To flush, hold down the lever for 7 seconds...

Old 07-21-07, 11:37 AM
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Question To flush, hold down the lever for 7 seconds...

Hello all,

Two of the toilets in our house have the following problem:

In order to get them to flush, the lever needs to be held down for 7 seconds or so.

Pushing the lever down normally and releasing it quickly starts the water moving around, but it doesn't finish the flushing process. If the level is held down long enough, it flushes fine (although not with a huge amount of force.)

I've tried to research the problem on this site, but I haven't been able to figure it out. I'm hoping it's an easy fix, but I know very little about plumbing.

Any help or ideas would be much appreciated!
Old 07-21-07, 01:01 PM
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The flapper is probably getting sucked back down because it is not moving out of the way of the rushing water as you flush. Holding down the flapper prevents this suction from stopping the flow of water.

First, take the top off the toilet and flush by pulling directly on the chain attached to the flapper (not by the handle), release the chain and watch what happens. If when you pull it up by hand, the toilet flushes normally, then the distance between the flush handle arm and the flapper is too long. Shorten the chain by one link and see it that fixes things. Also check the handle arm to see if it has slipped out of normal alignment and is sagging toward the chain side.

Sometimes if the wrong flapper is installed, the misfit causes the flapper to be too rigid and not flexible enough to stay our of the way.

Also check to see if the water level in the tank is high enough. It should be up near the top of the overflow tube. Adjust the float if more water is needed. To test this, hold the float down to allow more water to enter the tank without flushing. When you have as much water as possible in the tank, try flushing normally. Adjust the float as needed.
Old 07-24-07, 02:54 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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float on the chain

czizzi's right on, but there is another possible cause of your situation.

If you look at this picture, you'll see that there's a marshmallow-like float attached to the lift chain, right above the tank flapper:

This float won't open the flapper when it's closed, however, the float keeps the flapper open when you overcome the initial resistance by pulling the handle. It's this float which keeps the flapper from shutting right after you flush.

If you look closely at the picture, you'll notice a small orange plastic piece above the float - this plastic piece keeps the float at the correct height on the chain. Sometimes the piece will work loose and the float will slide up the chain, becoming ineffective - this has happened to me a few times. Simply move the float back down the chain so it's near the tank flapper (too high and it won't hold the flapper open long enough) and then reattach the plastic piece so the float doesn't go anywhere.

Hope that helps!


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