Disappointed: My new Gwyneth clogged in the first week

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by bendgilbert, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. bendgilbert

    bendgilbert New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    I've been a fan of Toto toilets for years and have gotten a lot of great information on them out of this forum and Terry's web site (thanks Terry!). We had an Ultramax (1.6 GPF) at our old house that I always thought performed really well, though I honestly can't remember how often it got clogged.

    In our new house we had four 20-year old American Standard toilets. I think they're 3.5 GPF but they are round front and we typically got 2 or 3 clogs per week with them.

    I've replaced two of the toilets with Toto Gwyneth elongated models, which are ADA height and 1.28 GPF. The WaterSense rebate on them is a good deal, though they are still pricey. I figured the Gwyneth was worth it for the one-piece design (ease of install and cleaning), and from the raves on this forum it sounded like I could say goodbye to the plunger. I must say, the install really was a snap.

    However, less than a week after installing them, we got our first clog. I was pretty surprised at this after hearing about so many people who have retired their plunger on this forum after putting in one of the Totos.

    Is it possible I did something in the install that is making the toilets more likely to clog? Our flange was recessed so I had to use Terry's standard method of two wax rings (the one on top having the rubber flange) to install them.

    More importantly, would I help eliminate the clogging if I do the modification to bring it up to a full 1.6 GPF? Has anyone done that and noticed the difference in performance?


    Thanks for your help!
    Ben
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    If the wax ended up squeezing out and partially blocking the drain, that could be the problem. I much prefer to fix the flange so it is the proper height. And, I'm not a fan of the funnels in the wax ring. If that was off-center a little when you set the toilet, it can partially close up and block the output. It can also be problematic on some flange designs. An alternative to fixing the flange is to use a waxless seal - I've used the one from Fluidmaster. That will accommodate the recessed flange. So, it might not be the toilet at all.

    If you take the weight off the flapper, it will release more water. Or, you can hold the handle down, which could dump the entire tank (a lot more than 1.28 or 1.6g), you'd get the max. I'd pull the toilet up and verify things are clear, and maybe consider the Fluidmaster seal; then see what happens.
  3. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Did your wax ring have a black plastic horn?
  4. bendgilbert

    bendgilbert New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Yes, the top ring had a black plastic horn, the bottom ring did not. I know there has been some debate about that, but I was basing my approach on Terry's opinion in this thread:

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?34506-Help-with-recessed-flange.&highlight=wax+ring

    I agree that it would better to have the flange at the proper height, but that was a bit beyond my DIY expertise at this point, and from what I gather recessed flanges are not all that uncommon. And it doesn't sound like it's a code issue.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,002
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You can plug any toilet.

    The older Ultramax uses 1.6 gallons.
    The New Ultramax II, uses 1.28 gallons.
    The trapway is the same design, they both use a 3" flushvalve.

    I would leave the flapper as is, and hold the handle down a bit when you have that "large load" to flush down.

    Charmin Ultra 2-Ply should not be used in any bowl.
    I find that Costco brand paper works well.

    Toilet paper poll
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would reset the toilet using spacer rings to get to the right height and use 1 wax ring without the horn...

    I'd bet the farm that the horn has shifted and is blocking the outlet from the toilet.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The pros on this forum are almost 100% in agreement that the horned wax rings cause more problems than they solve. If this was my home, I'd either replace the flange so it was the proper height or use the extension rings. Replacing the flange would obviously be more work, so the rings may be your best bet. I've used the Fluidmaster waxless seal with good success as well, but not to make up for a low flange. Since I don't shop Costco, I have found the Safeway house brand "Softly" flushes cleanly, does not clog, is reasonably priced, and is in all other respects a very good product. I'm sure other chain stores such as Albertson's have the same paper under their house name. Maybe Costco's is the same under their brand as well.
  8. bendgilbert

    bendgilbert New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Thanks for all the tips, everyone! I can't remember which TP we use, but it is one that I specifically selected a year or so ago because it breaks down quickly. Not that it helped prevent clogs in our old toilets. :) It's definitely not Charmin.

    For now we will try holding down the handle and see whether we still get clogs. If so, then I'll probably take up the toilet and see if I can figure out what happened, and probably go with the spacer rings.
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