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Thetford Aurora Aqua Magic repair


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#1 Jim B

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:34 PM

I have a Thetford Aurora Aqua-Magic toilet that I need to replace the slide seal. Any suggestions as to the correct procedure to replace the slide seal? Are the any U Tube videos? I could not find any.

This unit is installed in a 2000 Damon Intruder motorhome.

thanks

Jim B

#2 DavidMc

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:38 PM

Try http://www.thetford....65/Default.aspx
to find the manual to your particular Aqua-Magic model.

PS: The column Category may say Parts, but you will be downloading a document.
EG: Blade Seal "Parts" is a link to some instructions (that presumably come with the part).

Edited by DavidMc, 22 September 2012 - 12:42 PM.


#3 Rockintom

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:30 PM

I have a Thetford Aurora Aqua-Magic toilet that I need to replace the slide seal. Any suggestions as to the correct procedure to replace the slide seal? Are the any U Tube videos? I could not find any.

This unit is installed in a 2000 Damon Intruder motorhome.

thanks

Jim B


Jim, heres a little write up I did on the subject. The job is super easy and the trick that you need to remember is to take care of the new seal you install. No harsh cleaners, no bristle brush down pass the seal, and monthly treatment with Thetford seal condition. I've done about 10 seal replacements on friend's units. It's a crappy job but someone has to do it!!! :lol:


Thetford Auqa Plus Blade Seal Replacement

1. Have plenty of rags available for clean up
2. Turn off water and flush toilet good.
3. Remove shroud by removing 2 rubber bands and making sure pedal is pushed to remove velcroed shield in front by pedel
4. Remove water supply – wing finger nut at supply line. Make sure rag is in place.
5. Remove two toilet mounting nuts which are now exposed.
6. Remove white sprayer hose from wall mounting to have out of the way.
7. I put rags on hole of the black tank.
8. I put the sprayer hose under toilet seat to help hold it while transporting outside.
9. I grabbed the toilet from front and rear and take outside to give it a good washin’. Put rubber gloves on and clean out the throat good. This is a great time to scrub all aspects of the toilet – inside and out.
10. After drying, I mounted my toilet on the bed tailgate of my Tug and commence workin’ on it!
11. Remove the 4 bowl nuts (each has 2 flat washers – one large and one smaller)
12. Carefully lift the bowl off by gently shaking and working it loose.
13. Carefully lay the top bowl on the side watching the the 2 hose connections in the rear.
14. This exposes blade seal. Remove the seal noting the back side faces up – colored side down toward the ball.
15. Clean, then lubricate the ball with a Thetford seal conditioner or the like (no protoleum products). Install new ball seal.
16. Reinstall bowl carefully to center the bowl stud opening to be centered in studs. Install washers with the large on first them the small one.
17. CAREFULLY tighten in a cross sequence pattern the nuts. Do not overtighten. Common sense prevails here. This is porcelin and will break if you get crazy. I use the term snug and then a little more.
18. Work the floot pedal back and forth several times. Then add about 1 cup of water and let set 10-15 minutes to make sure the seal is doing it’s job. Make sure and get all water out of the toilet before taking it back inside to reinstall.
19. Install new foam based floor seal on bottom of toilet. Seal should have the protruding part facing the floor.
20. When you’re happy with the cleanliness of all parts of the mounting, ect., carefully install toilet in studs and slow and tighten nuts to pull toilet down straight in it’s mounting. Again, common sense on tightening the nuts. I little tighter than snug. Don’t force. These nuts may need checking for tightness in a week or so.
21. Finish installing water hook up, shroud, and the sprayer mounting clip on wall.
22. Turn on water and check for leaks

Special Note: To extent seal life….use only non-caustic cleaner for regular toilet cleaning. I use the generic Walmart or Dollar Store or like brand of “Scrubbly Bubbles”.

I use Thetford seal conditioner (CW or RV Parts Supply Stores – Only very few Walmarts have this) about once a month. When we are going on a day trip or be away for a while I put it in the bowl. It lubs and conditions the seal. Our original factory seal lasted less than 6 months and the last seal lasted almost 3.5 years. I attribute this to knowing how to take care of this seal. Hope this helps! Tom Clapham (aka rockintom)

PS.....I have pix of this procedure if you want....email me at tomclapham@hotmail.com

Edited by Rockintom, 22 September 2012 - 03:42 PM.

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#4 Budd

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:51 PM

I have also dealt with this problem a few times. My RV is a 1999 King of the Road and I have an Aurora Aqua Magic with the flat sliding door and 2 part foot pedal Given the age of your MH, your toilet may have the flat door like mine. I also, do not have the hand sprayer but the process is still pretty close to what Tom describes..

