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Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

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  • Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

    This is a one piece Case toilet from 1928. I took the toilet out, and used a gallon of Santeen to demineralize the toilet and the china looks pretty good. Since the toilet sat unused for a year I just removed the joke of a fluidmaster balcock that was in the toilet that clearly wouldn't work. (Won't operate the flush rim) I tried to get the balcock from a local supplier but gave up after two months of being backordered. So I purchased a balcock from the outfit below. I believe I got the link from someone on this thread a while back.

    PlumbingStore.com - CASE toilets - information

    Replacement parts for FRONT LEVER Case Kidney toilets:
    Ballcock #5141 - $224.55


    So I purchased the #5141 ballcock for the front lever tank toilet with is pictured and installed it. I should say I tried to install it. The nut that secures the ballcock to the tank shattered into about 8 pieces when I put the pliers on it to tighten it. The nut from the $224.55 plus shipping ballcock was like glass, extremely, EXTREMELY brittle and weak. So I robbed a nut from a Fluidmaster. An omen.

    There's another toilet in the house (also not being used) which has an original balcock in it which is nothing like the case 5141 ballcock. The case 5141 clearly doesn't fit this toilet (Too tall, and the brass tube has too much of an offset bend in it) but it can be sort of shoehorned in. Anyway, instead of installing the toilet I decided to test it in a laundry room, I mounted it above a floor drain, and hooked up a temporary water supply to the ballcock just in case. Good thing. I turned the water on and large stream of water shot out of the top of the ballcock and hit the ceiling! It turns out that inside the ballcock are two split leather gaskets that are apparently too small. (think flat O-rings cut by a sissors) I'm hoping that by soaking them in water overnight they will expand sufficiently.

    Just in case thie soaking in water doesn't work I'm wondering if anyone has any tricks, tips, or suggestions to expand the leather gaskets. (No another toilet won't fit in this spot). Maybe saddle soap?

    I don't think I've ever experienced such a tempermental ballcock before.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by geno gardner; 09-10-2011, 09:03 PM.
    Time flies like an arrow.

    Fruit flies like a banana.

  • #2
    Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

    Is this the ballcock? http://www.hodesco.com/default.aspx?...temcode=62-588 Try looking at the ballcocks Hodes has http://www.hodesco.com/
    Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
    A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
    Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
    Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

      Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
      Is this the ballcock? http://www.hodesco.com/default.aspx?page=item detail&itemcode=62-588 Try looking at the ballcocks Hodes has http://www.hodesco.com/
      Hi Ron!

      Nope, that's not the guy. The ballcock I installed was actually made by Case judging from the casting that says Case. I'll see if I can get a pic tomorrow.
      Time flies like an arrow.

      Fruit flies like a banana.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

        Could you not make one out of a Old cork gasket repair kit here you can buy them in sheets of almost any thickness. I made a few washers for a Old cast iron laundry tub worked great. I don't know just a suggestion?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

          Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
          Is this the ballcock? http://www.hodesco.com/default.aspx?page=item detail&itemcode=62-588 Try looking at the ballcocks Hodes has http://www.hodesco.com/

          Here's a pic of the contraption.

          Case - 5141 - #41 Ballcock
          Time flies like an arrow.

          Fruit flies like a banana.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

            Originally posted by seanny deep View Post
            Could you not make one out of a Old cork gasket repair kit here you can buy them in sheets of almost any thickness. I made a few washers for a Old cast iron laundry tub worked great. I don't know just a suggestion?
            Seanny, nope that's not going to work. Think o-ring, not a flat washer. Cutting the right diameter perfectly circular o ring to a few thousandths of an inch is well beyond my cutting ability. Thanks though.
            Time flies like an arrow.

            Fruit flies like a banana.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

              Geno,

              Did you call the Faucet Shoppe in Chicago and talk to Adam or did you just order off the website?

              Adam has always had what I needed. If he doesn't stock it, he can make it or have it casted or whatever you need done. Very helpful folks!

              (773) 478-3890

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

                Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
                Geno,

                Did you call the Faucet Shoppe in Chicago and talk to Adam or did you just order off the website?

                Adam has always had what I needed. If he doesn't stock it, he can make it or have it casted or whatever you need done. Very helpful folks!

                (773) 478-3890
                Swade, Thanks for the suggestion. I don't know that I've ever heard of "the faucet shoppe". I'll call tomorrow. I actually have the problem 90% solved. I found a group of 4 o-rings that together almost stop the water from leaking out of the top of the plunger assembly. I was just going to go through and select different o-rings. However, if I can get something made that actually fits that would be preferable imo.

                THANKS!!
                Time flies like an arrow.

                Fruit flies like a banana.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

                  Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
                  Swade, Thanks for the suggestion. I don't know that I've ever heard of "the faucet shoppe". I'll call tomorrow. I actually have the problem 90% solved. I found a group of 4 o-rings that together almost stop the water from leaking out of the top of the plunger assembly. I was just going to go through and select different o-rings. However, if I can get something made that actually fits that would be preferable imo.

