Replaced Fill Valve on AS "Galleria" Toilet

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WJcandee

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amstan-toilet-galleria-2014.jpg

A-S Galleria Toilet, Model 2014.013

So I came back to the city from Long Island and heard the persnickety AS "Galleria" toilet in my NY apartment ghost-flushing. Left it a while because I had a few things to do, and finally my brain said, "Go fix the thing." I figured it was just that the flapper was hung open again on the Rube Goldberg-like pushbutton flush thingy and all I had to do was jiggle the button. To my surprise, when I pushed the button, I could feel the flapper lift and the thing flushed, despite all the water that was already running into it.

Uh-oh.

Pulled the cover and realized that I had a runaway fill valve. The reason was obvious. The rod to the ball had snapped its holder on the fill-valve top, so no pressure to push down on the plunger and shut off the water. The plastic had just cracked and failed right around the pivot-rivet. Fortunately, the overflow riser was of sufficient diameter to take everything the ballcock was throwing at it, and the tank didn't overflow. I had been gone for the better part of a day. What a mess that would have been.

So now the problem. I had previously looked at replacement ballcocks for the thing, as American Standard no longer makes the OEM ballcock, which has a variable diverter attached; it varies the amount of refill water depending upon the stage of the refill, as measured by the level of water in the tank. I knew that probably-will-work valves from Lasco, Kohler, etc., cost anywhere from $35 to $120 from various plumbing supply places, and that the 1B1X top sometimes could be made to fit, and the top is sometimes sold separately.

Since it was 12:15 in the morning, I knew I had only one chance to fix it tonight. Off I went to the fabulously-odd "Nuthouse" hardware store on 29th Street in Manhattan, the only real hardware store in the City open 24 hours. They have 5 floors of pretty-much everything -- and I mean everything, like stuff that's been sitting in there for 30 years. Someone has to go with you if you want anything other than the limited assortment of regular stuff on the main floor, and the guy at the register wasn't going to be a promising helper. Fortunately, the plumbing guy was just getting off, and he was so incredibly nice to, on his own time, wade into their marginally-organized plumbing section in the basement with me. He understood exactly what I was looking for, unlike the guy at the register. After 30 minutes of searching ("I know I have it; I just don't remember where I put it"), we were able to find a non-diverter Coast 1B1X knockoff by Wal-Rich, made for the Rialto. I figured I would just bite the bullet and pay for the whole valve, then remove the top and just use that. Judging from the prices I had seen online, and knowing that Nuthouse wasn't a discount place, I was figuring $50, but I was happy not to have the toilet non-functional until the maintenance guys returned on Tuesday (this being Memorial Day Weekend).

At checkout -- $9. Nine. Dollars. Holy crap. I asked the guy to double-check because I didn't want to be ripping off these nice people. Yep. Nine bucks.

SOLD.

When I got it home, I disassembled it and popped the top and the plunger into the old valve body. Sadly, the holes wouldn't line up. The old valve was just a smidge wider in diameter than the top of the new one, so although the holes were at the right place on the ring, the screws wouldn't go in. I had heard about this somewhere before -- that even though they are technically supposed to be identical, sometimes they aren't. That was the case here with my $9 Wal-Rich knockoff of the Coast. So I put the new thing back together and swapped the valves. That was the easiest part -- couldn't have been simpler. (I had to use the old rod and ball, because the ball is a special size and the standard rod that came with the valve was too long for this compact toilet.)

I used the refill hose from the new valve, which is comparable to the original, and just shoved it into the hole in the porcelain where the old hose went from the diverter. (The refill hose on these valves is of significantly-larger OD and ID than on, say, a Korky 528.)

And here is why I am posting: I was very concerned that a valve just with a static (albeit adjustable) refill wouldn't work on the Galleria -- that there was something important about the variable refill that really made a difference in the toilet's performance.

Nope.

Turns out that the $9 Wal-Rich ballcock with no variable diverter works PERFECTLY. I played with the refill percentage a bit to avoid wasting water. On this valve, you adjust how much goes into the tank and the rest is refill. Turns out that wide-open into the tank is the optimal setting.

Had I known I could use a reasonably-priced 1B1X knockoff with no diverter, I would have chucked the hissy, leaky, troublesome OE valve years ago, and replaced it with a diverterless one.

So...if anyone with a one-of-a-kind AS Galleria toilet happens to run across this thread, just get yourself a non-diverter 1B1X-style valve, for whatever good price you can find, and swap away without concern or regret.
 
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Flapper

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Seems like a weird toilet; there aren't any pictures of it on the internet, only diagrams! Can you post a picture? I want to see what it looks like.
Why the heck would it have a variable diverter that adjusts the flow? If all it does is refill the bowl, why does it need to change the flow rate? :confused:
It would probably even work without any refill at all :p
Also you shouldn't shove the tube down the overflow channel because it may cause siphoning; the end should terminate above the water level.
 

WJcandee

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I will try to post a couple of photos of the thing. It's unusual -- has a special seat with non-standard hole locations.

The refill hose goes into a hole in the porcelain horizontally; it doesn't go into the overflow riser.

The only problem with the non-variable-diverter 1B1X is that it overfills the bowl slightly. The variable diverter got it pretty close to perfect. I have it all the way open in terms of tank refill, so that's the best I can do on the split. The bowl actually takes a LOT of refill, just not quite as much as this valve is giving it. Otherwise, the $9 valve is doing everything the $100+ valve OE-style valve does. Much less metal in the $9 one, but I don't need it to last another 30 years, because they will chuck this thing and replace it with a more-typical toilet when I finally move out. Indeed, they have offered to replace it if I want. When they were installing Totos, I would have taken it, but they have switched to Gerber Ultraflushes (UG-LYYYY) because they cover the floor better where the tile guys didn't run the marble all the way to the flange.

