Holes in the wall and Toilet Seats: DIY around the world part 3

I’ve just written the following email to several suppliers of plumbing equipment:

WhaleOfAToilet-4469.jpgSUBJECT: My toilet doesn’t have a flat rim, resulting in broken seat hinges

I’m having difficulty finding a suitable replacement seat for a toilet marked ‘Savoy.’

After the hinges broke on several replacement toilet seats, I took a good hard look at my toilet. It turns out that the rim is not flat, which means that all of the weight of the occupant is falling on the front two bumpers, and the hinges. There is ¼” of space between the bottom of the back bumpers, and the toilet rim.

No wonder the hinges keep breaking-they are not meant to be weight bearing.

Is my toilet defective, or is there some sort of special curved seat that I need to buy (comfort factor?). What do you recommend I do, replace the toilet, find a special seat, or is there a high-adjusting hinge?

Thank you, Jay Heiser

I don’t think that we are especially hard on our toilet seats, but we have been replacing them at an unacceptably high rate.

I need to explain that toilet seats, like so much else in England, are special here. Apparently, nobody established a single standard for the width between the hole centers where the seats mount. The solution, at least whatever you can buy at a DIY store, the local ironmonger or online, is a one-size fits all seat that is very fiddly. The need to accommodate variations in mounting hole centers necessitates a kludgey adjustable design for the hinge flanges. As can be seen in this site, replacing a toilet seat in this country is not a routine matter: http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/FITTING_A_TOILET_SEAT.htm

As shown on this photo (after the first couple broken seats, I began saving the parts for future use), The hinge post is screwed into the top of the mounting flange with a simple machine screw. Loosening the screw allows the mount to rotate, changing the relative position of two holes. Its your choice which of these two mounting points you use for a threaded rod that is inserted through the toilet and tightened underneath with a nylon wing nut. This means that there are two cheap machine screw threads inside the mounting assembly to loosen up, which they do with regularity. Having already spent too much time fiddling with these in our last English house, I had already started using Loctite.

Hinge looseness is contributory, but alone, it does not explain the high failure rate of toilet seat hinges in the master bath. I originally thought it was a quality problem. The seat I bought at the DIY store broke, and we needed a quick fix for a guest, so we bought what was available at our local ironmonger. I nice husband and wife run the place, but they both gave me a nasty look when I suggested that their thin plastic £30 seat didn’t seem especially sturdy. Apparently, you aren’t meant to sit on top of the lid, because this one broke very quickly. As shown at the top of the page, Elizabeth tried to make the best of it, but we bought yet another seat before my parents arrived for Kirk’s graduation. (She heard on a radio show that an open toilet flings fecal matter a distance of one meter, so we prefer a seat with a lid).

Now that I’ve figured out the problem, and realize that any plumber or DIY store will treat me like an oaf if I try to explain it to them, I’ve decided that the only solution is, once again, Powerputty. I pulled the two rear bumpers from the toilet seat, kneaded up a couple balls of epoxy putty, stuck them onto the base of the bumpers, stuck them back onto the bottom of the toilet seat, and then pushed the seat firmly down. I fiddled with them joint between the seat and the bumpers a bit, but it is neither an aesthetic nor a hygienic masterpiece. However, in use, all 4 bumpers are now firmly resting on top of the warped toilet rim.

One Response to “Holes in the wall and Toilet Seats: DIY around the world part 3”

  1. rob Says:

    Thanks for putting this post up, I’ve been suffering from what I now believe to be the exact same problem. Will try and build up the rubber bumpers and hopefully not snap my third set of hinges!