One mistake I made was in not just replacing the whole seal, flap door and mechanism to operate it the first time. In my case, the surface of the slide door was scarred, presumably from someone using some sort of crystal based cleaner in it and it left scratches and gouges in the surface. Replacing the seal the first time, I just put in a new seal. It is possible to do it from the top but it is not easy.

The second time I replaced the seal, I took the whole thing apart thinking that I could just clean everything up well enough that it would last longer / better than the first one I had put in but I did not replace the door. It did work better but not for years. Maybe more like months. I also replaced the heavy rubber gasket that fits against the ceramic bowl. Be sure you have the right glue to use to stick it to the ceramic bowl because it's not just any old caulk. It is really thick and gooey and stiffens up as it dries. Regular caulks will just not hold well enough during fit together, it will leak thereafter.

There are several kits of parts to choose from depending on how much you want to replace and how much you are willing to spend.

The last time I worked on it, I did not take anything apart. The seal seemed ok so I just shut off the water, locked the sliding door back, cleaned out the groove in the seal and both the top and the bottom of the door from the top with the toilet still in place and hooked up, (easier than it sounds but long fingers help). Use stout nitrile gloves for this. Then, I lubricated the seal and both sides of the door with plumbers silicone grease and my gloved fingers. That worked better than anything else I have done


However, one of the problems I found with this whole door issue is that as the friction builds between the surface of the sliding door and the seal, the seal distorts and gets drug out of shape so it bunches up in front of the closing door and will not make a clean seal every time it is opened all the way and then closed. The seal conditioner does help reduce this drag and lets the spring completely close the door (most of the time). But if the surface of the door has been scratched or damaged, it will never slide correctly and whatever lubes you might try will not last very long.

This is one of those jobs that one needs to be totally prepared with all of the parts, sealants, lubricants and such that they will need before shutting off the water supply.

One other word of caution: Mine and many of the older models of this toilet have an overflow tube that connects to the water inlet fitting. It's purpose is to bypass the sliding door with any water that might overflow the rim if the water shutoff failed. Newer models do not have this but I mention it because it is snaked around between the filling fitting in the bowl and the overflow bypass nipple on the sliding door mechanism. It is supposed to shaped to form a "P" trap of sorts to hold a little water in a dip in it to prevent the odors from the black tank from coming back up into the room. You can tell if your toilet has this by simply filling it to the rim of the bowl so that the filling inlet fitting is mostly submerged. Stop the water flow and if you hear a little water gurgling into the tank below or more important, see the water level slowly drop a little bit, then you have this overflow tube and you need to be sure to empty it before you lift the toilet out. It is surprising how much water that little piece of tubing can hold.

I have not tried using the Thetford seal lubricant every 30 days as Tom mentioned. I will try that before I tackle the finger job with the plumbers grease, again. I am very close to replacing the whole toilet rather than spend the $$$ to replace the whole door mechanism. As it gets older, the parts get more expensive.

Good luck with this.

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Budd & Merrily ===-> SKP# 088936 Other Websites:---> Hub of all my blogs
Clifford - 2000 VNL64T770 :: DakotR - 1999 C40KS King of the Road :: $PRITE - 2013 Smart Passion w/cruise


#5 Budd

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:37 PM

A little followup info on this Aurora seal issue.

I did try the Thetford Seal lubricant that was previously mentioned and it did improve the sliding.... a bit. It did not come near to restoring the full and proper sliding of the sliding door, though. Perhaps with regular use it might.

In another thread about this toilet mention was made of using silicone spray on the door and seal. I have tried WD-40 (knowing it was NOT actually silicone spray) just to see if it helped. I had already gotten the parts to replace it so if it did damage to seal as some chemicals do, I was not out anything. It did help, for a little bit (days) but certainly not enough to prevent me from doing a full seal replacement. This was several years ago.

In the end, I just decided that letting the pedal "snap" back up a couple of times would have to do until I could afford a new toilet or replace all the mechanical parts so it would start from scratch.

At this point I nave been looking at possible replacement toilets. I would prefer the Aria Deluxe..... maybe but some have mentioned problems with it and I have a big problem with $500 for an RV crapper. Merrily asked me if I would spend that amount of money on a new toilet in the house and I said yes (already have, actually) and said that if I could just put in a Toto I would have the ultimate solution.... however, I digress...

Going back to the silicone spray: I decided right there in Camping World that I would at least try some real silicone spray (not WD-40) before I shelled out the bucks and trouble to replace the toilet. I had some CRC HEavy Duty Silicone sprate (AutoZone, NAPA, etc.) that I thought I would try.