Previously, I didn't think that a Korky Pro would do it, because this thing takes a lot of bowl refill, and the refill hose on the 1B1X has a greater flow level than the Korky, but I am almost inclined to try it. On the other hand, this thing works fine, so I am inclined to leave well-enough alone.
 

WJcandee

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Seems like a weird toilet; there aren't any pictures of it on the internet, only diagrams! Can you post a picture? I want to see what it looks like.

Here ya go!

20160602_024951.jpg

With the new valve installed. (Note the big pastic screw partway down the valve, under the rod, which controls the flow into the tank rather than the bowl. Also note that I reused the old rod and ball, because the new rod was too long and the old ball is a small size.)


20160602_024927.jpg

Side view. This was installed in 1986, and you can see that it's a skirted toilet. The closet bolts are behind little velcro-attached white panels. (Note the little bit of paper towel under the attachment point for the new valve, to reveal any drips that might occur.)


20160602_024913.jpg

Top View.


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Seat open. You can see its unusual shape and size, and that the center part goes down below the rim of the toilet.


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Top view. Note the button that pushes the lever which raises the flapper (unreliably).


20160530_005430.jpg

The old OE valve, probably with a replacement cap, showing the variable diverter and the place where the connection to the rod on the top of the valve snapped at the pivot-rivet.
 
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WJcandee

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Well, those of you who know me would know I couldn't resist trying this:

20160603_194850.jpg

AS Galleria with Korky Pro. Note refill adjuster backed off a bit to avoid overfilling bowl.

Here are the details. The flow through the valve is noticeably-less than the 1B1X, so it takes a while longer to refill, but not horribly-so. Part of the reason for that is that the 1b1x spends about half of its time in a partially shut off state as the float ball rises. As the korky basically flows full force until it shuts off, it can catch up even though the flow through the valve is less than through the 1b1x at full open. What is most noticeable is how much quieter it is as opposed to the original valve and the 1B1X. A white-top korky 528 wouldn't work, because you need the thing to be capable of putting 40 percent refill through the hose. I backed it off to maybe 30-35 percent, but the standard 20 percent of the white-top won't do it. I used the Korky Pro for a nice professional appearance; I'm not sure what if anything is different about it (other than the top) from the 528MP. The little bag of stuff does come with the little plastic Toto adjuster, though, which the 528MP does not.

It also shuts off authoritatively, which of course a ballcock typically does not do.

One little wrinkle: the shortest I could make the valve meant that the tank fills ThisClose to the top of the overflow riser, but it did just make it. And even if it did cause a tiny bit of overflow, that's not a problem because, remember, the water has to drop almost an inch in the tank before the korky will start again after it shuts off. The top of the valve is actually lower than were either of the other two valves, so it fits fine under the plastic tank top.
 
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Terry

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Oh man! You have way too much time on your hands. :)
Pretty cool that you tried both valves, and with pictures. The square look of that reminds me that I have Kohler Numi I need to install.
I'm surprised that they are installing Gerber Ultraflush to cover anything near a flange. The bowls I've installed barely covered anything. Almost any TOTO would cover more on the base.

I was under the impression that some bowls that have the fill hose from the valve may have used it for the flush. Thinking Kohler on that one. It looks like a way easier fix the way you have it.
 
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WJcandee

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Oh man! You have way too much time on your hands.

Lol. I wish! Sadly, it's worse: stuff like this nags at me so I sacrifice sleep to get the thing "just right". And once I played with the diverter and saw that it diverted about 40 percent to refill.....Hmmmm....I know a fill valve that does that. Had to try it.

I'm surprised that they are installing Gerber Ultraflush to cover anything near a flange. The bowls I've installed barely covered anything. Almost any TOTO would cover more on the base.

I think it has to do with width of the base in some of the apartments rather than length of the base. It seemed weird, but that's what they told me a while back. They still use Toto pedestal sinks as replacements when they redo the apartments. I like the lowboy feature of the Galleria because it lets me stack stuff on the tank, but it has been such a cantankerous little thing! I am actually less angry at the thing today, because I put a new flapper on as well, and tweaked the chain, so one push of the button is now all I need again, whereas it was very-unreliable regardless of what I did with the chain for about the last six months. Don't know why the new flapper fixed it, and don't care. Next time, no fiddling, just replace the flapper.

I was under the impression that some bowls that have the fill hose from the valve may have used it for the flush.

That's what I was thinking, too. Like it was there to add water to the flush. I half-expected it not to flush without the diverter. But it works great like this! Actually a little better than usual with the higher water level in the tank. That is another thing I would have fixed if I hadn't been afraid to screw with the discontinued OE fill valve too much.

My only wrinkle is that my changing the valve caused a leak by the ballcock attachment on the cheapo fill hose they used when reattaching the toilet. It had had, as was/is required in NYC, a hardline, and a wide 1/2" inch heavy metal one at that, directly from supply to the ballcock shank. When they reset the toilet, they subbed in a fill hose that is under considerable torsion, and it started dripping between the hose and connector (not between connector and valve) after I put the second valve in. Back to the Nuthouse...grrrrrr...because everyplace else that would have a 20"-long 1/2"-COMP-to-7/8"-Ballcock braided stainless supply is of course closed at this hour.
 
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