. replace the tank onto the bowl using new bolts and washers.
    5. Connect the water line or replace the water line, (do NOT pinch it closed with Craftsman pliers"
    6. Turn on the water and adust the water height. (Very easy with a 400A. They come set for a low level so they fit into the box.)

    It almost takes longer to tell you HOW to do it, than it would have taken TO do it.
  6. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    Not sure where you got that idea. Such rebates still appear to be rare.
  7. thebigsee

    thebigsee DIY Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    Southern California
    They're offering them in most municipalities in California -- but then again, we have big water problems here. I guess I figured since there's such an emphasis on "going green" these days, it would be similar in other parts of the country.
  8. Peterson

    Peterson New Member

    Sep 8, 2007
    I have a Mansfield toilet with a #35 tank like you have. I rebuilt the insides with a FluidMaster fill valve, and a generic no-name flush valve with a flapper. I used an American Standard tank-to-bowl gasket, which fit perfectly. I've had no leaks in about two years, and the tank is still nice and snug.

    One thing I noticed while rebuilding another toilet in the house was that some flush valves out there, including the Fluidmaster Flush valve have a thick plastic nut that secures the flush valve to the tank. This creates problems when trying to secure the tank to the bowl as the tank to bowl gasket cannot make a seal over the flush valve and nut. Try to find a flush valve which has a nut that is tapered off on one side. This makes securing the tank to the bowl through the gasket MUCH easier.
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    The most you needed to do was

    #1 replace the fill valve with a 400a...$9-12.00...I rebuild the original Mansfield fill valve with a $3.00 parts kit

    #2 replace the rubber ring under the flush tower, the tower never needs to be replaced unless it becomes damaged...Flush ring is $3-6.00 depending on if it is the old style or new style at HD

    #3 replace the supply line going from the shutoff valve up to the bottom of the fill valve with a braided SS supply line...Low*s $5.00

    #4 you could have done all this in 30-60 min. without removing the tank

    Total cost of parts would be about $20-25.00 maximum.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  10. MFfan310

    MFfan310 New Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Sorry that I didn't reply sooner, but the problem got fixed. Turns out that the big problem was the tank-to-bowl gasket... it needed replacing, too. We live in an area that had water problems (intensively hard water that needed massive softening) for years until the area switched water sources, and the old gasket was literally falling apart and wouldn't seal the old or new valves.

    So we bought a tank-to-bowl gaket from a local supply house as well. After that, the Fluidmaster and the new flush valve worked just fine, and the old Mansfield works great.
  11. cocky1276

    cocky1276 New Member

    May 10, 2010
    MANS 35 trouble


    Did you replace the flush valve with the Fluid Master? We too are having troube getting our tank reattached to the seat...we have purchased and replaced the gasket. Not sure what else to do besides replace. Adding water = water leaking from between the seat and tank.

    I need help can't potty train a child with no potty on the first floor!
  12. twhardman

    twhardman New Member

    Apr 25, 2015
    I have the Mansfiled No. 35. I bought the fluidmaster A400AKR – Universal All-in-One Complete Toilet Repair kit at Home Depot…about $20. I did all 3 toilets in the house. (note the kit only comes with 2 tank bolts these toilets need 3 tank bolts plus the washers and nuts). The first replacement had a steady drip on the back tank bolt. I took the tank off, inspected, and reinstalled 3 times all the same result. It seemed like I could not get enough clamping pressure on the tank bolts because the Tank-to-Bowl (red/pink) squishy gasket is to “compressible”. It is a foam piece and after cranking everything down until porcelain tank bottom was meeting porcelain bowl fixture I still had a very slow leak/drip. I was worried about cracking the porcelain if I tried to tighten the nuts any tighter and I was also concerned about the thin nuts that hold the tank bolts in place before you put the tank onto the bowl, contacting the porcelain and resulting in a cracked tank/bowel when clamping down the tank and bowel together. The directions with the fluidmaster tell you to do it this way…use the extra “thin” nut included to attach tank bolts to tank bottom. The other issue as pointed out by Peterson (4 posts above mine) is the large plastic locknut that clamps the flush valve to the tank from the bottom surface. Unlike other locknuts that just have some raised ridges for your wrench to grip, this lock nut has 6 or 8 sides to it. The result is far less surface area against the shelf/ridge in the tank to bowel gasket. A better design would have a smooth, continuous surface (on the same plane) for this nut matting up with the smooth continuous groove surface inside the gasket. I think this would give a better seal and reduce the total compression of the gasket since the force would be evenly spread out.

    I took apart my job and removed the extra (thin) nuts and washers to reduce the possibility of interference when clamping things down. I bought a “Flush valve Seal” for Mansfield – fits 210 and 211 – SKU 1000 055 028 at Home Depot < $2 each. It fits perfectly inside the Tank to Toilet Red/Pink Gasket. So this seal is now between the gasket and the plastic nut. It is pretty thin rubber but I thought it might be stiff enough to help distribute the pressure a little more evenly between the (star points) of the nut and gasket and it added about 1/8th to 1/16th of an inch in total thickness to the gasket. That did the trick for me. I still had to tighten all 3 bolts down until the tank was just contacting the bowel but it was enough to give me a seal with no drips. If I was to do it again I think I would stack two of this seals in this spot instead of just one.

    Make sure when placing the tank (with gasket attached) into the bowel to come down as straight (plumb) as possible so the gasket is not angled or so there is not more gasket material on one side or another.

    If you are reading this because you have a leak your are probably already past this next hurdle but if you have not started the job and your 28 year old Mansfield No. 35 has never had the tank off the bowel (or any toilet for that matter), the tank bolts may be very rusted. The slot screw heads flaked off immediately when I tried to loosen them with wrench and screw driver. I used CLR and PB Blaster in an attempt to loosen the corrosion but it did not work on the nuts. I had to cut all 9 tank bolts off (3 toilets). I used a 4” angle grinder for the side nuts on two of the toilets but it was too big to get to the back nut that is close to the back wall. For this I needed an oscillating saw with titanium metal cutting blade…it took a little longer than the grinder but did the job. If you have to go out a buy a cutting tool just get the oscillating saw, it will handle all the bolts. Also beware, when you finish the cut and the metal parts (bolt and washer) drop off, they are hot and will burn/melt the vinyl floor or carpet fibers that they land on. Have some cardboard or an old bath towel in the drop zone to catch these hot pieces. Or go low tech and low cost and use a hack saw blade to cut them off. I had the power tools so I used them.

    Good luck with your job. If I wasn’t selling this house I would have just bought 3 new water efficient toilets with the tank innards already installed. One of my toilets in the master bedroom is in an enclosed space no larger than a broom closet. There was 6” of space between the toilet seat and the wall on each side. There was no room to get cutting tools in place for this one much less my head to see what I was doing. I had to remove the whole toilet in one piece. Then in the bedroom separate the parts, install new innards, fill the tank to test for leaks, tighten things down some more, then drain the tank with syphon into the tub, then gently tilt the tank without disturbing the water tight tension between tank and bowel in order to install new wax ring. In the end it all worked out but it was time consuming and frustrating. All my home repairs are like this. I think something will take me 2 hours and it usually takes 6 with multiple trips to the hardware store. I guess that’s why the pros (plumbers) earn those big bucks, they do it quicker and get it right the first time.
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