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Thread: Toto Soft Close Repair?

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member gerlando's Avatar
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    Default Toto Soft Close Repair?

    One of my soft close seats has stopped functioning correctly after maybe... 2 years of use. It sounds like something within the hinge broke and it drops almost as fast as if it were a regular hinge. Are these repairable or do they need to be replaced? I tried searching online and only found other seat failures with no resolution. 2 years is way too short a lifespan IMO.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Call Toto...I don't think it can be repaired.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    No they can't be repaired.

    Where are you located?

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member gerlando's Avatar
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    Default Soft Close Repaired!

    I decided to take the plunge and take the seat apart to see if it could be repaired and guess what. They can be repaired, and rather easily. At least in my case, once it was all apart I discovered the liquid in the hinge must have leaked out which was causing the failure.

    I took photos with my phone along the way, but they didn't come out too good.

    Basically there are two hinges, one on each side. One hinge controls the top cover and the other controls the seat. To get to the hinge you need to pull the hinge pin out of the over and seat. There are two plastic prongs that hold the pin in, but they can be bent open so the pin slides through. Once that's done there's another plastic prong that holds the hinge in the middle bracket. Once the hinge is free it can be pulled apart by removing 4 screws. The inner screws have tiny o-rings on them so make sure not to lose them!

    Once the hinge was separated I noticed it had a viscous fluid that's basically squished between two sides of a channel. This provides the slowing mechanism. But mine was leaking and most of the fluid was gone. I refilled the hinge with some automotive grease figuring it was as close in viscosity as I had in the garage, put it all back together, and now I have a working hinge again!

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    As the owner of 5 Toto soft close seats, I'd really appreciate it if someone could identify the factory fluid , and a source for it if it's not a generic item like mineral oil.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member DECJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedL View Post
    As the owner of 5 Toto soft close seats, I'd really appreciate it if someone could identify the factory fluid , and a source for it if it's not a generic item like mineral oil.
    I realize that this is an old thread, but I was having the same problem and contacted Toto tech support regarding what the factory uses for the fluid, and this was the response I got via email earlier today ...

    I’m sorry but I cannot suggest any type of fluids to use or ways to repair. We do not have any specs on what is used in the hinge, nor do we have ways of fixing. Your best bet is to do exactly what you’re doing by researching on the web. We do not manufacture the seats themselves.

    So, I will do the same as gerlando and substitute a material that approximates the same viscosity (and that I have available).

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Al Thumbs's Avatar
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    Default It's not mineral oil

    I used Gerlando's excellent instructions to open up the hinge on my seat. I don't think it's mineral oil. It is clear, sticky, and thicker than mineral oil. It reminded me of Kayro corn syrup, but thicker still. I used grease to replace the liquid, but it did not work for me. Will try again.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member DECJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al Thumbs View Post
    I used Gerlando's excellent instructions to open up the hinge on my seat. I don't think it's mineral oil. It is clear, sticky, and thicker than mineral oil. It reminded me of Kayro corn syrup, but thicker still. I used grease to replace the liquid, but it did not work for me. Will try again.
    Let us know what material you come up with that works.

    Good luck!
    Don

  9. #9
    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    I suspect the fluid is glycerine.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member gldnbrew's Avatar
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    Yes they can be repaired. I just finished mine. Took several tries but here is solution. Read the rest of the thread first to see how the closer is taken apart. I tried several thick Silicone greases but here is the one that DOES WORK ACE Brand #4095667 Silicone Grease 90% Pure. Warning this stuff is very sticky and gooey. After cleaning old grease out (not necessary if this is your first time), put a SMALL amount on top of each cylinder and go do something for 10 -15 minutes (it wakes awhile to flow down), when it is all settled down add some more, do this until it is almost up to the top of the cylinders. When this is complete reassemble everything and WALLA a seat that works as good as new.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member theob88's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip gldnbrew. I purchased two of these seats and one of them failed about about 2 years later. I tried repacking the bad cartridge with vaseline and an automotive grease I have and neither worked. I'm glad you found something that does. I don't know where to buy ACE brand products where I live, but looked it up and it's advertised as an o-ring grease. I found this grease http://www.homedepot.ca/product/sili...bricant/910532 on the Home Depot site. It's by Moen and is for valve components but looks to be a similar product. I'll purchase some and see if it does the trick and I'll follow your advice for repacking the cartridge. I'm assuming you reused your o-rings as ones that small are going to be hard to find.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member route99capilano's Avatar
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    I am having same problems from Alberta. Did the stuff from home depot work theob88??

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