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Thread: Real newbie question

  1. #1

    Default Real newbie question

    Hello all,

    First of all, I know nothing about plumbing and I am only familiar with basic tools. I just moved into an apt. that has a fluidmaster (400CS?) equipment installed in the toliet tank. According to the building manager, the install is less than 6 months old.

    The problem is that the water flow into the bowl is way to low to clear all the material in there. The management has been stalling and I want to know if anyone can tell me step-by-step how I can adjust that thing to get more water and or pressure for each flush.

    I have been to fluidmasters' website and they have basic install info, but I am not sure that what is there is the answer to my question.

    Thanks in advance for any help you may provide.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    There is no "pressure" on a flush. It is totally a gravity operation. If the tank is filled to the marked water level line, and the flapper is the proper one to allow 1.6 gallons to flush, then it is just a case of a toilet design which does not work very well. What brand and model of toilet is it?

  3. #3

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    Hello Jimbo.

    Thanks for responding. The toilet appears to be pretty old. The only markings I could find on it were under the tank lid. The name "Mansfield" is barely legible and there is a molded imprint that looks like "G - 7" or "5 - 7" near the center of the lid. If this Fluidmaster is less than 6 months old, I would have to agree that it was not part of the original design.

    I can also see a stain line that is about twice as high in the tank as the current water level when it fills up. Apparently, the older works allowed for a higher amount of water.

    So, am I stuck with a poor design, or can the Fluidmaster be adjusted to allow more water to fill the tank?

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It sounds like they put a new filler valve in the old toilet...not that uncommon, as they do fail when they get old. That being said, for a given toilet, the water level must be at the design level so there is enough force to move the waste out. The newer toilets are often designed to let a small amount of water out, but at a much higher flow rate. The old ones needed lots of water to build up in the bowl to generate enough pressure to "push" the crap out. So, back to your situation...the height of the water can easily be adjusted. It's been awhile since I put one of those in, but basically the shaft of the filler valve is a screw/nut sort of thing - it rotates and extends/contracts the whole length of the assembly that the float sits on. If you look over the website, you should find drawings and instructions to guide you. When finished, the water lever should be at the scribed or drawn water line. You should notice the flush improve considerably if it is too low now.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Does your "fill valve" (the black and grey plastic tower that fills the tank with water) look like the 400A model on the Fluidmaster site? If so, it'll take you about 30 seconds to raise the fluid level in the tank. Just pinch together the ends of the spring clip which attaches the vertical rod to the float (you'll see it if you look) and shorten up the rod. By this I mean make the section of the rod which is between the top of the fill valve and the float shorter. It's a trial and error process until you get the level right. It should be at least an inch below the top of the overflow tube (again, you'll see it if you look).

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The move the float thing works for fine tuning, but if it is a long distance needed, then you need to expand the length of the long shaft, that rotates on a screw arangement, making the whole thing taller. You need enough distance for the float to move to allow the valve to open fully with the shaft long enough, then you can fine tune the shut off point by moving the rod/clip arrangement.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7

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    Hello Jadnashua and Steve,

    Thanks for your responses.

    1) Yes, the unit in the tank does appear to be the 400A (the CS is the whole kit).

    2) I downloaded the .pdf from fluidmaster's site and I am looking at it now. I tried adjusting the clip as you suggested Steve, but I couldn't get the water level to go much more than 1/4 to 1/2 an inch higher. I need to move it up about 3-4 more inches to bring it back to the old level.

    3) The instructions are for install, not an adjustment, so do I need to drain the tank, then remove the 400A in order to adjust it? I tried twisting it at the base of the tank, but that wasnt working at all.

  8. #8
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    A few inches up from the base of the Fluidmaster is a locking collar. Grab that and lift about 1/2". This unlocks and allows you to raise the upper half of the unit. There is a line on the FL. marked "CL". This line should be about 1/2 to 1" above the top of the overflow tube. Remember to relock the locking collar.

  9. #9

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    Hello Jimbo.

    Thanks for your answer. That did the trick. I was able to raise the valve a good 3 inches. The fill level on the tank is now just about an inch lower than the old fill line. I see a huge improvement already.

    Thanks again to all of you for your advice and patience.

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