How You Can Replace A Worn-Out Toilet Or Urinal Flushometer

28 September 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Articles


If your business has a toilet or urinal that isn't flushing properly or is leaking at the valve, then the flushometer may need replacing. Below is how you can remove and replace a worn-out flushometer and get your industrial plumbing appliance working properly:

Tools and materials needed

  • Flushometer
  • Vacuum breaker
  • Spud wrench
  • Pipe thread tape
  • Flat-blade screwdriver
  • Plastic-bristled brush

Step-by-step procedure

1. Turn off the water supply to the appliance - Most restrooms will contain one or more plumbing stops, or shut-off valves, that provide water to the various appliances. These stops are located behind an access panel that is installed flush with the surface of the wall behind the toilet or urinal. Once you locate the stop, remove the access panel to access the internal valve. Turn off the valve so the water supply to the appliance is disconnected.

Also, each flushometer has its own stop that enables you to turn-off the water supply; this stop will be located on the incoming water line, and it is hidden behind a cap that must be removed. Slip the jaws of an adjustable spud wrench over the cap's hex head and turn it counterclockwise to loosen and remove it. Following removal, insert a flat-blade screwdriver head into the exposed slot and turn it clockwise to shut it off.

After turning off the main plumbing stop and flushometer stop, jiggle the lever to verify that no water pressure remains in the line. Some water may exit the flushometer, but as long as there is no substantial flow, it is safe to continue.

2. Remove the flushometer from its position - After turning off the water supply to the flushometer, you are ready to remove it from the appliance. Two slip nuts attach the flushometer to the water intake and the flush tube that enters the appliance. Use the spud wrench to turn the slip nuts counterclockwise to loosen them from the flushometer, then slip the nuts out of the way. Firmly grasp the flushometer and wiggle it free from its connections to the water supply line and flush tube; expect a small amount of water to pour from the flushometer, but don't be alarmed as long as the water flow isn't more than a trickle.

3. Remove and replace the vacuum breaker - When the flushometer has been removed, reach down into the open top of the flush tube and pull out the vacuum breaker; this device prevents water from being siphoned back out of the toilet into the freshwater supply. To replace it, simply insert a new vacuum breaker into the top of the flush tube. Just make sure it is properly seated in the tube before installing the new flushometer.

4. Install the new flushometer - Use a plastic-bristled brush to scrape the threads of the water supply line and flush tube to remove any debris such as plumbers dope or hard water deposits. Wrap three turns of pipe thread tape around the threads after you have cleaned them to prepare for a watertight seal.

Next, position the new flushometer in place so the water inlet and exit are aligned with the water supply line and flush tube respectively. While holding it in place, slide the slip nuts back on to the flushometer fittings and tighten them with your spud wrench. Make the connections snug, but be careful not to overtighten them.

5. Restore water service and test the flushometer - Once the new flushometer is in place, restore the water by turning the fixture water stop counterclockwise, then turn on the local water stop that you turned off in step 1. Activate the flushometer by pulling down on its flush lever, and verify it isn't leaking and that a sufficient volume of water is released to flush the appliance. If you spot any leaks, carefully tighten the slip nuts to ensure you have made them tight enough.