Flushometer valve closeup (C) D Friedman Urinal & Toilet Flushometer Valves: guide flushometer valve installation & troubleshooting

  • FLUSHOMETER VALVES for TOILETS URINALS - CONTENTS: Flush-o-meter valves used on toilets & urinals: types, installation, troubleshooting diagnosis, and repair. Flushometer vacuum breaker height specification. Helvex & other brands of waterless urinals, photos, advice.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about troubleshooting, diagnosing, fixing flushometer valves & applications
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Flushometer valves guide:

What is a flushometer valve, where and how are they used on toilets (water closets) and urinals, how is the flushometer valve installed, what kind of water pressure and flow does a flushometer valve need to work properly, and what diameter water supply piping is required.

What goes wrong with flushometer valves and their installations: troubleshooting inadequate flush water, too much flush water, noisy or leaky flushometer valves. We also introduce and recommend use of waterless urinals.

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Flushometer Valves Used on Toilets, Water Closets, Urinals: troubleshooting, installation, diagnosis, repair advice

Urinal with flushometer valve (C) D Friedman

Question: Installing a pressurized system & Flushometer Valve Toilets & Urinals on a Well & Pump Water Supply System

I have a well system at a marina and would like to install commercial flushometer toilets and urinals. It is old and is currently served by a standard residential system.

I have space above the rest rooms and would like to install a stand alone pressurized system that is fed by the existing residential system, but would provide the gpm and pressure to function the commercial units. Likely to be a total of 3 toilets and two urinals.

Any ideas or plans available? Thanks, Bill

Reply: Be sure that your well water supply system, pressure tank, pressure, and water supply piping diameter & flow rate can support flushometer valves; consider waterless urinal fixtures.

Bill, there is no technical reason why one could not install flushometer type toilets and urinals at a property served by a standard pump and well system, but the cost and trouble may be more than first meets the eye. Where we find flushometer type toilets and urinals installed it's usually at a building served by municipal water supply and employing larger diameter water supply piping than the 1/2" pipe usually found at residential type properties.

That's because flushometer fixtures, relying on both water pressure and total gpm flow rate to work properly, need a higher pressure and total flow rate than most residential systems deliver. You can achieve the necessary pressure and water quantity for the fixtures by adding a water tank and pump at a suitable location, but you might need also to install larger diameter water supply piping to each fixture.

Waterless Urinal (Sloan) (C) D Friedman

Take a look at the flushometer valves produced by Sloane (William Sloane was the inventor of the flush-o-meter valve in 1906), Kohler, or Sloane-Regal for examples of these controls and to check out the required supply water flow rates. A properly-adjusted flush-o-meter valve uses about 1/6 gallons per flush.

While flushometer valves by various manufacturers can operate at a range of water pressures (10-100 psi) the typical operating pressure requirement is 25 psi. But the fixtures also need a high water flow rate at that pressure to operate the valve and flush the fixture properly.

That's why the standard water supply pipe diameter to the fixture is 1 1/4" rather than the common 1/2" or 3/4" water supply piping found in residential and light commercial buildings using conventional tank-type toilets.

When choosing fixtures and deciding on water storage volume, pressure, and plumbing specifications you'll need to be sure to check the specific requirements of the flush valves you are buying for the urinals and toilets.

While you're at it, why don't you take a look at some of the new waterless urinals including units provided by Helvex (photo of Helvex waterless urinal) & Sloane-Regal. I've inspected some of these and found them beautiful, odorless, clean, and as water efficient as one could ask.

Flushometer Valve Installation Notes

Watch out: Be sure to obtain and follow the installation instructions for the specific brand and model of flushometer valve you are installing. Links to several flushometer valve manufacturers and their installation guides are provided below at REFERENCES.

Proper Flushometer vacuum breaker valve location height

For proper flushometer and plumbing fixture operation, the flushometer vacuum breaker must be a minimum of six inches (6") above the highest part of the plumbing fixture that it serves.

Flushometer Toilet (water closet) or Urinal Valve Troubleshooting & Adjustment Advice

Flushometer toilet Poughkeepsie NY (C) D FriedmanHere we combine, expand, and comment on flushometer valve troubleshooting advice from several manufacturers whose original sources are footnoted and detailed below at REFERENCES [3] [4]

Our photo (left) shows a flushometer valve operating a toilet in a single family residential home in Poughkeepsie, NY. You'll notice that the piping supplying this flushometer valve is larger in diameter than the common 1/2" or 3/4" diameter water piping used in one family homes.

