All toilets won't flush at times

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by bignut, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. bignut

    bignut New Member

    Messages:
    4
    We recently moved into a relatively new home (built in 2004) that has three toilets, and at any given time one or more of them does not flush properly. They all do the same thing: bowl fills up and drains slowly, solids won't flush. Plunging doesn't seem to do much, neither did having the septic tank pumped out, and we have no other problems with the house. We called a plumber who came out and said the problem was that the toilets were really low quality, and replacing them would do the trick. Does that sound like a likely cause? If not, any ideas on what the problem could be that affects all of our toilets?
  2. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    How do the tubs drain¿

    What brand of toilet are in the house¿
  3. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    You probably have low-flow toilets installed (1.6 gallons/flush). You could possibly replace the flapper with generic one that will give you a longer flushing action. I would start with one toilet and see if it makes any difference. If not, replacing the toilets would be your next step
  4. bignut

    bignut New Member

    Messages:
    4
    The tubs and everything else drains fine. The brand is Bemis.
  5. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    You do have low-flow toilets
  6. gusherb94

    gusherb94 Member

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    chicago/nw IN
    bemis is the brand of the toilet seat and they dont make toilets. The brand of the toilet should be on the top of the bowl or inside the tank.
  7. bignut

    bignut New Member

    Messages:
    4
    American Standard is the brand. 1.6 gallons per flush.
  8. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    [​IMG]
    Am.Std. strikes again!
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,329
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    American Standard has frequent quality problems and as a result, most of the professionals that frequent this forum do not install them. The majority prefer the Toto brand. This is not to say that you problem is necessarily the toilets' quality, but one would have to at least consider that as a possibility, but the description of your problem makes me think that your main sewer line may have some blockage. If so, it will take a professional with an auger that is large enough to clear the line complete from end to end. In other words, a DIY hand snake is going to do the job. Do not attempt to use chemicals as they not only will not clear a clogged drain, they will create a hazard for the plumber who you will end up calling.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,891
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    An 04 A/S builder grade should be replaced if you don't like plunging.
  11. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    I don't suspect a mainline blockage if the tubs are draining fine.
  12. bignut

    bignut New Member

    Messages:
    4

    So does that mean it is never a good idea to use products like RidX when a toilet is not draining solids properly?
  13. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    That is correct. I think Gary meant a hand snake won't be sufficient. Which is true for a mainline blockage.
  14. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    When we talk of drain cleaning chemicals we are referring to Draino, Liquid Plumber, Clobber, Liquid Fire etc. They all will have no effect on a main line clog or, a toilet clog other thantaking money out of your wallet and making the drain cleaning job more hazardous for the plumber. In addition to that they are corrosive and can damage your pipes and fixtures.

    Rid-X is a product alledgedly designed for septic systems to increase the amount of sludge eating bacteria in a septic tank. Seeing as the septic tank naturally produces it's own bacteria it is of no value but it is not harmful either.
  15. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,329
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I stand corrected, I did mean a hand snake is NOT effective for opening a clogged drain. I sometimes think faster than I type. I believe there is an organic product that is supposed to keep a sewer running freely, but not to open a clogged drain. I believe Terry posted a comment about this product awhile back, but I don't recall the name of it. And, I was referring to the chemical products like Redwood named. All of that said, I have lived in my home for almost 40 years and have never had a clogged sewer and have never used any product or had any cleaning service. It is a city sewer with something around 50 to 60 feet from the house to the city main line.
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