Reason for weak flush w/ solids only?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by TSPORT, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    Hi all. I also need an opinion regarding a weak flush. I put in an AS Repetoire to match the new pedestal sink when I redid the main bath about 7 years ago. It flushes very well w/ liquid waste but when solids are involved, it seems like the water just swirls around in the bowl for waaaaaay too long before it finally goes down. Sometimes I have to hold the lever down to get a completed flush and sometimes it needs a plunge. Does not have to be a lot of solids for this to happen. Didn't seem to be this bad for the first few years. As the previous poster mentioned, a quick plunge gets the job done. What gives? (obviosuly not the waste!). Is it possible there is an obstruction in the trap in the toilet? I tend to think not since it is easy to plunge if clogged but I am at a loss for the reason other than a lousy toilet???
    Wanted to keep the matching fixtures but will ditch it for a Drake if need be (have one in the half-bath, works great)..........thanks--------TSPORT
  2. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Most A.S. toilets with have a 1" hole in the bowl that will assist in flushing. If that is your case, it may have a build up of calcium or crud that is not allowing for the extra water to assist in the flushing action.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,055
    Location:
    New England
    THere could be a pencil, pen, toy soldier, toothbrush, etc. caught in the trapway that would pass liquids but fail to allow solids to go through (especially when the paper might get caught and block off some flow), at least until they get softened up some and then forced past when you plunge. Or, it could just be a lousy flushing toilet.

    A toilet auger and some skill might catch something, if it is there. Otherwise, maybe it's time for a new toilet.
  4. theplumber

    theplumber Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    CA
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=3

    Do you drink allot of beer and possibly pee in the toilet at night w/out flushing? This will definitely slow up a toilet. The traps in toilets will build up from protein in your urine, this happens especially fast in unglazed traps inside the toilets. If you get a free toilet from your city to help save water from your old water guzzling one, you can almost guarantee it is unglazed on the inside.

    My favorite find in a toilet that wouldn't take solids was a plastic applicator from a tampon blocking the exit hole at the base of the toilet. I showed it to the owner and he called his daughter in to see what i found. She was a bit embarrassed to say the least.

    If you keep combs in your back pocket, this could also do the trick. In bars girls like to put their credit cards in their back pockets to keep from taking their purse with them. I've find at least 2 cards a year in the 2 restaurants I do work for.
  5. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    Actually, now that you mention it, the wife and I frequently let the toilet go unflushed overnight if we have to pee after the kids go to sleep as we don't want to wake them. Guess we'll have to start flushing. I am going to get a closet auger and try that too. Any suggestions for disolving any build-up that may have accumulated from the urine? As I mentioned earlier, the toilet was new 6-7 years ago at the most. Thanks..........TSPORT
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  6. theplumber

    theplumber Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    CA
    I heard from one old timer that he puts in Muriatic acid (found in pool cleaning supply section of your hardware store) into the toilet and lets it sit over night. Flush it the next day and it's as good as new. I've never done that and "wouldn't suggest it". If you did try that, you would want to protect you and the family from the fumes that come with this idea, as it could be a serious health and life hazard. It is also most likely illegal to flush that stuff down the drain wherever you live.

    The other thing that can ruin a flush that is hard to spot is hairline cracks in the bowl itself. the waste in the bowl flows through the trap thanks to capillary action. If there's a crack where the vacuum can be broken, capillary action will not work and the toilet will not flush. You could auger a toilet like that all day long and never get it to flush. Chances are if this happens, the toilet won't flush at all as opposed to a very poor flush.
  7. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    Thanks to theplumber. You hit the nail right on the head. I spent some time chipping away at the mineral? deposits in the trap and where the extra jet of water comes out at the base of the bowl and the toilet flushes much better. I drained all of the water and filled the bowl to cover the trap w/ undiluted Lime-A-Way and let it sit for a few hours. It did not seem to have any effect on the deposits. They are like concrete! I can still feel a considerable build up inside the trap. Anybody know if a product called Santeen delimer will work if I let it sit overnight? I am tempted to try the muriatic acid but would like a gentler approach if there is one. Thanks all!...........TSPORT
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have seen muriatic acid eat away the finish on toilets...and the fumes can be very bad...I recomend if you do use it, to pull the toilet and do it out side...
  9. TSPORT

    TSPORT New Member

    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Philly,PA suburbs
    Update on the lousy flush

    Well, I read some older threads and decided to take a shot with the muriatic acid. Dipped out the bowl, put a half gallon down the overflow and another half in the bowl. Opened the window and stuck a fan in there, sealed up the bathroom door. After an hour, flushed it 5 times and rinsed the bowl good, looks like new and the flushing action is way better. Stuck my hand as far down the trap as I could get it and no more mineral deposits (although I could feel a nice jagged piece of porcelain sticking down from the top of the trap that can't be helping any. Nice build quality American Standard!) I could not believe all of the gunk that came out from under the rim right when I poured the acid down the overflow. This is some nasty stuff (Muriatic Acid). Eye and skin protection are a must. Extreme ventilation is a must. As others have mentioned, best used outdoors if possible (says so right on the jug, too).......Hard to believe how diminished the flow got on a 7 year old toilet just from buildup in the passages. Seems good now.
    Thanks all.........................TSPORT
  10. weaver

    weaver New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    An alternative

    For the same problem, I've used Assault, made by Chemsol Products Corp. It contains sulfuric acid. Same precautions mentioned above apply. I contained the fumes by putting a 5 gal bucket upright into bowl. Mineral scale dropped off. I don't have any connection with the company. My impression is that it is not quite so invasive as muratic acid. I'm not a plumber.
  11. shluffer

    shluffer New Member

    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I seem to have a similar problem, but not as bad. My 30 year old toilet seems to stop up on the kids from time to time. I originaly figured it was a too much tissue problem, but it does it when there isn't to much. I put and auger down it, and it was a beast to push it through. I figure there must be some deposits. Any way to get rid of them without these extremely caustic chemicals? I don't think I want those around my family and may replace the toilet if those chemicals are the only option.
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