Help! Why Is It So Hard to Flush My Mansfield Toilet?
If you’re like me, you don’t even know what the parts inside a toilet are called. All you know is that it is taking all your strength to push that little handle that flushes the toilet. What’s up with that?
If your toilet has suddenly become really hard to flush and it feels like the plunger is “sticking” at the bottom, then chances are the flush valve seal needs to be replaced.
What Is the Flush Valve Seal?
The flush valve is the contraption that controls how much water flows from the tank into the toilet bowl. Sometimes it looks like a flapper with a chain coming out of the top. Sometimes (as in Mansfield toilets) the flush valve looks like a tower that lifts up to let the water flow or settles down to stop it. The seal on the flush valve is a rubber ring, and over time it can deteriorate. When it does, it gets harder to break the suction and let the water flow through the valve.
Flush valve seals are usually available at hardware or home improvement stores. Make sure you know who manufactured your toilet before heading out to the store to buy a new one.
Note: If you’re picky about the way your hands look, make sure to put on a pair of latex or close-fitting rubber gloves before starting your toilet repair. The water in the tank is clean, so there’s really nothing nasty about this repair. But if the deteriorated seal was black, sometimes your fingers can get smudged with an inky residue.
How to Replace a Flush Valve Seal
In order to replace the flush valve seal on a Mansfield toilet, all you need to do is follow these simple directions.
Step #1: Turn Off the Water
Turn off the toilet water supply behind the toilet where the pipes run into the wall. Flush the toilet so the water empties out.
Step #2: Disconnect the Water Refill Tube
Disconnect the water refill tube. This is a little bendy tube that goes into the top of the whole tower assembly. Just pull it out gently.
Step #3: Unscrew the Cap
Unscrew the cap that the refill tube goes into. It looks like a little flat donut, and it’s wider than the flush valve tower.
Step #4: Lift the Flush Valve Tower
Simply lift off the flush valve tower as shown in the picture above.
Step #5: Remove the Old Seal
Take off the old seal. It’s rubber, so you can pinch it and pull it out like a rubber band. (This is where you might get that inky black stuff on your hands.)
Step #6: Put on the New Seal
Put new seal into space between top two grooves. When it’s fitted in properly, you can gently turn it.
Step #7: Put Everything Back Together
Now that you have the new seal on, all you have to do is put everything back together. Slide the tower back on, screw on the cap, slide the refill tube back in place, and turn on the water again. You're done!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
I changed the seal and now there are air bubbles coming in at the bottom. The tank doesn’t fill up. What should I try next?
Although I'm not a plumber, just a DIY person, it sounds like the seal isn't in the right place. Take out the rubber ring (the seal) and feel along the edge of the tower to find the ridges within which the seal is meant to be fitted. Then try re-inserting the rubber seal so that there's one set of ridges on either side of the seal.
If that's not the solution, then it's time to call in a professional.Helpful 1
The flapper in a toilet I took a look at seals too well. It makes pushing the lever down extremely difficult. How do I get it to loosen up a bit? There is no chain to shorten.
That's exactly what my article is about -- that problem of "sealing too well." The solution is to replace the flapper, or whatever seal connects the two parts, because the rubber seal has deteriorated.
In a Mansfield toilet, there's a rubber ring between the two plastic parts of the tower assembly. That's the part that can be replaced. I don't know what kind of toilet you're referring to, so you'll have to look closely and see if there's some piece with a rubber part that is causing the problem.Helpful 32
What size ring do I purchase for my Mansfield toilet?
It depends on the model of the toilet's flushing assembly. I only found one size rubber replacement ring that was designed for a Mansfield toilet. I believe it's called a Mansfield Flush Valve Seal.
If you're finding more than one option, the easiest way to be sure that you have the right one is to remove the old one and take it with you to the store.Helpful 19
What do you do if the tower doesn't seal on a new seal washer?
I haven't had that happen to me -- in that case, I'd suggest trying the following:
1. Take the flush valve seal off and then re-install it to make sure it's properly placed, or
2. Inspect the tower assembly to make sure it's not broken or otherwise damaged so it won't seal to the new flush valve seal. Replace that if necessary.
If neither of those procedures work, then it's probably time to call in a professional, because the problem may not be a simple matter of replacing the rubber flush valve seal.Helpful 14
I have done this repair several times over the years but this time after replacing the seal with a new one it is still EXTREMELY hard to raise the flush tower with the handle. Also the tower sometimes stays up after emptying the tank. Any ideas?
Hmm. That's a puzzler! I'm not a plumber, just a DIY person, so my advice is: 1) Check to see if anything's rusted or broken around the handle or the connection with the flush tower, and if you don't see any easily fixable problems in those areas, then 2) call a licensed plumber. We should all be capable of fixing simple repairs, but when the problem isn't simple, it's time to call in the experts!Helpful 6
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