Feeble flush on toilet

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Old 09-06-11, 07:22 AM
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Feeble flush on toilet

Hi all - my toilet doesn't flush with the gusto I would like, sometimes "things" don't go down on the first flush, sometimes assistance with a plunger helps. The toilet is maybe 5 years old, and the mechanisms inside the tank seem to be adjusted properly and in working order, tank fills no problem. I live alone, and to my knowledge no foreign objects, sanitary napkins etc have been flushed. Any suggestions as to how to troubleshoot this issue would be appreciated!
 
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Old 09-06-11, 08:24 AM
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Some toilets are better performers than others. You may just have a lousy one.

What brand/model toilet do you have?
 
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Old 09-06-11, 05:33 PM
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Hello,
There are a couple of reasons for the problem you are having.
Pour a bucket of water into the toilet bowl. Does it flush? If no plunge it or get a bowl auger to clear it. If it flushes the problem may be a lime build up in the bowl. Clear all the holes under the rim and the jet in the bottom of the toilet bowl. You can use a wire or small screw driver.
I use muratic acid because it can get where a wire canít. I use about a quart and pour it into the overflow tube in the tank I let it set for about a half hour then flush.
Muratic avid is used in swimming pools to balance the PH.
I get it at Home Depot.

Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 09-07-11, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
Some toilets are better performers than others. You may just have a lousy one.

What brand/model toilet do you have?
It's an inexpensive ""Glacier Bay" from Home Depot. And seeing as it is fairly new, I wouldn't think that lime buildup could/would be the issue..?
 
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Old 09-07-11, 12:32 PM
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To start - I don't recommend using muriatic acid on any plumbing system, primarily for safety reasons. It's corrosiveness depends on the concentration but it can be very hazardous. It's also not necessary.

Unless you have very hard water the galley (bowl washdown) holes should not be plugged in just a couple of years. When you flush observe the water coming frrom under the rim. Does the bowl drain slowly with the water rising nearly to the top? Any other plumbing issues with drains? Can you hear gurgling from nearby fixtures when you flush?

You may have a partial blockage in the trap, a partial blockage in the drain, a vent problem or perhaps just a poorly performing toilet. The best tool for a slow flushing toilet is an inexpensive toilet auger available at any home center. It is specifically designed for clearing toilet traps. Don't waste time with a plunger. If the trap is partially blocked a plunger will just force the water around the obstruction. Lots of things (toothbrushes, combs, makeup brushes, toys etc.) can fall into a toilet un noticed and it takes a while for material to build up around it before it causes a problem.

If you determine that the toilet trap is clear and the flush water is adequate the next step may require removing the toilet. People here can walk you through that if you decide to DIY it.

You can clear the holes under the rim if they appear to be blocked. I use an old dental tool for scraping them.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 02:39 PM
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Hi,

Furd hit the nail on the head and I can attest, that its a poor performing toilet.

I know. I replaced many of them. Homeowners usually call and complain about the $69 toilet they bought. After a brief education in toilets I am often replacing them.

I would bet it has always acted like that correct?

If everthing is adjusted as far as water level in the tank goes, and you know there is no clogg, then I can only suggest that when you flush you hold the handle down. Holding the handle down will allow all the water in the tank into the bowl.

Toilet I recommend in order.
1. Champion 4 American Standard
2. Toto drake
3. Kohler cimmaron or highline. ( But I see they changed the design of the flush valve. This would be a last resort They are copying AS now. They used to have the flapper like the toto toilets)

Just my opinion.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-07-11, 03:11 PM
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THX - but if it is a design/quality flaw, one would think they would ALL behave the same and the huge quantity of complaints would cause the MFG and/or Home Depot to take action!
 
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Old 09-07-11, 04:27 PM
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Blame it on Al Gore.

I could go into the whole water thing but I wont.

They fixed what Al Gore did with toilets now that have 4" flappers and glazed 2" trapways.

If your not buying this technology your missing the boat. And you get what you pay for.

The concept with all water saving toilets is 1.6 gpf, period. The only way manufacturers get it to work properly is to get the water as fast as they can out of the tank and into the bowl. Thats what these 4" type flappers do.

Take a crummy toilet like glacier bay with 1990 tecnology and it dont flush good. But pour two gallons of water in the bowl quickly from a bucket and it flushes great. Just like the toilet descibed above.

Thats the concept. Its easy to see when your in the industry. Most homeowners have no idea how a toilet works from my experience dealing with the consumers.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-07-11, 05:18 PM
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If your toilet flushed properly until recently then you probably have a clog type of problem. However, Furd and Lawrosa are correct in that early versions of 1.6 GPF toilets were poor performers. I think most manufacturers tried to meet the new 1.6GPF standard with existing design. When that didn't work they went back to the drawing board.

I don't know enough about the Glacier bay toilets but at their price point they probably aren't a top performer.
 
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Old 09-07-11, 06:29 PM
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So I cleaned all the lil holes good, still takes 2 flushes but goes eventually.. I looked at my receipts it is 5 years old from Home Depot. The bathroom is due for an overhaul, but just ain't on the schedule for this fall/winter - I guess I should buy a toilet auger and give that a shot? or live with it tillI get around to the remodel- I live alone, so it hasn't been a huge issue as of yet, although I had some house guests last month and one guy did comment on it..
 
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Old 09-08-11, 05:03 PM
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Different approach

Someone taught me this trick several yrs ago on this board. Take the toilet outside and set it on a couple bricks on a sidewalk or driveway. Fill the tank and flush it. If it flushes ok then the problem is likely with drain line or vent. I used this technique to troubleshoot a 20 yr old Kohler (high dollar, high volume). We replaced with a Toto Drake and it has been great for 3 yrs. $69 @ HD won't giterdone, but sometimes the $$$$$ units can be bad too.
 
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Old 09-08-11, 08:56 PM
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The OP only has to pour two gallons of water in the bowl from a bucket to make it flush.

Then post back and tell us how it flushed.....

Flush good = toilet crummy
Flush bad = possible blockage.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-09-11, 11:15 AM
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I gotta' disagree Mike. Pouring a bucket of water into the bowl does not test the flushability (did I coin a new word?). It will test the trap but that's about it. By flushing from the tank the entire toilet is tested including the main siphon jet, the washdown holes and the flapper.

My understanding is, and I may be wrong, one of the major reasons that the 1st generation of 1.6 GPF toilets were such poor flushers was because the design of the siphon jet. It didn't provide enough flow to empty the bowl. I suspect that inexpensive toilets don't have a lot invested in engineering the siphon jet design.

VTeva - One thing to check is that the tank is filling to the maximum so that you get the most water possible when flushing. Mine are all set to where the tank water level is barely below the refill tube. You can add water manually as a test. Fill the tank and hold the flush lever down until it's completely empty.
 
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