How are they failing?
Can anyone direct me to a good toilet that doesn't use flapper valves? I am tired of replacing them every year or so. I have used the red Korky "5 year warranty" ones, and they fail as quick as the super cheap ones. I have read the reviews about the Toto Drake, and would love to get one, but alas, it has a red korky flapper valve. Has anyone used these toilets without having to replace the valves within five years? Any help would be appreciated!
they turn "mushy" and discolor to a lighter color of red, or almost pinkish. I do live in an area with hard water, and this may be a factor.
Do you use a cleaner product in the tank? These are no-nos because they eat up the rubber very quickly.
I am guilty of this. But it seems that even when I have not used them, they still fail. What kind of life expectancy are you getting out of your flapper valves?
I think I may have replaced one flapper in the last 37 years. (I am not a pro, so this is only for my own toilets)
None that work well...is there a high chlorine content in your water?
Last edited by Cass; 02-23-2009 at 04:00 AM.
I think it (chlorine) runs about as high as my swimming pool in the summer. I live in AZ so we need lots of that to prevent algae and the like.
My first thought to Mr. Swart is thanks for your help, but if your flapper valve lasted 37 years, maybe they truly don't make them like they used to? I buy these things in three packs from the local big box. Well clearly I'm doing something wrong if, by your two answers, the average life expectancy of a flapper valve is around 23.5 years. Is there a difference in quality of flapper valves, say from the big box to what you could get from a plumber?
Last edited by willfishforfood; 02-23-2009 at 05:39 AM.
No they are the same...maybe this is your chance to design a flapper that will work better in your area...then retire on the profits....
Did you say you have a water softener? Maybe making your water less hard would be a help. Wha cha think Cass?
High clorine concentration will ruin rubber components fairly quickly and putting any of the cleaning products in the tank will do it even quicker. There are a few systems that add the cleaning material to the overflow and a new one that uses a stick on bit that goes on the wall of the bowl. Do NOT use anything inside of the tank, put a new flapper in and see how long it lasts.
I don't know if this would help or hinder things, but you could try coating one with silicon plumber's grease..it might just add a layer that helped it last longer or it could destroy it quicker...expect the former, but it could be the latter. Cheap experiment anyways.
The average home doesn't have the pipe size to do something like you see in commercial places with a flushmate type valve. This usually requires a huge shot of water only available from something like a 1" line or larger. Few residences have that, nor are the toilets designed for that.
Important note - I'm not a pro
Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013
I do have my house on a softener (including the toilets) so that may be helping.
There is a toilet that uses a bucket that tips instead of a flapper, but the fill valve is non-standard and Terry has reported that the earlier ones the bucket would break. This is sold at the 'orange big box store' as flapperless.
If I were you I'd stop using the in tank cleaner for a year and stick with the Korky ones. Also check the lip where the flapper seals against and make sure there are no rough edges or calcium buildup that is making it challenging for the flapper to seal.
Stop using the tank cleaner forever. You might try the new stick-in-the-bowl type, I'v have never used them, but they may be OK. At least they won't damage the tank innards.
Okay, thanks for all the help. I do not have a water softener, and I've tested the chlorine in our tap water, and it comes out of the faucet at around 2 to 3 (parts per million?). No kidding, this is what my swimming pool runs at! I guess I will try the Toto, and buy a few more three packs of the Korky's or try a plastic one if I can find them. Good idea trying to invent a better flapper-but that may work best for one of you real-life plumbers. Lord knows you guys put in enough work and deserve to retire rich rich rich.