Toilet bowl loss of water

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Carol olson, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Carol olson

    Carol olson New Member

    Messages:
    1
    My new toilet loses water after being flushed. It is higher for a few minutes then drops to a small amount of water in bowl. installed the same one in another bath and it works fine. Whats wrong?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    14,943
    Location:
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    It may have a crack in the bowl.
  3. dcalkins

    dcalkins New Member

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    3
    Toile bowl water loss

    Same problem but this toilet was installed four years ago and has been working fine. The vent is open so there is no siphoning going on, the flapper has been replaced, an identical toilet downstairs works fine, etc. Is it possible for a bowl to crack under normal conditions - no kids, no freezing, no abuse, etc. Was it simply a defect waiting to break through? The water must be going down the drain since the ceiling downstairs isn't wet. It completly drains overnight.

    Thanks,

    Dave
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    Carol, when you flush, does the bowl clear completely and refill normally? When you say the water is "higher" for a few minutes, do you mean higher than normal, or just at the level it's supposed to be at? When it recedes, does the toilet slurp as the water settles at the lower level? If you carefully pour water slowly into the bowl, does the water return to its "normal" level and stay there?

    Dave, if yours completely drains overnight, there almost has to be a leak in the bottom of the bowl -- can't be siphoning. If there's no water on the floor or on the ceiling below, there almost has to be an internal crack in the toilet allowing the bowl to drain into the normal drain. I hate to say "almost" so often, but I almost never use absolutes. Last-ditch guess: do you have a cat or a dog?
  5. dcalkins

    dcalkins New Member

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    3
    Toilet bowl water loss

    No cat or dog, no activity in the house throughout the night. Bowl fills to normal level but drains completely overnight.

    You are probably right about a crack but I'm just amazed that it would show up after so many / so few years of service.

    Thanks for giving me my weekend project.

    Dave
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    If it's any consolation, you're no more amazed than I'll be if that turns out to be the problem, but apparently it's more common than one would think.
  7. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

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    1,423
    Location:
    Florida
    leak

    I saw it happen twice as I remember and the toilets may have been 15 years old. I found a sand hole that was probably was patches when it was new and then sent out. It was a Kohler.
  8. dcalkins

    dcalkins New Member

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    3
    Replaced the four year old Western 1.6 with an old American Standard 5.0 I had in storage for parts. That fixed the problen, no more water bowl leakage. I'll have to shop for a replacemment now. I'm looking for recommendations on Toto's new one. Thank you for the assistance.

    Dave
  9. GAM

    GAM New Member

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    14
    I have problems with my toilet bowl losing water, too. Since my floor is dry, and there is no water stains on the lower floor (garage ceiling), I also thought I had a cracked bowl. I replaced the entire toilet with a new one, and I am still losing water! What's weird is that I don't even have to flush and the water level still drops. Doesn't this eliminate the venting/suction possibility? I am at a loss. I pour water in the bowl, and within an hour or so, the level has dropped. The next morning it is lower still by an inch or two. Within days, it is WAY down. The funny thing is, it does not ever appear to drain completely dry. Does anyone have any ideas here?
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
    New England
    Do you have any pets?

    Is the floor level?

    After a flush, it may take a minute or two for the bowl level to stabilize...it is like a cup that is filled to overflowing.

    If it isn't vented properly, waste passing by could pull water out of the bowl but wouldn't be able to drain it dry. If you watch the bowl and someone runs water anywhere else, see if the level fluctuates. Could be the washing machine, another toilet, or maybe draining a tub...something that potentially has a high velocity flow.

    If you were unlucky, if the bowl was defective, it could be dripping into the drain, and wouldn't show up on the floor. If you were really unlucky, it's dripping and destroying the subfloor.
  11. GAM

    GAM New Member

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    14
    I've lived here for over 10 years, and this problem only recently came about, so I'm pretty sure it isn't related to the floor not being level. The water level lowers even when the toilet has not been flushed. I can add water to the bowl (without flushing), and it will still lower. I thought about it being related to a washing machine, other toilet, etc. however, since the water level lowers further over-night, when no other plumbing fixtures are being used, I have ruled that out as well. Since I have installed a brand new toilet, the odds that the new bowl has a crack are rather slim. The sub-floor is dry and not soft.
  12. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    The water level will drop an inch or so if its windy outside and air passing over the vent outside causes pressure changes in the vent system. Do you think this is what's happening?
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    14,943
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Really?
    And yet the old toilet didn't lose water?
    I would pull the bowl, and test it overnight outside somewhere.
    It's not uncommon for some brands to have a certain percentage of defective bowls and tank.
  14. GAM

    GAM New Member

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    14
    The wind theory is an interesting one. I live on a hill, where it is windy at times. However, my two other toilets do not lose any water. Aren't they all vented to the same vent? Also, this phenomenon just started a few months ago. I've lived there several years, but never had this problem. No cracks were noted on the old toilet, and the new toilet is an American Standard. I really don't think a cracked bowl is the problem...
  15. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,943
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    American Standard?

    Why am I not surprised.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  16. GAM

    GAM New Member

    Messages:
    14
    I may have found the answer! I just spoke with a business associate, and he had the exact same thing happen to him, not once, but TWICE! He experienced one toilet bowl water level fine, while one lost water - they were on the same floor! Another occasion, he said the toilets upstairs were fine, and the main floor toilet bowl lost water. He said in both instances, there was blockage down line. Once he cleared the blockage, the problems were resolved. Do you think this is purely coincidence, or is he on to something? He couldn't explain it, but said once the blockage was cleared, the toilets were normal again. What do you think?
  17. Southern Man

    Southern Man DIY Hillbilly

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Yes if there is a blockage you won't get complete energy in the flush. Depending on the severity you could get exactly what you experienced. You may be able to clear it with a standard closet auger. If it's further downstream you'll need something longer.
  18. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    auger = 5 letters
    plumber = 7 letters
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  19. GAM

    GAM New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Thank you for your time! I'm going to try first a blockage removal product for septic tanks. It's cheaper than hiring an plumber with an auger. What do you think?
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    A plumber works a lot better....
    Save your money for the fix that works...
    How have you decided that you have a blockage?
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