I have a 1950's toilet that leaks into the bowl through the flapper. It differs from modern toilets (this question) in that the outlet pipe is made of brass. I am not inclined to replace the toilet because it is pink in an entirely pink bathroom. (I am inclined to replace the whole bathroom, but not yet.) I have replaced the flapper rubber.

We noticed that the brass out pipe is not completely flat, and has undulations that cannot be smoothed out with sandpaper because they are too wide. I figure that the whole pipe end needs to be brought back to true, but the only thing I could think of was to use a detail sander on it for a few minutes. This seems to have mostly got rid of the undulations, but I cannot be certain (suggestions?). The flow has now reduced from about 1 litre/minute to less than 0.2 litres/min, but this will still cost me about $45/quarter in water charges so I would like to go further. Is there a better way to bring the pipe back to a true flat surface? How can I determine when it is flat?

  • add some pictures. it will help a lot to understand Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


From what you have said, it sounds like a better way to go might be to replace that top edge of the brass outlet pipe. They sell kits in the store to replace the flapper valve and the seat (which is what you are struggling with). Have you looked into one of those? Something like this:


Trying to sand the existing seat down, in place, until you get a good seal sounds like a lot of work with little chance of success. With a kit like this, you seal a new plastic seat down on top of the old one with a silicone sealant, then the flapper seals against the new seat. If one of those seat replacement kits will adapt to your toilet, that is your best bet, in my opinion. Hope this helps.

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