Q. "What are the most commonly replaced toilet parts?"
A.This depends on several factors; each time you use your toilet the trip lever, flapper, and fill valve are operated. You will find, however, that the flapper and fill valve are the parts most exposed to water and will be the first ones to wear out in most cases.
Q. "How long 'should' the parts inside of my toilet last?"
A. That depends on a number of variables and which parts. Water quality is one of the major factors. If your water source is heavily chlorinated then many parts won't last long. Or if you have a lot of sand or grit or have a low pH or "aggressive" water source then parts simply won't last as long as the 'average' length of time. Also the quality of the parts matters. The replaceable parts such as flappers and washers/seals generally will last at least 4 to 5 years on "average." If you use a bowl cleaner some flappers won't even last one year. If your flapper has black "goo" on it then it is either due to age or quality of your water and if it feels soft then it's best to change it.
Q. "What does 'will fit' mean?"
A. "Will Fit" is a term used to define an item that may or may not be made by the original manufacturer (OEM), but will function just like the original part.
Q. "What is the difference between "OEM" and "will-fit" parts? And what does OEM mean anyway?"
A. "OEM stands for "Original Equipment Manufacturer". This means anything from the original manufacturer that is sold to a second company to use in production of that second company's product. In other words, many toilet manufacturers outsource for the internal working parts of the toilet, such as the fill valves, flush valves, or flappers. When this happens, they have the opportunity to use an existing part, or to spec something for the specific toilet. When the toilet manufacturer chooses to use an existing part, the manufacturer of the part can still sell that piece under their own name. If the toilet manufacturer chooses to spec something for the specific toilet, the part manufacturer can then only provide that part to the toilet manufacturer. What this means for you is that you can sometimes get the *exact same part* (by the original manufacturer of the OEM part), but under another name and at a better cost! So when your toilet's internal working parts need to be replaced, you may have the option to use either the "OEM" part number or use the "will-fit" part number to order what you need. Please note that only some "will-fit" items are manufactured by the OEM manufacturer. If this is essential to your repair, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to check for you.
Q. "My flush valve does not have threads. How can I determine what size it is?"
A. Flush valves without threads are used in one-piece toilets. These types of flush valves can be measured by lifting up the flapper and measuring the inside diameter of the hole the flapper covers. 2" flush valves usually have a 2" inside diameter waterway hole. 3" flush valves normally have a 2-7/8" to 3" waterway hole.
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