Replacing the Lavac inlet hose spigot

Replacing the Lavac inlet hose spigot

April 1st, 2010  |  by Marilyn  |  Published in Repairs

While working on replumbing the head, the inlet hose spigot snapped off inside the Lavac Zenith toilet. Yikes! It left a piece inside, so we were left with trying to figure out how to get that piece out, and what to do about replacing it. The Lavac toilet is just too nice to abandon over a little failure like this. I’m posting this here in case anyone else encounters this problem with their 35 year old plastic part snapping.

To get the part out of the toilet, Van used a hack saw to score the surface so he could get a screw driver in there to turn it out. That’s the 4 cross-hair type marks that you see in the photo of the failed part above. It wasn’t easy to do in the cramped quarters, but he did it, as evidenced by the photo. (The other parts in the photo are the hose barb piece that broke off from the inside flange, and the black rubber sleeve that seals the part inside the porcelain inlet hole at the back of the toilet.)

We discovered that the part is still available for the obsolete Lavac Zenith toilet, and the US distributor (St. Brendan’s Isle) sells the assemby for a mere $64.99. (It’s Part number TLZ 9031).  As Joe our friendly diesel mechanic at Flying Wrench told me, ‘boat’ stands for ‘bring on another thousand” – but $65 + shipping for a plastic part is a bit steep.

Now if you had this part in your hand, you’d realize how much it looks like a thru-hull. And that’s when I started thinking about making our own.

First problem, the plastic part. Turns out those cheap $5 Perko nylon 3/4” thru-hulls are just about the right size. The shaft diameter is almost identical – its only the mushroom diameter that was too large. Van used the belt sander to remove enough of the O.D. on the mushroom end so it would slip into the toilet inlet – it was oversized by ~3/4”. A lathe would have been very cool for that job, but we don’t have one, and the belt sander trick worked pretty well on that soft nylon.

Next, what to do about that black rubber sleeve that acts as the seal? With some creative sleuthing at our local Henery’s Hardware, we discovered the perfect sized rubber sleeve in a PVC compression tee that cost about $5. In fact, there were 2 rubber sleeves in there, so we have a spare. The only modification we made was to cut off the end of the cylinder to be flat, it had a chamfer on it as molded. That was easily done with an utility knife.

Final step, installation. To allow a good hold on the part while tightening down the nut, Van slotted the barb end face so he could hold it with a large screw driver. Then he gooped up the rubber sleeve and end cap with some silicone, stuffed it in the hole. He tightened down the nut to compress the rubber sleeve, making it expand outwards for a tight fit within the porcelain hole. Voila!

Result – a very nice seal on a suitable replacement part that cost $10 and some time – mostly spent thinking about how to do it. Actual time to make the part was about as long as it would have taken to place the phone order with St. Brendon’s Isle for the real part.

A caveat – the Perko thru-hull is longer than the original part, so it sticks out further at back of toilet. You might have a clearance issue there. We solved ours by adding a rigid PVC 90 fitting so the hose did not have to make a tight bend radius. I think Van trimmed a little of the Perko hose barb off too, as it was plenty long.

Unfortunately, we forgot to take a picture of the finished custom part before it was inserted, but it looks just like a Perko nylon thru-hull with a rubber sleeve between the nut and the mushroom. 8~)

The parts used to make a new inlet hose spigot assembly. The black rubber sleeve is found inside of the PVC compression tee.

The parts used to make a new inlet hose spigot assembly. The black rubber sleeve is found inside of the PVC compression tee.

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