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    old cast iron toilet question (11 Posts)

  • Dishimary Dishimary @ 6:13 PM
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    old cast iron toilet question

    We have a row home from 1912 in Allentown, PA with the original cast iron garden toilet in the unheated mudroom.  It is the type that starts to flush when you sit on the seat with J.A. Vogel stamped on it.  It has started leaking from the top of the flushing mechanism that sits at the back of toilet that lifts up to start the water/flushing mechanism when you sit.  You would have to be familiar with this type of toilet.  Our local plumbing supply places and people had NO idea about this.  We have pictures, but we are trying to figure out if there is a gasket or washer of some sort that can be replaced in this flushing mechanism or is it packed.  The leak is not bad and only when there is someone on it - so we are not using it right now.  Any suggestions?
  • vaporvac vaporvac @ 11:52 PM
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    Please post a pic!

    Well, I though I was pretty familiar with old plumbing, but this is a new one for. Please post a totally have my curiosity, and who knows, someone may be able to help.
  • Dishimary Dishimary @ 6:48 PM
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    photos of old toilet

    Hi and thanks for your curiosity.  I am told it is a "cast iron clam shell gravity toilet"!  Here are photos - the water seems to bubble out of the mechanism in the second and fourth pictures.  Since it only runs when weight it on it - we leave the seat totally up and do not use it.  The picture with the whole toilet is actually seat down a bit so some water runs - trickles.  Any info/advice would be great - we cannot turn the water off to only the mud room toilet so would have to shut down the whole house and if we bust it - no water!
  • JStar JStar @ 7:36 PM
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    Probably just needs a new gasket, and a few adjustments. Take caution and be brave. You may not find replacement parts if something breaks.
    - Joe Starosielec

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    Serving all of NJ, NYC, Southern NY State, and eastern PA.
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  • Dishimary Dishimary @ 7:54 PM
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    No luck with gasket

    Well, I was brave and took this thing apart, but was unable to find a replacement gasket.  The guy at the Allentown Plumbing supply said "30 years behind this plumbing counter and I have never seen a gasket that size".  Another guy said the last time he saw such a gasket was when he was ripping out a toilet in an old row home in Allentown - exactly what we have!  So I managed to get it back together and seal it a bit but seems it will be only temporary - like you said - may never be able to get the replacement parts!
  • vaporvac vaporvac @ 1:13 PM
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    Make your own!!!

    Just get some HD gasketing and cut your own to fir. You may have to play around to get the right size. Did you take any pics when you had it apart tjat you could post?  I just had to do the same on my 110yr old shower mixing valve and it worked great. None were available to fit so I made my own. And this wasn't the first time. That money I spent on gasketing material was the best spent few dollar investment I've made. I've used it for my toilets as well, although mine are different., as well as numerous other non-standard plumbing apps. .(See my overly long post under Plumbing forum?) One really has to get a bit creative with this old stuff. Don't give up on this, especially now that you know how to take it apart. Once it's fixed it will last another 100 yrs, and I can't say that about any of my new plumbing!
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 4:33 PM
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    One of my Dead Men's Books

    says this type of toilet is not considered sanitary, since the trap, which is mounted below the frost line, is not cleared of waste on every flush.

    For this reason, I'd upgrade to a modern toilet.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

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    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • Eric Eric @ 7:46 PM
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    If you do....

    If you do decide to replace it or remove it, don't discard it. Please consider donating it. There is actually a plumbing museum who I bet would enjoy having it to display in Watertown, MA:
    This post was edited by an admin on October 4, 2013 7:46 PM.
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 12:18 AM
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    Earlier Vogel thread
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • Dishimary Dishimary @ 7:13 PM
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    Thanks.  We do not use the toilet very often but are trying to find a local plumber who can tell us about replacing it and MANY of the local restoration people have asked us for the toilet - we will be happy to donate it.  We hope to fit a small sink and new toilet in the room at some point.
  • bob young bob young @ 1:06 AM
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    old toilet

    call my friend bill parr .  parr's plumbing allentown,pa. he is an old time plumber with more experience than even me & i am in the trade for well over fifty years. if he cannot fix it, it cannot be fixed. he might have done the original installation & i am not kidding !!  he very might well be one of the best in the business & he is still in operation. call him. bob young young plumbing lic. nyc plumbers
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