By golly! It actually worked quite well. Enough so that I was even motivated to make this post. I just did it today but after several uses it has gotten better than when I first did it. I did first clean the throat of the toilet thoroughly and I have a round, very stiff toilet brush that just fits the hole and when rotated in the seal area, does scrape the gunk out pretty well. After a good workout in that area I shut off the water, opened the door a few times then dried it off as much as possible. Some mineral accumulations had formed along the back edge of the door at the seal but I did not even try to clean that off. I sprayed it all very well, several times over the next 10 minutes or so and worked the door every way possible (slow, fast, halting, reversing, etc.) I wanted to make sure that as much of the silicone got back into the seal areas. Also multiple sprays directly into the seal grooves with the door wide open. I saturated the sucker.

Now, just lifting foot quickly from the pedal seals completely and tightly with no leak down at all. I don't know how long this will hold it or how often I may have to repeat the treatment but for now, I won't replace this toilet. I will update this in a bit but so far, I am surprised at the result. Thank you whomever it was that mentioned real silicone spray. The plumbers grease (silicone based) that I had earlier used did work as well but the door had a lot more drag and it only fixed it for a few weeks. The trouble to do the greasing was way more effort that I was interested in for a long term solution but this silicone spray solution would be almost no trouble to do once a week if necessary.

RVBuddys Journal Our progress into full-timing.
Budd & Merrily ===-> SKP# 088936 Other Websites:---> Hub of all my blogs
Clifford - 2000 VNL64T770 :: DakotR - 1999 C40KS King of the Road :: $PRITE - 2013 Smart Passion w/cruise


#6 Rockintom

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

A little followup info on this Aurora seal issue.

I did try the Thetford Seal lubricant that was previously mentioned and it did improve the sliding.... a bit. It did not come near to restoring the full and proper sliding of the sliding door, though. Perhaps with regular use it might.

In another thread about this toilet mention was made of using silicone spray on the door and seal. I have tried WD-40 (knowing it was NOT actually silicone spray) just to see if it helped. I had already gotten the parts to replace it so if it did damage to seal as some chemicals do, I was not out anything. It did help, for a little bit (days) but certainly not enough to prevent me from doing a full seal replacement. This was several years ago.

In the end, I just decided that letting the pedal "snap" back up a couple of times would have to do until I could afford a new toilet or replace all the mechanical parts so it would start from scratch.

At this point I nave been looking at possible replacement toilets. I would prefer the Aria Deluxe..... maybe but some have mentioned problems with it and I have a big problem with $500 for an RV crapper. Merrily asked me if I would spend that amount of money on a new toilet in the house and I said yes (already have, actually) and said that if I could just put in a Toto I would have the ultimate solution.... however, I digress...

Going back to the silicone spray: I decided right there in Camping World that I would at least try some real silicone spray (not WD-40) before I shelled out the bucks and trouble to replace the toilet. I had some CRC HEavy Duty Silicone sprate (AutoZone, NAPA, etc.) that I thought I would try.

By golly! It actually worked quite well. Enough so that I was even motivated to make this post. I just did it today but after several uses it has gotten better than when I first did it. I did first clean the throat of the toilet thoroughly and I have a round, very stiff toilet brush that just fits the hole and when rotated in the seal area, does scrape the gunk out pretty well. After a good workout in that area I shut off the water, opened the door a few times then dried it off as much as possible. Some mineral accumulations had formed along the back edge of the door at the seal but I did not even try to clean that off. I sprayed it all very well, several times over the next 10 minutes or so and worked the door every way possible (slow, fast, halting, reversing, etc.) I wanted to make sure that as much of the silicone got back into the seal areas. Also multiple sprays directly into the seal grooves with the door wide open. I saturated the sucker.

Now, just lifting foot quickly from the pedal seals completely and tightly with no leak down at all. I don't know how long this will hold it or how often I may have to repeat the treatment but for now, I won't replace this toilet. I will update this in a bit but so far, I am surprised at the result. Thank you whomever it was that mentioned real silicone spray. The plumbers grease (silicone based) that I had earlier used did work as well but the door had a lot more drag and it only fixed it for a few weeks. The trouble to do the greasing was way more effort that I was interested in for a long term solution but this silicone spray solution would be almost no trouble to do once a week if necessary.



Sorry, I didn't realize you were just trying to patch up the old toilet. (I wouldn't try to update an Aurora - would update by replacing the crapper) In the case of patching the old toilet, I'd use waterproof plumber's silicone. Apply it to the blade liberaly and it should hold for a week or so. Find it in the plumbing area of the home improvement stores. $3-5. The silicone spray with only last a few days at most. Just sayin'........rockin'

Edited by Rockintom, 29 January 2013 - 05:10 PM.

