Last week I finally thought that we had our house back to a two loo status. We’ve been without our main bathroom for three years as the tile problem and Covid-19 impeded my renovation of the room. The tub and sink were installed a couple of weeks earlier, leaving the toilet as the last bit of plumbing to install.
I hired a plumber to install the toilet base since being an antique toilet, there were some issues I wasn’t sure how to resolve and I figured it was a good time to call in an expert. He struggled but ended up getting everything to fit.
Then from there I figured it would be an easy process installing the high tank, supply line, and the flush tube so I took care of those myself. I was so excited to pull the chain the first time and hear that rush of water that makes high tank toilets such efficient flushers.
I used it for a couple of days before noticing that the tile around the toilet was darker, indicating we had a leak. Hoping it wasn’t coming from underneath, I did a careful inspection and saw that there was a tiny leak where water was coming through the spud gasket when it was flushed.
Now for the uninitiated, the spud is the connection from the porcelain part of the toilet to the rest of the brass plumbing of the tank. I had wondered how that connection was made because you can’t just thread a pipe into porcelain.
A quick trip to YouTube provided the answer. A spud works much like a pop-rivet. Tightening the locknut pulls a cone outwards, that expands a rubber gasket so that it forms a tight seal against the porcelain. Seemed simple enough if the 120 year old locknut wasn’t frozen.
Fortunately, it easily came off. I pretty much destroyed the gasket pulling it out but that was the problem anyways so I wasn’t worried about it. But I also bent the brass flange, so my plan to replace the whole spud was a good one. It ended up being pretty economical too so it was a wise choice.
I had looked online at DEA Bathroom Machineries. They wanted $35 for the complete spud or $10 for the washer. Hoping that it was an item available at the local plumbing store, I gave them a call. Yep they had them, and the entire spud was only $14 with tax. Picking it up at the store it appeared almost identical to the 120 year old one. I guess it’s a good design that didn’t need any improvement.
It installed just as easily as the old one was removed, and with everything connected back I gave it a long flush and so far, so good.
Our toilet install was a combination of the high tank from the toilet that was originally in house, with a base, supply line, and flush tube from a toilet we purchased from VPA friends, Pete and Debbie Anderson. Throughout the install I ended up having to replace all of the gaskets as everything had been sitting for so long that they all dried out and were very brittle.
Hopefully that’s the last plumbing issue I’ll have in this bathroom, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to replace a toilet spud. I wish all plumbing issues were so easy.