Thetford Aqua-magic high profile commode FIX
OH THE HUMANITY….!
Three days before the end of our week in Savannah GA the flush pedal came off of our toilet.
If you’ve got one of these, if it hasn’t happened already, trust me, it’s going to sooner or later.
Let me explain.
When you depress the pedal, the first half of the ‘throw’ opens the water valve letting water rinse the bowl, the last half opens the ball valve at the bottom.
Now Imagine the pedal coming off after the water starts flowing but just before the ball valve opens, you guessed it, suddenly there’s just never enough paper towels on hand.
Thankfully, before the water cascaded over the rim I figured out how it all works, on my knees I manually opened the ball valve, and shut off the water, disaster averted.
I was surprised how poorly the pedal was attached to the pedestal assembly.
It’s a push fit. A slightly oversize ridge molded at the hilt of the pedal pivot shaft engages in a corresponding groove inside the pedestal bearing. (I use the term bearing loosely) Presumably it gets press fit at the factory and would engage with a satisfying ‘click’
My ridge was worn and would not completely re-engage or stay put when I tried to re-assemble it.
I searched for a replacement online and found an OEM part on ‘Amazon’ for $35. Given how little use mine has had, and how gently we treat it, my suspicion is it would probably fail again in a couple of years or maybe less.
I figured it was worth a stab at re-engineering what I had and set about designing a reliable ‘FIX’.
If you’re interested keep reading, if not, Happy Thanksgiving.
The plastic pedal on the whole is a rigid and nicely injection molded part. On the inside it has openings that accept the two actuating levers that operate the valves, one for water in, the other to dump out, (excuse the pun) and the return spring. The outside is the pretty bit you can see.
Centered between these openings is the pedal pivot shaft that when installed extends into the pedestal about 1 ½”. It’s this spindle that the pedal pivots on, it has the ridge molded on it It looks like a piece of 1” pipe, it’s not, but that’s what it looks like. The inside dia. is just under ¾” and it remains the same size all the way through to the outside surface of the pedal where it looks like it’s capped off.
I had a piece of hard nylon rod, about 1” diameter and 6” long lying around in my shop, this was to become my ‘NEW’ pivot shaft.
I turned it down until it fit into the spindle inside the pedal. It is just undersize enough to allow the pedal to pivot, but not sloppy enough to wobble.
(Photo below shows NEW nylon shaft, the piece I cut off the pedal and the bolt)
I cut the spindle off flush with the inside face of the pedal. The piece I cut off I glued with epoxy into the bearing on the pedestal where it originally fit. The pedestal is still in situ in my TT.
This reduced the inside diameter of what was the original bearing on the pedestal to exactly match that on what remains on the original pedal.
Have I lost you yet.
OK, back to my length of nylon. I cut it to length, about 3 ½”, drilled and tapped the pedal end to take a 1 ½” M7 bolt, and then drilled a corresponding hole through the outside surface of the pedal itself. The un-tapped end is epoxied into the pedestal creating a NEW spindle and bearing surface. (See photo below)
Once cured the pedal is attached with the M7 bolt and washers inside and out. Voila! Fixed.
It feels tons better, the previous flexy feeling has gone completely, I’m still going to keep an eye on this over the next few years, I don’t foresee any problems, but for the time being, I saved myself a few bucks and hopefully fixed what I’m sure would have become a recurring issue.