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Old 04-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #1
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Help repairing Thetford GH, GL, SH, SL

I have two issues to resolve. (1) under normal line pressure, the fresh water going into the toilet leaks, probably around the inlet valve somewhere; the water shows up on the floor near the base of the toilet. (2) The standing water in the bowl leaks through the flush blade; probably hardened gaskets that need replacing. The toilet is original equipment in a 1997 Southwind Storm. I can't seem to locate this model series on the Thetford website.

I need help with knowing if I can do the repairs myself. I'm fairly handy. I also need help locating the replacement parts I need, and any tips that would help me avoid disaster or damage doing the repairs.

Thanks in advance....
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:15 PM   #2
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You could have a water line leak, or, you could have a leak at the seal between the bowl and base. There is usually a clamp ring that holds the bowl to the base, if it is loose, it can leak. That could also be the problem of no water in the bowl. If you take off the shroud around the base, you can see a clamp ring that goes over the flanges on both the base and the bowl. Try removing it and cleaning the base and the blade and re-assemble. If you want, you can take the seal for the blade to any RV store and ask them for a replacement.

Over time, scale from hard water can form on the seal and keep it from sealing tightly. If you call Thetford, they may be able to identify the toilet for you as well, if you need to do so to obtain parts. Good luck, working on that part of the MH is the most disgusting part of RVing next to dumping the black tank! Reminds me why my DW tells me to watch my aim!
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:57 AM   #3
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Good stuff, Jim. I didn't know there was a shroud. Have hesitated to attach this job because I thought it would entail a total removal of the toilet and some benchwork on it. Maybe not. I'll give it a try.

Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2010, 10:44 AM   #4
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I have totally rebuilt mine... same model. To fix your leaks, yes you will have to remove it. It's not hard... two nuts hold it down and the water line can usually be undone by hand (not tools needed). The nuts I believe are 1/2" and fairly easy to get to. One is just under the pedals one the front-right... the other can be reached two ways. Lift the toilet seat and lid... on the left-back, you'll see a round cutout with a plastic insert... push with your finger or a coin (quarter worked for me) on the edge and it will pop up. Look down through the hole and way down you'll see the other nut. A very long extension is needed... OR, reach around the back and use a ratchet or wrench. I can reach it... some people can't. Once the nuts are off and the water line disconnected, simply lift it off. Take it somewhere that you can clean and hose it down.
Now you have some options.... Buy a new mechanism assy... about $140 bucks or if you have a tough stomach.. rebuild the old one (WEAR RUBBER GLOVES) it will be disgusting when you remove and open the old mechanism ... and yes, thats what it's called. To open the mechanism you'll have to remove all the attached hardware... a pain! Hopefully your screws won't be all rusted. There are a few seal kits available on eBay.. if you can't find one... buy the base seal (same on all Thetford toilets and easy to find at any RV store... The flapper blade seal... no longer sold BUT one from a new toilet will work. NOW.. there is another seal around the blade pivot and I found something that works for it... Go to you local auto store and look for a radiator thermostat seal... it will usually be hanging on an isle.. the parts people usually don't have a clue. Use a good quality silicone seal around the edge of the mechanism and spray the seals with silicone spray before you put it back together or the seals will be so tight it won't close easily.

OR BUY A NEW TOILET.. they're only about $200 and bolt down exactly the same, takes 10 minutes to install.
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
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Thanks, Rich. Yes, I have the Aqua Magic Starlight model. No shrowd. Removed it as you said. Disassembled it and cleaned out the 'mechanism', which is where the knife blade is located. Nasty, but doable. Also had to clean out all the water tubing. Loaded with residue. Used my gun cleaning kit to get brushes that would fit into the tubes. Re-assembled 'mechanism' and the took it to the sink to check it out. Leaks like mesh, even after cleaning. Ordered the new 'mechanism assembly' kit, which is basically just seals and gaskets. Also ordered the water ball valve and the 'vacuum breaker replacement'. Total with shipping, $133.50.
Don't have the parts yet, but I can tell you right now, after this experience, I'd have ordered a new toilet and called it a day.

Thanks for you help.
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Old 04-05-2010, 01:21 PM   #6
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Sorry I gave you bum info. I thought your's was the two piece type toilet. Glad you were able to get it apart and hopefully with the parts, fix your problem. Definitely, the replace rather than repair would be the future solution. It seems that in todays world replace is the primary method of diagnosis when it comes to a problem. Many mechanical parts are far less costly than the labor.
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