Water Closet (toilet) or Urinal Flushometer valve does not flush - does not send water into the appliance

  • Check to assure that the main water supply valve feeding the fixture is open.
  • Check that no one has inadvertently "adjusted" the flushometer valve screw to close off water to the fixture
  • Damaged handle assembly or internal parts: if the flushometer handle does not cause the valve to flush, does not return cleanly to its normal position, or is leaky, chances are you need to either replace the whole handle assembly or remove the handle assembly, take it apart, and install replacement springs, valves, o-rings, washers, etc. from the flushometer handle repair kit available from the manufacturer.
  • Damaged relief valve inside the flushometer: re-build the relief valve internal parts using the repair kit available from the manufacturer

No Flush Water or Inadequate Volume of Flush Water at Toilet (water closet) or Urinal with a Flushometer Valve

Flushometer valve closeup (C) D FriedmanSloane Regal defines an inadequate volume of flush water as "inadequate volume of water to siphon the fixture" - that is, to cause the waste in the fixture to be totally evacuated [and in our opinion the working sides of the fixture to be washed down for aesthetic reasons]. [4]

At least some of the flushometer valve specifications that we reviewed, particularly from Sloan-Regal and others listed below, are capable of operating satisfactorily at a water flush volume at (an average of) 1.6 gallons or 6 liters per flush, at a flowing water pressure of 25 psi (172kPa).

The requirement for this flowing water pressure and volume for satisfactory flushometer valve operation and toilet or urinal flushing explains our earlier comments about the practice of supplying flushometer-operated toilets and urinals with 1 1/4" water piping.

We have arranged the flushometer valve diagnosis and repair instructions in this order no flush water, too little flush water because flush time is too short, and too little flush water for other reasons, problems with over-flushing volume or time, and other flushometer problems such as noises or leaks.

No flush water for the toilet or urinal

  • Flushometer valve closes immediately - no flush water is sent into the urinal or toilet
    • Damaged internal parts (diaphragm); install a repair parts kit
    • Enlarged bypass orifice; water flowing through any plumbing orifice can cause that opening to become enlarged by corrosion, damage, or simply wear. The part will need replaced.

Too-short flush cycle for toilet or urinal - flush water flow rate seems adequate but too brief

  • Damaged flushometer handle assembly, repair kit parts needed
  • Improper installation or assembly of the flushometer assembly over tightening the diaphragm hand tight
  • Improper installation using the wrong parts or wrong repair kit (see details below at inadequate volume of flush water)
  • Worn internal parts such as bypass orifice, new parts needed

Inadequate volume or rate of flush water: If the flush volume is inadequate at the toilet or urinal you may be able to correct the problem by

  • Flushometer control adjustment: obviously before taking the steps below you would try adjusting the flushometer valve to consume a higher volume of water per flush. The control stop can be opened wider to give a greater water flush volume at the fixture when the flushometer handle is operated.

    As we discuss at WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES, particularly because they normally operate at high water pressures and send a significant water volume into the toilet, a flushometer valve that is not properly adjusted or that a flushometer valve that allows a toilet to run constantly can waste an enormous volume of water.

    Flushometer valve flow & flush quantity adjustment: the flush volume is adjusted on most flushometer valves by turning the control stop, turning the flush volume adjustment screw, or by replacing an internal piston that determines the maximum flush volume. Piston changes can drop a 13 liter flush volume down to about 6L!. For details see the City of Toronto's excellent Flushometer test report listed at REFERENCES (Veritec 2005).
  • Flushometer control internal parts are worn, damaged, defective: replace the flushometer valve internal parts using a repair kit provided from the manufacturer
  • Flushometer control internal parts are the wrong ones:
    • a prior repair attempt that installed urinal flushometer parts into a water closet flushometer valve will cause the valve to fail to provide a sufficient flush water volume in the water closet.
    • an improper original installation (unlikely) or prior repair installed low-consumption flushometer internal parts or an entire low-consumption flushometer valve on a toilet or urinal that is not designed as a low-water-consumption fixture. The manufacturers give examples of wrong parts and correct parts by part and kit number. [3] [4]
    • A water saver kit has been installed on a non-water-saver plumbing fixture or bowl. On some fixtures such as Sloane-Regal flushometers, simply installing a refill head with the wrong side "up" can cause this problem. For Sloane-Regal flushometers and fixtures, for a non-water-saver bowl install the refill head so that side A is up (for example).

How to Determine if Water Pressure is Adequate at a Flushometer-Toilet or Urinal

Regal gives an interesting procedure for cases in which you are unable to measure the water supply pressure at the plumbing fixture. The flushometer valve is opened, the relief valve is removed from the internal parts, and the flushometer is reassembled without those parts in place.

