Help! Why Is It so Hard to Flush My Mansfield Toilet?
Maybe the flush valve seal needs to be replaced. Here's how.
If you’re like me, you don’t even know what the parts inside a toilet are called. All you know is, 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.
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.
To Replace the Flush Valve Seal on a Mansfield Toilet with a Tower-Style Flush Valve, Follow These Directions:
1. Turn off toilet water supply, behind the toilet where the pipes run into the wall. Flush the toilet so the water empties out.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Lift off the flush valve tower.
5. 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,
6. Put new seal into space between top two grooves. When it’s fitted in properly, you can gently turn it.
Once you know what all the things inside a toilet are called, it’s much easier to find the information you need on the internet. There is a wealth of knowledge out there.
Now you can sit back and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with having done your own household repair!
Questions & Answers
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.
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.