The main difference between flush valves, or flushometers, and your typical gravity tank toilet is that they depend entirely on your water pipe pressure. There are, of course, other differences, but this is the one we should be concerned with at the moment for the purposes of this article.
Inside your typical flushometer, we can usually find two separate chambers for storing water. The lower chamber is directly fed by the stop valve next to the wall, which helps keep a stable internal pressure. The upper chamber is fed through a bypass hole in the valve diaphragm that separates it from the lower chamber. The water stored here is destined for flushing the bowl. While in a rest position, the upper chamber shares the same degree of pressure with the lower chamber, providing enough force to keep the valve seat shut.
On the other end of the fixture, we have the handle which controls the up/down motion of the valve seat. When you press the handle, the valve seat goes up, freeing up the water in the upper chamber and sending it down the pipe and into the bowl. Since the upper chamber is now empty, it gets flooded with water from the lower chamber until the pressure is equalized forcing the valve to be tightly shut again.
This seemingly simple setup is a product of decades of design improvements that allowed flushometers to keep moving parts and maintenance to a minimum so they could offer affordable sanitary solutions for buildings and commercial venues.
However, they still require regular checkups and flushometer repair parts to provide years of uninterrupted service.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Problems Flushometers Present?
As we stated before, brands dedicated to crafting sanitary fixtures like Toto, have gone to great lengths to create reliable pieces that are both high-quality and durable. But they also make sure to provide plumbers with Toto flushometer repair parts in case we need to troubleshoot our flush valves.
So, let's take a look at some of the most common problems we face when dealing with flushometers.
Excessive Water Flow
Several factors can cause your urinal or flush valve toilet to release too much water. Let's start with non-invasive revisions just to make sure we don't open the flushometer for naught. First, check the stop valve and see if it can be tightened a bit more, then check if you get a normal flush accompanied by a quiet operation when you push the lever. If this does not fix the issue, then we need to have our Toto flushometer repair parts handy because this could be a diaphragm problem. For example, we have seen 1 gallon-per-flush urinals furnished with 3.5 GPF diaphragms. In these cases, you need to replace the diaphragm with properly sized ones. Another possibility you might encounter is a clogged diaphragm. If the diaphragm bypass hole is obstructed, the upper chamber will take longer to get filled up, which in turn will keep the seat valve open for too long with each flush, causing excessive water flow. Again, the solution is to give the rubber diaphragm a nice clean-up or replace it entirely.
The Handle Won't Activate The Valve
This usually raises all the flags for inexperienced plumbers. Having a completely dead flush valve can be a nightmare in many situations. However, it is not rare to find out the solution is something that takes a couple of minutes. The first thing we should always do is to check if the stop valve is open. We know it sounds exactly like your usual tech support guy telling you to make sure your toaster is plugged into the wall and the power button is in the ON position. However, it is always a good idea to start here before taking apart the flush valve.
The main culprit is usually the handle assembly. This is the piece that suffers the most damage due to regular wear and tear or outright abuse. Fortunately, you can easily get Toto flushometer repair parts for your handle and have it fixed in no time.
The Valve Won't Stop Flushing
This can represent a huge problem in terms of wasted resources as your flushometer keeps passing water. However, this can be easily fixed by checking the rubber diaphragm for clogs or damage. If the bypass hole is clogged, the water won't be able to fill it up, causing the seat valve to remain in the open position. If the diaphragm is fissured or worn out, then the valve won't shut properly, allowing the water to pour down indefinitely. In both cases, you should have your Toto flushometer repair parts kit at hand with a fresh rubber ready to be installed.
As you can see, fixing your flush valve does not have to be that hard. Just remember to always have enough spare parts to service all of your fixtures and customers. If you need plumbing supplies for your business or project, check out our selection of repair parts and kits. Quality Plumbing Supplies has everything you need in one place.