The flushometer water flow control stop is opened to its wide-open position. If the fixture siphons, that is it flushes, more water volume is needed. The manufacturer describes how to change-out internal parts or make other adjustments to the flushometer valve to obtain adequate water flow and pressure to adequately flush or siphon the urinal or water closet. [3] [4]

Watch out: adjusting the flushometer valve to use a greater volume of water per flush may provide satisfactory water closet or urinal flushing but at the expense of violating water consumption limitations required by local or other plumbing codes in your area. "Low Consumption Water Fixtures" regulations require that the toilet (water closet) use not more than 1.6 gallons per flush and urinals not more than 1.0 gallons per flush.

If none of the steps above cause the toilet or urinal to siphon (flush out its contents successfully) then you will need to take one of the steps we list below to improve water pressure and volume.

If you cannot obtain a satisfactory flush by increasing the flushometer water volume per flush, or if you are trying to obtain a more aggressive and cleansing flush without significantly increasing the volume of water consumed you may want to consider the steps below:

  • Water pressure is inadequate: providing higher water pressure to the fixture through building water supply piping
  • Water supply piping: re-piping all or even just a portion of the building water supply piping using a larger pipe diameter

Flushometer Valve Sends Too Much Water into the Toilet or Urinal or Flushes for Too Long a Time

  • Inadequate water pressure in the water supply line can cause the relief valve to fail to seat properly. This may be counter intuitive but it is an interesting case of too-little water pressure causing too long a flush at the fixture.
  • The same symptom can occur if the bypass orifice has become clogged.

Watch out: cleaning the bypass orifice of a flushometer valve should be done gently so as not to enlarge the factory-set diameter of the part. Soak a mineral-corroded part in vinegar and gently brush it with a soft brush like a toothbrush. Or just replace the part. If you gouge or otherwise damage the bypass orifice the flushometer will no longer work properly.

  • Damaged internal parts: inside cover has cracked; a damaged flushometer internal cover or a flushometer diaphragm that has been installed upside down can also cause chattering noises during flushing of the fixture; use a repair parts kit
  • Improper prior repairs installing the wrong parts inside the flushometer, such as installing a higher flush-volume parts kit into a low-water-consumption flushometer

Leaks at the Flushometer Valve or Flushometer Handle

Inspecting bathrooms in several countries including the U.S., Mexico, Morocco, France, and Italy we have often seen leaks at the flushometer valve handle and we suspect this is the most common leak source. Other leaks around water supply piping or flushometer connections are also found on occasions due to sloppy workmanship. Regal points [4]out three common causes of flushometer handle leaks:

  • The flushometer handle seal has been worn, damaged, or improperly installed
  • The flushometer handle gasket was left out during assembly
  • The flushometer valve handle bushing is worn.

Reader Question: How to solve problems or repair Sloan / Regal flushometer valves: noise, adjustment, repair parts

(July 1, 2014) Anonymous said:
I installed a brand new Sloan/Regal standard flush valve. The problem I'm having is, at the end of the flush, it makes a loud noise.


Anon I can't tell from just your note if the situation is abnormal or not. Give the manufacturer a call to see if they can advise.
I'd start with the company's technical support line
Technical Support
P: 888.SLOAN.14
F: 800.737.3061
Email: techsupport@sloanvalve.com

Or in the USA
Call Sloan at 847-671-4300, or by email to customer.service@sloanvalve.com
Sloan Headquarters
10500 Seymour Avenue
Franklin Park, IL 60131
P: 847.671.4300 / 800.9.VALVE.9
F: 847.671.6944 / 800.447.8329
Email: customer.service@sloanvalve.com
North American Sales
P: 847.671.4300 / 800.9.VALVE.9
F: 847.671.4380 / 800.447.8329

Since Sloan Valve is an international company and you did not say where you are I include

International Sales
P: 847.671.4300 / 800.9VALVE.9
F: 847.671.6851
Email: international.411@sloanvalve.com

Sloan De México
Carr. A Los Pinos Km.1, Ramos Arizpe, Coah. Mex. CP: 25900 Postal Code
P: 844.488.0669 ,800.831.0217
F: 844.488.0815
Email: sloandemexico@sloanvalve.com

Sloan Valve Water Technologies (Suzhou) Co., Ltd
16 Hu Ju Road, Suzhou New District
Jiangsu, 215009 China
P: 86.512.6843.8068
F: 86.512.6843.4622
Email: sales@sloan.com.cn

Sloan Valve Asia
P: 852.2519.8018
F: 852.2598.1468
Email: sloanhk@netvigator.com



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