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Offer the fix in writing as an option. If it is not going to work you should know before you leave. If it doesn't work they should understand that they will pay for a new valve. If you want to be extra nice, beyond trying to repair it, you could waive the trip charge. I think many customers would understand. But if they are more than willing to spend premium bucks on the valve why are you worried about the price? Just do it. I don't mean to be rude, just saying.
I've got 5 of these to rebuild. I'm not trying to do this on the cheap, I just don't want to overpay for the parts. I don't mind paying for quality, I don't don't like being hosed for no other reason than because they can.
I did not like paying the high prices for the specialty ballcocks that are required for this "top loader" toilet so I ended up making my own fill valve set ups and stocked them in my shop for my crew to use when needed. For those of you who have not seen or worked on these OLD toilets, most have a 3/8 IP water inlet supply that comes into the tank from the back wall just one inch below the top of the tank. Some toilet tanks had special plugs installed in the lower left bottom of the tank in anticipation of things to come When you buy and install one of the high priced replacement valves it could take ten minutes to shut off as the ballcock technology appeared to be right out of the 1920's.
Here is my recipe
1 3/8" IP X 1/2" OD compression hose bib. These are not easy to find so I would special order these bibs in quantity's of 25. (Note that the 1/2" OD is the same as 3/8 copper)
14'' of 3/8 type "L" copper (straight not soft)
2 3/8" copper elbows (sweat)
An assortment of 3/8" brass nipples
1 old style 1/2" OD flanged fill tube that used to come with the first edition Kohler Rialto and San Raphael toilets
1 Fluid Master fill valve
1 brass 3/4" fill valve nut
Don't laugh, I probably made close to 100 of these things and never had a problem. The 3/8 copper was cut into two pieces 12" and 2".
The two pieces of copper were sweated together with one of the elbows.
On the smaller piece of copper a second elbow was sweated on along with a short (2") piece of the old style fill tube with the flanged end.
OK now this should look like a crude looking "U".
Now install the brass fill valve nut and a Fluid Master fill valve.
We always brought 2 of the special hose bibs with us to the job so that after the first bib was installed in the tank, we could use the second bib to compress the ferrule onto the copper a safe distance away from the toilet before making the final install. It always scared me a little to think that we would be wrenching inside a toilet tank that might be 100 years old!
Yea, I wish I had some pictures to go along with this but I never thought this would come up again in my days away from the trade.