peasquared

my life in pictures and words

Dual Flush

When we moved into our house, we had contemplated getting new toilets.  Well, I wanted to get new toilets. But I’d never gone shopping for toilets before so I didn’t know how much they cost. On one of our trips to Home Depot, I priced out some toilets and realized that it wasn’t worth buying new ones. At least not yet.

My parents have a dual flush toilet and that’s what I looked at since it would be nice to not use so much water all the time. I found this one at Home Depot but it was about $100 more than I was ready to pay for.

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Source: www.HomeDepot.com

So I nixed that idea.

Another day, a few months later, while walking around HD (HD=Home Depot), I saw a dual flush converter. I didn’t purchase it that day but wrote it down with the intention to look it up when I got home. Of course, I didn’t. I forgot.

Then just a few weeks ago, I was reading Young House Love and saw this post about upgrading their toilet to a dual flush toilet. I quickly saved it in my “home projects” folder and decided that when the time was right, I could go back to it for refernence. Then within just a week of reading that post (I’m playing catch up on their blog) I read this post about how they had to re-do their toilet and upgraded to dual flush at the same time.

For some reason, reading these two posts inspired me to convert our toilet to dual flush.

So what was supposed to be a quick 10 minutes, no tools and no tank removal involved conversion actually turned into a three day, several tools and tank removal involved, and a grand total of six trips to Home Depot. SIX trips in THREE days!! Day two only involved one trip, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

Day One

Friday afternoon, I was at HD (#1) picking up some things for our laundry nook renovation and since I’d read how easy it was to convert to df (df=dual flush), twice in one week, I picked up the converter and thought that I’d surprise Paul. We mainly use the downstairs half bath since we’re down here most of the time. So I decided that was the one I wanted to convert. I opened the box, read the instructions, and removed the tank cover. This is what I saw.  Gross!
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I turned the water off and flushed until no more water would leave the tank. I pulled out a towel and placed it under the tank. I looked at the pictures in the instruction booklet and noticed that my pieces didn’t match. The box said that if they didn’t match then I’d need a different model. So on my second trip to HD (#2), I found this Total Repair Kit.
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I then removed the excess water from the tank and unscrewed the valve from the bottom of the tank. And replaced it with this fill valve.  (Thanks to this project, I know things like fill valve and flush valve.  And what they are and what they do.)
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It was pretty simple. Nice and easy. Unscrew the botttom, pull out of tank, replace, screw new one into place. It even came with arms to let you know when it was nice and tight. It’s called a Smart Nut.
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The next step was to then place the converter onto the overflow valve. Well, after looking and looking and looking, I saw on the box that I had the valve that required me to purchase a different valve and that it would require me to remove the tank. At this point, I was already in the game and I couldn’t get out. Unfortunately, it was later in the evening and Paul suggested that I wait until the next day to get the correct piece.

This is what I had. The Mansfield valve.
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And this is what I needed.
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So that I could place this over it.
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Day Two

So I headed out to HD (#3) to pick up this bad boy.
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When I got home, I started on removing the tank. I unscrewed the bolts. These nasty rusted bolts.
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Took the tank off and saw this. Well, after I removed the rubber piece.  Gross x2!
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In order for me to remove the Mansfield valve, I had to unscrew that plastic nut off. Both Paul and I tried over and over and over but it wouldn’t budge.

I had borrowed some plumbing books from the library (for a different project) and decided to read about removing tanks and stuff. I read that if there is a lot of minerals then to soak it in vinegar. So that’s what I’m doing here.
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As you can see in the first photo. (here it is again so you don’t have to scroll all the way up.)
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When I painted the bathroom, I didn’t quite get all the way around the toilet like I had hoped. So I took advantage of having the tank off to paint it. Going from this.
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Can you see the three colors? White, dark green, cream yellow.

To this.
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And that’s it for day two. I didn’t get much done this day because most of it was spent trying to take off that darn plastic nut.

Paul even tried to help me and got hurt in the process. Some of his blood got onto the instruction booklet. =( Poor DH.
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I was getting frustrated. Instead of stressing over it, Paul convinced me to sit the rest of the night out and watch Stargate Atlantis.
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source: www.geektyrant.com

Day Three

This time, Paul came with me to HD (#4) to pick up some tools that would help remove the plastic nut. When we got home, Paul started working it and got it loose. But he didn’t want to be in the picture so he took a picture of me removing it.
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Once I got that taken off and the Mansfield valve removed, I installed the new one and put the bolts back in.
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Here is a view looking straight down.
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Then I installed the dual flush converter and hooked everything in the tank back together.
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We turned the water on and had no leaks except for where the connector connected into the tank. So I went to HD (#5) to get a new toilet connector. When I got home, Paul helped me remove the old one.
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As I was trying to connect the new one, I learned that there are three different sized nuts. So back to HD (#6) I went. I found the right size nut, brought it back home, and connected it.
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Then I turned the water back on and…NO LEAKS!! It.Was.Awesome! Well, there was one leak, but that was from a bolt that I hadn’t tightened all the way. Once I got that tightened, we tested the flushes several times with no leaks anywhere. YAY!

Here’s a last look of what we went from…
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And what we went to…
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Maybe I’ll get this image printed up and place it on top of the tank so guests will know which handle to push. What do you think? =)
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And now we have a dual flush toilet in the house!

Thanks for reading!

all photos except the Stargate photo have been edited by pixlr.com/express

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