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#7 Budd

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:56 AM

Some time has passed and the CRC Heavy Duty Silicone Spray does help a lot. However, I want a low maintenance solution and the spray, while lasting for 2- 6 weeks depends on just how thoroughly I preclean the seal and door. How much effort I spend working the silicone into them makes a lot of difference, too.

 

I just ordered a Dometic 320 bone Standard height toilet with hand sprayer and free shipping for $215.  I am certain that this is a better long term solution to the problem. The Aqua Magic Aurora is a good toilet... it is just worn out and needs parts thrown at it that will amount to almost the same money if I do the labor.

 

I chose the Dometic 320 as it is just an upscale version of the 310 which has had a number of very positive comments from others so I figure it is a safe choice for maintenance.  I also like their scheme for replacing the gaskets that seal the bowl. It is a lot less labor intensive than what is necessary on the Aurora.

 

More important is that it has a truly elongated bowl with a seat that is also elongated with a hole in it that is also elongated making the butt opening several inches longer than on the Aurora or most other toilets.  I am a big guy and that is a big deal to me.  The height appears to be about the same as my Aurora which is ok, too. I am 6'2" and Merrily is 5'4" so that is a good compromise in height.

 

If we were just doing long weekends and some vacations, I would not opt to replace the toilet but as it is now our home, I deserve some facility and less inconvenience on a daily basis..... after all, I am worth it.

 

I will say that of all of the relubricating things I have tried including the silicone grease, sprays and thetford seal lubricant (which wants you to let it sit in the bowl for 8 hours or more ( how does one do that with a leaky seal?)), the CRC Heavy DUty silicone spray from AutoZone worked the best for the longest time.... as long as I "worked it in" each time I put it on.

 

The Silicone grease did not last much longer and was so thick that it slowed the closing rate and did not allow one to "pop" the door shut when it would not seal so it prevented any momentum building to slam it shut.

 

The new toilet should arrive this week or early next week. I will update our results.


RVBuddys Journal Our progress into full-timing.
Budd & Merrily ===-> SKP# 088936 Other Websites:---> Hub of all my blogs
Clifford - 2000 VNL64T770 :: DakotR - 1999 C40KS King of the Road :: $PRITE - 2013 Smart Passion w/cruise


#8 Rockintom

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 11:49 AM

Some time has passed and the CRC Heavy Duty Silicone Spray does help a lot. However, I want a low maintenance solution and the spray, while lasting for 2- 6 weeks depends on just how thoroughly I preclean the seal and door. How much effort I spend working the silicone into them makes a lot of difference, too.

 

I just ordered a Dometic 320 bone Standard height toilet with hand sprayer and free shipping for $215.  I am certain that this is a better long term solution to the problem. The Aqua Magic Aurora is a good toilet... it is just worn out and needs parts thrown at it that will amount to almost the same money if I do the labor.

 

I chose the Dometic 320 as it is just an upscale version of the 310 which has had a number of very positive comments from others so I figure it is a safe choice for maintenance.  I also like their scheme for replacing the gaskets that seal the bowl. It is a lot less labor intensive than what is necessary on the Aurora.

 

More important is that it has a truly elongated bowl with a seat that is also elongated with a hole in it that is also elongated making the butt opening several inches longer than on the Aurora or most other toilets.  I am a big guy and that is a big deal to me.  The height appears to be about the same as my Aurora which is ok, too. I am 6'2" and Merrily is 5'4" so that is a good compromise in height.

 

If we were just doing long weekends and some vacations, I would not opt to replace the toilet but as it is now our home, I deserve some facility and less inconvenience on a daily basis..... after all, I am worth it.

 

I will say that of all of the relubricating things I have tried including the silicone grease, sprays and thetford seal lubricant (which wants you to let it sit in the bowl for 8 hours or more ( how does one do that with a leaky seal?)), the CRC Heavy DUty silicone spray from AutoZone worked the best for the longest time.... as long as I "worked it in" each time I put it on.

 

The Silicone grease did not last much longer and was so thick that it slowed the closing rate and did not allow one to "pop" the door shut when it would not seal so it prevented any momentum building to slam it shut.

 

The new toilet should arrive this week or early next week. I will update our results.

 

I think you'll like the new toilet. You may have to do some changing of the floor flange orientation to accommodate the new toilet.

 

BTW......referring back to a previous post. I recommend the use of the Thetford seal conditioner as a MAINTENANCE  item......not a fix for an already failed ball seal. Also don't use caustic type cleaners. I've found from 9 years of FTing that that's what works for us. rockin'  


Edited by Rockintom, 05 June 2013 - 11:50 AM.

'12 Excel Limitied 33ft GKE Full Timing '14 Chev 3500 CC DRW D/A named Bullet