How to Change the Battery in a Sloan Flush Valve

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You can change the battery in a Sloan flush valve.
Image Credit: gerenme/iStock/GettyImages

Sloan is well-known in the plumbing industry, and they are perhaps best known for their flush valves, or "Flushometers." These specially designed valves are used for commercial urinals and restroom toilets. They come in manual, electric and retrofit versions, and the latter two run on batteries that need to be changed from time to time. Fortunately, changing the battery in a Sloan flush valve is fairly straightforward.

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What Are Sloan Flush Valves?

The Sloan Valve Company was established in 1906, when William Elvis Sloan invented the Royal Flushometer. His invention was created to eliminate the need for tank and chain fixtures, and it provided a solid flush that needed less water. Now, Sloan flush valves can be found in restrooms all around the world.

Flushometers connect right into water supply lines. When toilets or urinals flush, the valves let out a preset amount of water into the bowl while simultaneously closing that water line. Manual ones are more basic with handles, while electric sensor and retrofit models are hands-free.

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How the Sensors Work

These valves work through battery-powered sensors, or electronic eyes, that emit an invisible beam of light to detect when someone enters a stall or the area at the urinal. The beam of light breaks, automatically putting the valve into hold mode. Once the person moves back out of the beam, the toilet or urinal flushes without the person needing to touch it.

You can tell that the flush valve's battery needs changing when it blinks four times at someone's approach. This signals that the battery is low. A more obvious sign is when the toilet or urinal simply stops flushing. This is why it's important to check for blinking batteries regularly when the toilet or bathroom area is cleaned.

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When the Battery Needs Changing

Before changing the battery, you can make sure that the electric eye's light beam and the water flow are where they should be. Stand in the light beam, and then move away. If it does not flush, flushes too slowly or if the water level does not change, the problem could be something other than the battery.

Changing the batteries is relatively straightforward, and it requires a screwdriver and four AA batteries. There is no need to shut off the water to replace the batteries. Look at the valve, and you'll see two screws located on the flush cover. Using your screwdriver, remove the screws one at a time, turning counterclockwise to loosen them.

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Getting to the Battery

The screws can be pulled straight out and then placed where they won't get lost. The cover can be removed by pulling straight up. You'll see the sensor module and its electric eye; gently lift it straight up. Before continuing, be sure to unplug the electrical connector of the battery compartment cover.

Next, grip the electric connector on the battery compartment and take this out. Remove the battery compartment retaining screw with your screwdriver. Then, you can lean the compartment over, with its opening side down. Slide the batteries out.

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Insert the four new AA alkaline batteries into the compartment and put the screw back in. Plug the electrical connector back into it, and reinstall the sensor module back onto the plate with the electronic eye facing in your direction. Finally, put the cover assembly back onto its plate, reinsert the two screws and tighten them with your screwdriver.

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Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing, and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity.