Installing a new toilet that won't flush right


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Old 09-21-09, 06:03 PM
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Installing a new toilet that won't flush right

This thing has been a nightmare to install.

In removing the original, we noticed that the flange was basically rotted - so we had to remove it and install a new one, using some cement to secure it. Everything looks to be fine there on the flange - no issues I can see there.

Then, the home depot guy recommended me get an extended wax ring - which I did, and I installed the toilet (I've done another like this, a Kohler Cimarron, with no problems).

The problem is that the toilet continues to fill, and then it won't really flush fully. I've tried pouring a full pitcher of water into the toilet to drain it and see if that will do it - but nothing. So - I removed the newly installed toilet thinking the wax ring was obstructing it, but it didn't seem to be. Good thing we had the original wax ring - so I used that and reinstalled it with that one.

Same issue - still won't flush. I've tried plunging it, and flushing it several times to no avail.

Nothing is obstructing it - I'm wondering if something may be wrong with the toilet itself. When we bought it, the gasket from the tank was missing, so we had to return the tank - so I'm wondering if it may be a toilet that was returned.

Can someone give me some suggestions on what to do?
 
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Old 09-21-09, 07:57 PM
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Did you use a rag or something to plug the 4" sewer line while doing the prep work? Doctors have been known to leave instruments in patients.

CaryMan
 
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Old 09-22-09, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by CaryMan View Post
Did you use a rag or something to plug the 4" sewer line while doing the prep work? Doctors have been known to leave instruments in patients.

CaryMan
I'm positive - I poured some water down the line itself to see if there was an obstruction. I also was able to see that nothing was obstructing it when I pulled the newly installed toilet off.
 
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Old 09-22-09, 04:56 AM
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You can take the toilet outside and set it on a couple bricks or blocks of wood to hold the bottom off the ground. Repeat your test pouring a bucket of water into the bowl. If it flushes properly than your problem is in your plumbing or with the toilet installtion (alignment, wax ring...). If the toilet does not flush outside on block then there is something wrong with the toilet.

If the toilet does not flush out in the yard examine it very thoroughly for anything that may have fallen in. If it does not flush with a bucket of water poured in the bowl then I would focus my search on the trap area. A piece of packing foam or plastic may have fallen in, or you may just have a defective toilet.

I've seen toilets not flush, but not really "clogged". In both cases there was some foreign object in the toilet.

In one case a toilet cleaner that clamps inside the tank had come apart and was caught inside the rim of the toilet. This blocked to flow of water to the bowl. Water could not enter fast enough to allow it to flush. In this situation the toilet would flush when a bucket of water was poured into the bowl.

Another time the toilet would not flush no matter what. I could run a snake through it but it still would not flush. Only after giving up and breaking the toilet apart (yes, with a hammer) did I find a plastic/toy ball stuck in the trap just after the bowl. The ball was smooth and round so the snake would slip past without catching anything, but when a flow of water hit the ball it would cover the passage and stop the flow.
 
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Old 09-22-09, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
You can take the toilet outside and set it on a couple bricks or blocks of wood to hold the bottom off the ground. Repeat your test pouring a bucket of water into the bowl. If it flushes properly than your problem is in your plumbing or with the toilet installtion (alignment, wax ring...). If the toilet does not flush outside on block then there is something wrong with the toilet.

If the toilet does not flush out in the yard examine it very thoroughly for anything that may have fallen in. If it does not flush with a bucket of water poured in the bowl then I would focus my search on the trap area. A piece of packing foam or plastic may have fallen in, or you may just have a defective toilet.

I've seen toilets not flush, but not really "clogged". In both cases there was some foreign object in the toilet.

In one case a toilet cleaner that clamps inside the tank had come apart and was caught inside the rim of the toilet. This blocked to flow of water to the bowl. Water could not enter fast enough to allow it to flush. In this situation the toilet would flush when a bucket of water was poured into the bowl.

Another time the toilet would not flush no matter what. I could run a snake through it but it still would not flush. Only after giving up and breaking the toilet apart (yes, with a hammer) did I find a plastic/toy ball stuck in the trap just after the bowl. The ball was smooth and round so the snake would slip past without catching anything, but when a flow of water hit the ball it would cover the passage and stop the flow.
Wow - that toilet on the bricks is a great suggestion. I'll try that and let you guys know what I find out.

Let's say everything comes out fine on the toilet. Any ideas on how I would narrow the problem down to either 1. the drainage pipe, or 2. the connection between the toilet and the flange/drainage pipe.

Thanks so much for the great suggestion.
 
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Old 09-23-09, 05:18 AM
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A pitcher of water (2 quarts) may not be enough to start the "flush" cycle. You might need a gallon or so. Make sure you quickly dump it into the bowl. The water needs to rise in the bowl faster than it can drain out.

Are you sure the drain pipe is clear? When you were replacing the toilet flange did anything fall down into the pipe or did you stuff a rag in the pipe (to stop sewer gas from escaping)?

If the toilet works fine outside, try dumping your bucket of water straight into the toilet flange to see if the plumbing can accept the flow. Bascially test the toilet as one separate unit and then test the house plumbing as another separate thing to help figure out where the problem lies.
 
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Old 09-23-09, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
A pitcher of water (2 quarts) may not be enough to start the "flush" cycle. You might need a gallon or so. Make sure you quickly dump it into the bowl. The water needs to rise in the bowl faster than it can drain out.

Are you sure the drain pipe is clear? When you were replacing the toilet flange did anything fall down into the pipe or did you stuff a rag in the pipe (to stop sewer gas from escaping)?

If the toilet works fine outside, try dumping your bucket of water straight into the toilet flange to see if the plumbing can accept the flow. Bascially test the toilet as one separate unit and then test the house plumbing as another separate thing to help figure out where the problem lies.
re: something falling into the drain - I had large towel over it that was too big to fall in. Something smaller may have fallen in - but not that I would know of.

Thanks for the helpful suggestions - will let you know what I find out.
 
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Old 09-23-09, 07:44 AM
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You may be sure of your actions. What about children and such? Did anybody have access to the room while you were away for any length of time?

CaryMan

An empty 5 gallon sheet rock or paint bucket is always a handy item.
 
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Old 09-29-09, 05:42 AM
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i am having a similar issue and trying to figure out how to correct it. we had an old toilet and the old flange was rusted out and our plumber came and installed a new flange and connecting pipe to the cast iron waste pipe and also at that time we installed a new toilet. the old toilet flushed fine and once the new toilet was flushed it would fill up with water and then drain slowly. the plumber came back a few days later and installed another toilet as we thought that there was an issue with the mold. the new toilet worked well for a day and has since been on and off as to if it flushes or if it fills up with water and slowly drains. we made sure the wax ring was not obstucting the pipe and it seemed fine and we even had the septic pumped out and the septic tank worked fine as the septic guy had us flush the toilet(while it was working) and the water flowed into the tank. we are thinking possibly the venting now. any luck resolving your issue?
 
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Old 09-29-09, 08:04 AM
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The wax ring needs to make an air & water tight connection for some toilets to flush properly, especially newer water saving models. I have seen a couple installations where the drain line is not clogged but the toilet has a weak flush. It turned out that the wax ring was allowing air in/out but not leaking liquid. Replacing the ring and getting a good seal too care of the problem. I am guessing that the slug of water going down the pipe creates a suction that helps the flushing action. If there is an air leak the suction is broken resulting in a weak flush.
 
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Old 10-08-09, 09:39 AM
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new development

New development on my toilet situation.

So - one of my friends was over and we were troubleshooting it, so he tried holding down the handle and let the toilet empty completely. I am also able to pour the bucket and it flushes properly (I may just not have been pouring enough or fast enough previously).

All this being said - today, I called the support folks and the troubleshooter was saying that it was either a.) a clogged drain, or b.) a clogged vent. I said that since it will flush cleanly with enough water - seems like the drain is clear (CaryMan - no one but me had access to that area, I'm 99.9% sure that it's clear).

So - my question to you guys is, do you think that this is a faulty toilet, or is it possible that my vent is obstructed? He said that a bird would've gotten in there or a nest built - but I told him that it seems slightly unlikely that my old toilet would've flushed without a problem, and then a bird builds a nest while I'm installing my new toilet.

Any thoughts my friends? By the way - I really appreciate the insight up until now. Thanks so much.
 
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Old 10-19-09, 07:02 AM
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Works with a big bucket of wter , huh? Maybe check out the flapper and other "guts". Sometimes they need to be adjusted. Maybe the flapper is falling too soon.

Open up the tank lid and watch it flush... What is happining? The flapper should stay up til most all of the water is out of the tank.
 
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Old 11-07-09, 03:29 PM
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Installed a new toilet...same thing.

Okay - new update.

The troubleshooters from the manufacturer determined that the toilet was faulty so we got a new one. Here is a quick summary of the issue to date:
- Was replacing an older toilet that flushed just fine. When removed it, the flange was rusted - so replaced it with a PVC one recommended
- Installed the new toilet (1.28gpf) and it doesn't flush. Only way that it flushes is if I hold down the handle all the way or if I empty a bucket of water into the toilet
- Removed the toilet, poured water at a high rate of speed down the pipe while toilet was off, and it went down without a problem
- Installed new toilet, same issue as before.

As far as the potential issues go:
- I don't expect that this is a wax ring seal issue, as I have installed toilets 3 separate times, including one with a double wax ring
- Again, I don't expect that the drain is clogged in any way - in either the toilet or the actual drain

Are there any other potential issues?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
 

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