Problems with Toto Ultramax

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by JimT, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. JimT

    JimT New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Two months ago, during a remodel of our first floor BR, a subcontractor installed our selection of a Total Ultramax G-Max with Sanagloss finish. The subcontractor stated that the old toilet was not vented properly, so he would tie it into the vent for the 2nd floor toilet. About 1 month ago, I noticed that the water level in the bowl would seem correct immediately after a flush, but then would drop slightly. When I tested the flush, the water level in the bowl would start out very, very low, then it would rise gradually as the tank filled. After reaching the "normal" level as the tank stopped filling, the level in the bowl would gradually drop almost 1 inch over the next 5 - 10 minutes, then remain at that level. Since this was not causing any major problems, I didn't pursue the issue.

    Now there appear to be additional concerns. Occasionally the water level is very low in the bowl. Also, I've noticed while flushing that there is an immediate return (backflush?) of water into the bowl as soon as the bowl empties. In other words, the bowl flushes, some water immediately rushes back into the bowl, then the bowl gradually empties again before starting to fill. Furthermore, there have been a couple of instances when the bowl has filled with water and taken a long time to empty. I've tried using a plunger, but it does not create a seal with the elongated bowl and is not effective.

    I am preparing to buy a closet auger and give it a try, but I'm wondering if these symptoms indicate one problem or two separate problems. Could a clog in the toilet or pipes be causing all of these problems? Any advice would certainly be appreciated.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,776
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]
    The black filler tube should be pointing to the overflow tube, this refills the bowl.

    If you slowly pour water into the bowl, and the water level goes down, there may be an internal crack.

    You could also try clearing the trapway by plunging or other methods.
    Most plungers have a narrow end that can be pulled out that fits the Toto well.

    Put the plunger in with water in bowl, and after a series of short, quick strokes, pull up until everything sucks down. Usually people do big strokes up and down. Using that method, some blockages won't move. Keeping the strokes to about an inch works best for me. When I have the water in the bowl vibrating, that's when I lift up on the plunger a bit.

    Pouring water into the bowl from a five gallon bucket sometimes works too.
  3. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    toilet

    Sounds like clog .

    It was ok for a month, huh....?

    First ask your plumber about your problem.

    Flush the toilet and at the same time pour in a 10 qt. pail of water.

    If you need to, get a good auger and use it.
    Don't force the auger, just a right and then a left kind of motion with moderate down pressure.

    If that doesn't help, then you will need to pull the toilet.
  4. JimT

    JimT New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Continue problems with Toto Ultramax

    I've contacted my contractor - he says that the plumbing company is mostly shut down for the holidays and that he won't be able to contact them until next week.

    Basically, the toilet still works, but it is acting weird. The water level in the bowl is inconsistent. When flushed, the water quickly rushes out, then there is an immediate rush of clean water into the bowl, then that water drains out, usually with fairly loud gurgling, then the bowl starts to refill. Sometimes it refills to the "normal" level, other times not. If it refills to the normal level, then it drops about an inch within the next 5 - 10 minutes.

    Twice in the past week, the water level in the bowl has risen when flushed and then stayed high. After plunging, which lowered the water level, the next flush was back to "normal".

    Meanwhile, I've bought a closet auger, but am holding off using it until I hear from the plumbing company. I don't want to take a chance on scratching the porcelain.

    I've tried two different plungers, and have been using the quick, short strokes method. Neither seems to make an airtight (or watertight) seal.

    I've tried a couple times adding 10 quarts of water immediately after flushing. No change.

    If I do not flush and dump in 10 quarts of water all at once, the bowl empties completely, almost as if it had been flushed. If I gradually pour in the extra water, the level in the bowl does not change - it seems as if the water is leaving at the same rate as I am pouring it in.

    At this time, I'm waiting to see more responses on this board and waiting to contact the plumbing company that installed the toilet. I sure hope that someone can help diagnose the problem. Thanks for all responses.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,776
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The last one I had like this, I pushed out a paper holder, the kind with a spring in it. It was wedged in the trapway.

    When plunging, there should be some water in the bowl, which acts as a seal.
    Plunging didn't do anything for the paper holder. I wound up pulling the toilet and using the auger from the other side. The paper holder was rather chewed up in the process. Where's a camera when you want one?
  6. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    clog

    Boy, paper rollers and cupped shaped things are about as hard a thing to get out from either end. I've even melted out a roller from the bottom because I could see it but not grab to where I could change it's direction and pull it out.

    I don't think that you will find that you will scratch the finish.
  7. JimT

    JimT New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Mostly OK but bowl water level drops an inch

    Returning home after a long and busy holiday, I finally used the closet auger and that seems to have solved most of my problems. The Ultramax is definitely flushing better. The only problem (if it is actually a problem) is the water level in the bowl. After a flush, the water in the bowl rises to a particular level that seems to be correct, but then over the next 5 - 10 minutes it drops vertically - not a lot, perhaps one inch at most. Since the elongated bowl is sloped, the "uncovered" porcelain - that which was covered by water but now is not - appears to be more than an inch.

    Is this normal? Or does it indicate a possible problem? Could it be a venting problem? If this is normal, I'd hate to spend the dollars on having the plumber come to look over the situation.
  8. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Low Bowl Water Level

    "Mostly OK but bowl water level drops an inch "

    Take a look at my Response #4 on the "Low Bowl Water Level" Thread in this forum.
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