Toilet Won't Flush <--My Service Call (Good Read)

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Old 06-07-07, 06:12 PM
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Toilet Won't Flush <--My Service Call (Good Read)

Ok....just wanted to share this with people who might read this later.

Got a call from a client that their toilet wasn't flushing. Typical service call

Got to the home. It was a standard 2 piece toilet with siphon flushing system.

Let me say, i am a firm believer in all my years plumbing that toilets almost never need to be replaced. usually there is a cause for what is wrong and it can be repaired. very few times, like 3, in 12 years have i had to replace the entire toilet.

Steps i followed:

1) Flushed the toilet (obvious, so i could see what was wrong.) Water won't go down.

2) Check fill tube to make sure it was putitng proper water into the bowl after each flush. Check water level to make sure it was proper. Checked flapper to make sure it was letting enough water out during flush.

3) Ran closet auger. Had no issues going in or coming out. Cleared nothing.

4) Tried plunger...didn't do anything.

5) Took a metal hanger (from closet) and stuck the end up all the little holes around the rim of the toilet to make sure they were all clear.

6) Went on roof with snake...ran 75' of cable down vent stack and out the main.

(Toilet still not working)

7) Pulled toilet. Ran sink and tub....nothing was backing up into 90' below toilet. No water visible.

8) Ran snake 75' from that point.

(toilet still not working)

9) Poured 2 x 5gallon buckets of water into the 90 below the toilet. All went down fine.

(scratched my head)

10) Double check toilet tank and everything else.

Ok..at this point i have about 4 hours in. I told the homeowner i had to replace the toilet. I hate this part because as i stated above i always tell people you shouldn't have to replace a toilet. And if you install a new toilet and the problem persists...well....it is hard to charge the homeowner for it cause you didn't solve the issue.

11) Installed new toilet.

Ok..new toilet worked great. I took the old toilet out in the fron tyard and pulled ou tmy hammer. (Should of seen homewoners face lol). I told em i wanted to make sure their problem was solved and only way was to bust this baby up. So i broke it open.

What did i find? (I won't make you guess, i'll tell you).

Apparently the old toilet had a fluidmaster (fill valve/ballcock) in it and somebody had replaced it/worked on it before(wasn't me or my company).
This unit is a rental so probably an x-renter.

The black plastic cap had been left in the tank and when the toilet got flushed it went down the flush valve (where the flapper attaches too). Well it made it by the flapper but not into the bowl (obviously). it got stuck down there. You couldn't see this from the flush valve. Nor would i ever been able to get it back out. It was jammed in tight quite a ways in.

So i made the right call in replacing the toilet (not the point of the story).

Just thought i would share this with people for future reference on non-flushing toilets. I mean the toilet swirled fine and the tank emptied with water. It just wasn't getting enough force from the water coming into the bowl to cause the siphon action to get going properly.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 02:50 PM
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Nice story, anymore nothing surpises me.

I'll add, I'm a firm believer that not all toilets are created equally. There are a bunch of cheap builders grade toilets out there I would replace in a second (even though the still work, barely).
 
 

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