Simple things can make me happy….today it was a toilet that brought me joy.
An RV toilet does not have a p-trap (at least mine doesn’t)…the hole goes straight into the tank of disgustingness. So to give you some separation from the nastiness there is a foot activated flush valve. You know how in the movies the evil villain brings the hero into his glamorous lair to divulge his secret plan right before he pushes the big red button which drops the floor out from underneath our hero’s feet so he falls into the pit of something really gross and/or deadly? I won’t completely spell this analogy out for you…but you are the villain and that foot activate flush valve is the big red button. Dang, that analogy makes for a crappy hero doesn’t it?
The flush valve is supposed to be air/water tight to provide an additional layer of separation between you and the nasty tank in the form of a pool of water in the bowl. However, one of our 2 toilets did not hold water in the bowl….yeah, I know, isn’t that ridiculous….we have 2 toilets in this tiny little rolling house! Now, if the toilet does not hold water it means it is not water tight. And if it isn’t water tight then it isn’t air tight. And if it isn’t air tight then it isn’t stink tight. Fortunately, we were not having any odor problems. But I hate it when something doesn’t work right so I set out to fix it before it became an issue. I scoured the web for solutions which boiled down to these steps that I performed:
- Let the valve slam shut a few times to clear away gunk that has built up
- Use a special tool, bent screwdriver, paperclip, brush, etc to clean the gasket top and bottom
- Lubricate the gasket with silicone (some said Vasaline or WD-40, but manufacturer says no no to that)
Yup….1-3 did not work. I spent more time with my head in that toilet than on some of my worst college drinking nights. And it didn’t pay off. Replacement seemed…well, not difficult, but not something I want to tackle while we’re traveling. But I figured out what exact toilet model I had and found the manual on line and BOOM….right there on the front cover it shows that no tools or disassembly is required to replace that gasket!! I found an RV supply place a few miles away, called them and they had the part I needed in stock. So today I got the part and replaced it in a matter of minutes and the bowl is holding water now. SUCCESS!!
Its recommended to lube it with silicone every so often. I might even yank it out to give it a good scrubbing (applying sanitary measures for the sake of cleanliness and health). Perhaps we should use the little blue RV water filters…the crusties on the old gasket were hard water mineral build up.