Then who does??
Just like many companies, they put their name on it, but don't actually make it. Do not know who does. They do make all of the porcelain, but buy the guts of the toilets from other companies that specialize in it. They are made to their size/performance specs, though.
Important note - I'm not a pro
Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014
Myself I don't mind so much that it wore out, though I do think it was a bit premature but the hinge valve is a self contained unit and can be removed and replaced with a pair of pliars. Grandma could do it. If I end up replacing the seat it will be with a different brand. The reply from Toto states the following:
The seat is made out of one mold and cannot be fixed. The only option is to replace the seat."
If Toto doesn't make the seat than redirect my inquiry to who does or simply market the darn hinges. Those who are happy with replacing the whole seat would do it but many would order replacement hinges and fix it.
Myself, I am not done looking for a gel to repair the valve.
Back in the day, I would probably just replace the seat without too much grumbling. However, after limping into something of a forced retirement and now being on a fixed income with a very tight budget, I can't justify doing so for each and every thing that goes belly up these days. So I will either try and fix it or live with it.
And I suppose it's no use complaining about it, but this is yet another in a million of examples of the ever increasing disposable culture we live in. So much is produced in essentially a "use once & throw away" mentality, or a company's products (or their components) are so excessively outsourced or contracted out that no one knows which end is up. Then there are those who supposedly represent their companies who clearly don't know their own products, what goes into them, and where to get parts. We're pretty much well on the way to becoming a civilization that no longer has the knowledge of how our "machines" were built, how they operate, how to repair/adjust them, and the like. It's all pretty sad IMO.
Turning attention back to repairing the valves for use, I've been googling like crazy. I'm wondering if the resin from an epoxy could be used without a hardener. The original substance seems to be a rubber or silicon based gel with molasses type stringy consistency. Interestingly when I removed what was left, I suck it to a cardboard box. Later that evening it has self leveled and ran down the side of the box. This is like nothing I've seen before. Maybe we can come up with a replacement for this gel and many will be able to repair these things.
I guess I am left wondering what causes the failure in the first place. Those who report that the original fluid has leaked out would seem to point to the o-rings or the hinge casing containing the fluid. In such as case, simply replacing the fluid (even if it was the actual OEM fluid), would probably not last as pressure would likely be lost and/or the fluid would just leak out again over time. Obviously, the first hurdle is finding out what exactly the fluid is. If Toto would share the information as to the supplier or vendor who makes the soft close hinges, then we could contact them to at least find out what the liquid is.
OK, seriously, Bemis also makes (or sells) soft close seats sold at the orange big box. Maybe you could contact Bemis and get them to provide some info on the substance they use. -TSPORT
Has anyone tried K-Y Jelly! It is a thick, glycerin base material that can be used for more than you think! I have had mine apart and seen the material in it, but haven't tried K-Y Jelly until I read the posts and started thinking on a solution. To remove the mechanism you have to slide the stainless shafts out towards the center (carefully spreading the two plastic retainers-careful....don't break), remove the lid and cover, then you can remove the mechanism, remove the two screws, pull the cover off and look inside. You will see the blue wiper blade, I would fill on both sides of the wiper with the KY, then reassemble. Be careful not to damage the "O" rings, and also the small "O" rings on the screws holding the mechanism together. If your mechanism has leaked, check to make sure all the "O" rings are in good condition. Assemble in the reverse order.....Gauge-Guy
After reading through this thread, I realized I had encountered something very similar to the clear goo in the SoftClose hinge: QuakeHold Gel.
It's a clear, sticky, rubbery substance that's supposed to keep glassware from flying off the shelf when an earthquake hits. I had used some for the intended purpose and was dismayed to find that, over time, it would run and drip rather than staying in place under the fragile items on my shelves. It sounded like it would be a perfect substitute for the Toto SoftClose mystery goo.
So I opened up my SoftClose hinges and wrapped a strip of the QuakeHold gel around the inner cylinder. I put everything back together... and it works perfectly! It's more viscous than the official goo, but I like it that way.
Hope this helps,
There do not seem to be too many complaints about the soft close seats. There probably have been problems that were not reported on this forum, but since this is a Toto friendly site, it would be logical to think that we would have heard about them. Sorry the original poster had a problem, but an isolated problem does not mean all soft close seats are bad.