Bathroom Urinal Problem

Hey all,
I know this is a bit off the wall but I need some help here… a few months back the urinal in the bathroom started to constantly run. Well I have a plumber come out and look at it, all he did was change the rubber piece that lets the water go though when the handle is pulled. (a $10 piece which costs $280 in labor for a 2 minute job.)

Well it WAS working fine, but now it started it again. So I went and got another one of the rubber things from Menards and replaced it myself… well it doesn’t work, it’s still running.

So, does anyone have any idea what may need to be fixed in it so that I don’t have to call the plumber out again?

Thanks all!

It sounds to me like it needs the rubber diaphram replaced in the main head of the urinal unit. A bit of sand can sometimes get in there and cause it to leak, but while you have it open you might as well replace the diaphram.

yeah, thats what it’s called… the plumber replaced that a few months back, and i figured it was the problem again so i went and bought a new one and installed it… but it’s still flowing free.


Don’t let it free flow too long or it’ll cost you more than the plumbers fee in water charges. Last year I had a $1700 water bill when I had a toilet free flowing.

we just swapped out our regular toilets with the commercial power flush types b/c we got sick of the chains breaking and constantly running…highy recommend

$280 for a minimum service call? That is WAY beyond reasonable. You need a different plumber. I have seen a minimum 1 hour charge or even minimum 1.5 hours…

We are in an expensive area and plumbers can get away with $90 as a minimum.

In our area you could not get a tradesperson to answer the phone for $90.00…This past spring we tried to get a roofer, electrician and contractor for some home repairs and after making phone calls all summer we were still without…A while back I was visiting a friend in a lake resort area…He was getting some gas work done on his house and said that gasfitters were falling over themselves in his area…I guess a bunch of tradespeople got the same idea…Flee the city for a lake life…And with so much supply their rates fell…

Sounds like a Sloan valve. Follow the pipe that comes up from the urinal, there will be a round cap on the Sloan valve. Unscrew the cap and there will be an adjustment screw right in the middle. Tighten it all the way to stop the flow. Wait a second then untighten the adjustment screw a little. Try flushing and adjusting the screw until it seems right.

Yes, it is a Sloan… and yeah, i’ve been fiddeling with that screw trying to slow and quicken the water release however it just will not stop. The diaphram assembly is only 1 gal.

Other then the diaphram assembly and the flow screw, what else is there? I can’t seem to find anything else that would be causeing this.

BTW, right now i’ve got the smallest trickel of water flowing just so it dosent start sticking up the bathroom.

You are micromanaging this. I threw sloan on ebay and found this:

Flushometer Model 186-1 ESS for Urinal NEW!

Sloan Flushometer Model 186-1 ESS for Urinal NEW!

The buy it now price is $59. When you calculate your time spent going to menards, and screwing with it yourself (and posting here hehe), you will come out ahead by just replacing the whole thing. Wrap the pipe ends in teflon tape and tighten the new one down. Shouldn’t take much at all.

ps (I tried to get the bb code to hide that url, but it seems to be broken today.)

i’ve actually got most of those parts from one already… but there is nothing there that I can see other then the diaphram piece that would cause this thing to run constantly.

You may need to put a pressure reducer on your main or somewhere before this urinal. The water pressure may be too high for the design of the urinal.

That was the case at a local Dollar General here.

I’d go into the restroom (Co-ed with a lock) and the urinal was always running.

My daughter was kind of freaked out by that, and when I told the manager it was running, she said “oh yeah, we’re waiting to get a toilet in that spot…our water pressure is too much for the urinal”.

I don’t know if she could’ve ever fixed it…but they just opted to put another toilet versus a urinal.

Stories about plumbers, here’s mine, when I had a shop we had a problem with a clogged drain line past the trap (between the building and the sewer line) so we called a plumber just before I left to go home. Soon I got a call from the shop, boss, I have good news and bad news for you. Good news: The plumber is here. Bad news: He’s driving a Mercedes. It is nice to have people with a sense of humor working for you.
Sounds like you might wat to consider installing a water filter on your main line where it enters the building if there is a problem with sediment in the lines.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Scott, dosent the little screw thing act as a pressure regulator as well? Or no?
If not, there is a valve going to the urinal to cut the water off if need be… if I close the valve 1/2 way or so, would that lower the psi? I dont think it would but I dont know.

Tom, it seems the only kind of sediment in the lines in rust after no water has been ran over night… when we get there we run the sinks for 10 seconds or so to flush out all the rust.

mmm mmm, thats a tasty rusty pepsi (btw we run the pop machines as well in the morning.)

In many cases that rust is coming into your building from the mains. Voice of experience speaking.
I’d sure be looking into a filter on my main water line entering the building. That rust makes cleaning things more difficult and it is hard on your equipment too.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

i’ll have to check into that, i asked the landlord and he dosent know if there is a filter anywhere in the line or not. I assume it SOULD BE easily accessiable to change the filter.

Sounds like you don’t have one. Filters that don’t get changed get clogged, clogged filters impede water flow, trust me, he would know if there was one, and if the filter had not been changedfor such a long time so as to allow him/her to forget if there is one, you would be hauling your water in buckets from another source. The best place to locate the filter is right where the main water line enters your store at, or at some convenientspot before you tap off of the line, this way all of your water will be filtered.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

gotcha… when i check the boiler room, I can’t seem to find where the water even comes in at… just pops right out of the wall and splits to the boiler and floor heater. freakin place is a disaster, pipes flying this way and that.