                  THANKS!!
                  The Faucet Shoppe is just the actual brick & mortar for Chicago Faucet Shoppe. They have every repair part you could possibly imagine faucet, toilet, even some porcelain. If you send him pictures (though he prefers samples) he can match the stem, cartridge, whatever you need

                  http://www.thefaucetshoppe.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

                    Originally posted by geno gardner View Post
                    Here's a pic of the contraption.

                    Case - 5141 - #41 Ballcock
                    What a bargain @ $ 237.02...Holy cow that rebuild is gonna get costly
                    ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

                      Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
                      The Faucet Shoppe is just the actual brick & mortar for Chicago Faucet Shoppe. They have every repair part you could possibly imagine faucet, toilet, even some porcelain. If you send him pictures (though he prefers samples) he can match the stem, cartridge, whatever you need

                      The Faucet Shoppe, Chicago's Largest Selection of Faucet and Toilet Parts In stock.
                      I called today. Adam was helping another customer so I spoke to who answered the phone. That person told me the only way I could get parts for the Case 5141 ballcock was to order a complete new ballcock assembly. I asked him about warranty on the ballcock if if should leak. Could he then provide repair parts. His rather terse and unambiguous response... No warranty, no returns. They also don't make leather gaskets and can't get them. You will understand why I won't be doing business with them.

                      So I decided to call the outfit who supplied me with the current "new" 5141 ballcock which is leaking. I previously figured it would be easier to find repair parts locally. Wrong. They are going to send me repair parts no problem via 2nd day air since that's how I had the ballcock shipped. Who you ask?? PlumbingStore.com - CASE toilets - information
                      Time flies like an arrow.

                      Fruit flies like a banana.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

                        Originally posted by OLD1 View Post

                        What a bargain @ $ 237.02...Holy cow that rebuild is gonna get costly
                        Old1, Heck, I have 8 hours in just cleaning that darned toilet. The toilet seat wouldn't fit. I ended up getting a Kohler Bancroft toilet seat with chrome hinges, then adding varying quantities of stainless steel and chrome hinges to get the seat to sit properly. I comingled the trip lever handle components from three different toilets, and a handle rebuild kit to get one complete set that works. (filing lengths shorter, etc.). Meanwhile, the ballcock has been kicking my butt. But I'm gaining. Then, it turns out the hole in the center of the lid is for a "bumper" for the seat to sit on when in the up position. I think I've located an appropriate bumper.

                        I've lost on this toilet, no doubt. But it's going to be a great pleasure when it all works perfectly.
                        Time flies like an arrow.

                        Fruit flies like a banana.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

                          Geno give these guys a call, they might even have a proper seat for you. They own lots of old old stock. index
                          Ron Hasil Lic #058-160417
                          A-Archer Sewer & Plumbing specializing in:
                          Tankless Water Heaters | Drain and Sewer Cleaning
                          Sump and Ejector Pumps | Backflow RPZ Testing

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

                            Originally posted by SewerRatz View Post
                            Geno give these guys a call, they might even have a proper seat for you. They own lots of old old stock. index
                            The plumbing supply Co. called me back and told me they called Case. Case has 4 of the 5141 ballcocks in stock. (with the old split ring gaskets) once these four are gone Case will no longer provide these ballcocks and the ballcocks will be obsolete. The seller is sending me some more old gaskets but we strongly suspect these gaskets will have the same problem as the ones I have, (and another local plumber who has the same problem.)

                            I'm going to start looking at trying to get some gaskets custom made, or better yet, get some o-rings custom made.
                            Time flies like an arrow.

                            Fruit flies like a banana.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Working on a toilet made in 1928. Ballcock with leather gaskets

                              Finally got the toilet working. A date on the lid was Dec 1929, so it's not a 1928 Case, but a 1929 Case. "PlumbingSupply.com." was supportive and sent me replacement leather gaskets for the ballcock that did not work either. (Washers were dried and shrunken. But they tried, which I appreciate). They were willing to take the ballcock back, but then I wouldn't have anything to work with so decided to keep it.

                              I ordered a Permatex O-Ring customization kit as a last ditch effort in case my attempt at making split leather gaskets didn't work. However, luck was smiling upon this toilet because I was able to modify a couple of leather washers intended for a 3/4" meter and the darned things worked. I used a sharp single sided razor blade to freehand shorten the length, cut freehand 45 degree angles, and to trim the thickness or height of the gasket.

                              Ballcock during flushing. (When I installed the ballcock with the original washers the water shot right through the plunger assembly so hard it hit the ceiling.)

                              Bowl flushing.

                              I had to get THIS toilet working because as far as I could find this is the only toilet that would fit in this spot with the door swing the way it is. (Wall hung toilet wasn't an option)
                              Attached Files
                              Time flies like an arrow.

                              Fruit flies like a banana.

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