Author Topic: Toilet innards are cheap crap that lasted 6 months  (Read 3898 times)

Offline Cobra951

  • Gold Member
  • *
  • Posts: 8,902
Toilet innards are cheap crap that lasted 6 months
« on: Monday, March 14, 2016, 09:23:50 AM »
My mom learned the adage "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" the hard way.  She had a plumber come in to inspect everything and make sure it was working as well as it should.  We had done business with him for many years, but this time he brought his idiot son with him, who decided that the hefty all-metal mechanism that had worked in this toilet for decades had to be replaced with this cheap plastic garbage.  By the time I saw what was happening, it was too late.

What happened is the flapper started hanging on the hollow vertical tube it's attached to.  I tried filing down the joint where it was hanging, and that worked for a bit, then it started hanging again.  Then I realized what was happening is that the flapper piece itself was shrinking alarmingly fast, and now doesn't even align properly with the drain hole anymore.  So the toilet will run every so often to replace the water that leaks through the improperly sealed drain.

What I want to know is if high-quality standard-toilet mechanisms are still made, and whether I can buy them and just hire someone to install precisely what I want them to install.  I'm thinking GPW here, but anyone who knows more about this stuff than I do (and since I can trust everyone here) is more than welcome to give me some feedback.

Edit:  I checked online and realized I can probably replace just the flapper piece itself.  The toilet is an American Standard.  There's still so much I don't know, though, and all the mechanisms I see are these same compact plasticky things.  Damn it.  Why has everything gotten so cheap (and not in a good way)?

« Last Edit: Monday, March 14, 2016, 09:52:17 AM by Cobra951 »

Offline Quemaqua

  • 古い塩
  • Administrator
  • Forum god
  • *
  • Posts: 16,375
  • パンダは触るな。
    • Bookruptcy
Re: Toilet innards are cheap crap that lasted 6 months
« Reply #1 on: Monday, March 14, 2016, 09:10:03 PM »
From what I understand, there's a complicated answer to that question, and probably more than one. But knowing several people in plumbing and talking about changes to the business, there are a variety of initiatives forcing parts changes and such in various ways, both from companies and from government. It's led one guy I know to get so fed up he just up and quit, and is now a janitor at a school. If that tells you anything. I wouldn't get your hopes up that this is going to improve. It's pretty unfortunate, but I think the bottom line is these things are just always cheaper to produce.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline scottws

  • Gold Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6,577
    • Facebook Me
Re: Toilet innards are cheap crap that lasted 6 months
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 05:42:49 AM »
I've replaced many toilet innards.  There seem to be two types:  a sort of plunger that covers the hole and a floating flap.  I've had varying levels of success and failure with both.  I've had trouble with the floating flap not floating long enough and not completing the flush.  I've had trouble with the plunger not sufficiently sealing off the hole.

In any case, the innards are so cheap and they generally last long enough that replacing them isn't that big a deal to me.  It should last way longer than six months though.  It should last at least two or three years.

As far as it being cheap, it's just the way of the U.S.A. now.  Everyone wants to buy the cheapest crap.  It's gotten so bad that it can actually be hard to find a shower head that doesn't use plastic with fake chrome on it somewhere instead of actual metal.  Most people just don't seem to value quality, or if they do, they aren't willing to pay for it and it's been such a trend that quality items aren't even available in many cases.

Offline Cobra951

  • Gold Member
  • *
  • Posts: 8,902
Re: Toilet innards are cheap crap that lasted 6 months
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 06:14:03 AM »
Yeah, my online searches are quite depressing.  I was hoping someone knew of a way to the better parts, like they used to be, even if I have to import them from Switzerland or something.  Then I can hire someone to install them.  I can replace the flapper if that's all that's worth doing at this point.  (I will probably do that anyway, and buy 2-3 of them together, since I guess they're like light bulbs now.)

Thanks for the feedback, guys.

Edit:  Scott, I think the flapper is what you called the floating flap.  At least that's simple to replace by itself.

Offline gpw11

  • Gold Member
  • *
  • Posts: 7,075
Re: Toilet innards are cheap crap that lasted 6 months
« Reply #4 on: Friday, April 22, 2016, 12:42:54 PM »
I JUST realised that this section of the forum existed.  Did you get this sorted out?

Offline Cobra951

  • Gold Member
  • *
  • Posts: 8,902
Re: Toilet innards are cheap crap that lasted 6 months
« Reply #5 on: Friday, April 22, 2016, 03:07:13 PM »
Well, I jury-rigged it a bit.  I lengthened the chain from the handle to the flapper as far as it would go (to the last link).  Now it can't pull the flapper high enough to hang on the joint I mentioned above.  It still leaks a bit around the seal, though.  I just need to get myself to a hardware store and get a replacement flapper.