Toilet won't flush, at the end of my rope!

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by PB4UGO, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. PB4UGO

    PB4UGO New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Hi all,

    Thanks for taking the time to read. Here's my issue....I hope someone somewhere can help.

    We have a toilet on city sewer that stopped working. So much has gone on, I will try to list it all.

    1. Jetted to 110 ft. with no improvement. (125 ft. to main connection)
    2. Believed to be orangeburg pipe from foundation to mid parking lot, so leary to snake.
    3. City determined it was plugged on their end and flushed the line.
    4. Resat toilet, would not work.
    5. City checked line again, their connection was clear.
    6. Decided to jet again and snake....since it must be on our end and we had nothing to lose. Went all the way to the main connection with no issue. TV'ed the line and determined there were a few sags, but not holding water. Located and marked the line at the same time for future reference.
    Note: The main connection is under a major road (concrete) and connects on the opposite side.
    7. Resat toilet, would not work.
    8. Got on the roof, and verified that the vent was clear.
    9. Replaced old toilet with a brand new one, did not work.
    When I say, did not work, this is what happens. When you flush, the water fills right up to the rim, but does not overflow. It begins to drain. The water starts to fill in the tank again to the appropriate line. Now, if you take a 5 gallon bucket of water, and dump it in, it flushes perfect.
    10. Currently on the way to purchase a pressure assisted toilet to try...

    Any ideas?
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Not really except you haven't really given us enough information to do anything except guess.

    You might want to try handing this off to a good service plumber to troubleshoot before throwing more cubic dollars at it...
  3. PB4UGO

    PB4UGO New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Dollars

    Yes, the dollars are adding up.

    Our next step is to make some calls and find a reputable plumber who is willing to help us further.

    I wish I knew which information I could convey to help, but we are all guessing too.
  4. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    I am not a plumber, I just play one at my house and at mother's house. That just don't make sense. If pouring 5 gallons of water down the toilet ... it flushes, then you need not bother with checking the rest of the pipes. This is AFTER the city found the clog at THEIR end of the pipe?

    Is it possible you are using those newly manditory 12 fluid ounce flush toilet? I got one of the early low water volume toilets when they first became manditory. The toilet was not designed very well. Always clogs. Eventually, got tired of it keeping me so busy I replaced it. The new toilet uses the same volume but worked a lot better.

    I heard they are going to even smaller volume flush now? Maybe it is a problem with your toilet. You'll have to smuggle a big flush toilet from Mexico or something. If you find a supplier, let me know. I can have people at street corners pushing the stuff for you.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,820
    Location:
    New England
    It sounds like something is caught in the trap of the toilet. It could be a toy, a pencil, or something like that that will let water through, but when any paper or waste is caught, it blocks up. Have you run a toilet auger through the toilet?
  6. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    I am cheap and stubborn so I won't call a plumber at the drop of a hat. Unless it is an emergency, I try to figure out the proper way to do it and then plan and go do it. Same with debugging a problem. Just have to calm and have patience. It is not rocket science or brain surgery you know.

    SO, here is what you do ... I notice my low flush toilet flush flap at the bottom closes early due to the way the baffles is placed inside the tank. If I flush and hold the flap open, water will continue to flow into the toilet. Normally, the flap closes BEFORE half the water in the tank goes down to the toilet. If your toilet tank is designed that ways, put 5 gallons of water into the toilet tank, flush, hold the flap open, and see if it flush normal. If so, then the toilet is not providing sufficient water. Check that the auto filling of the tank don't get terminated before the tank is full. You'll need every drop of water.

    If you discovered the problem to be your toilet, DO NOT MODIFY THE TOILET TANK EVEN THOUGH IT WILL RESOLVED YOUR PROBLEM AND MAKE YOU A HAPPY MAN AND NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH PLUMBERS AND SKY HIGH COST. YOUR WIFE WILL LOVE YOU, YOU GIRL FRIEND WILL WANT TO JUMP YOUR BONES EVERTIME SHE SEES YOU AND YOUR BOSS WILL GIVE YOU A RAISE. SO, DO NOT DO IT. You can bring down the EPA to you house. They'll be kicking down your door.
  7. PB4UGO

    PB4UGO New Member

    Messages:
    3
    It's a standard flush toilet. I am leaning toward thinking that I am not getting enough water into the bowl, and what I am getting is not going in fast enough. We have maxed the supply line.

    The toilet is brand new...so I don't believe anything is in the trap.

    Thanks everyone for your comments and ideas....I appreciate it very much.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    What brand of toilet is it...??? You also may have something stuck between where the toilet mounts to the flange and the T / vent...have you checked that part of the line...generaly speaking if you can dump a 5 gallon bucket in the toilet and it works normaly them the problem is the toilet...try dumping 5 gallons down the flange also...it should work fine...

    You may just have bought a toilet with a flaw...what brand of toilet is it...
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilet

    The bowl filling and then gradually flowing away does not correspond to a 5 gallon bucket of water flushing properly. Something is awry there. But a 1.6 gpf toilet might flush with 5 gallons of water, but not with 1.6 if there is another problem. I am sure you checked but you are describing a toilet mounted over a "P" trap which only has enough pressure to flush through it with more than the modern 1.6 gallons.
  10. Herk

    Herk Plumber

    Messages:
    547
    Location:
    S.E. Idaho
    It is most likely that the pipe from the toilet flange is running uphill. Sometimes a floor will sag over the years and the main plumbing stack doesn't. But the pipe going to the toilet does. The solution is to repipe so that it runs properly downhill.
  11. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    Prop open the flapper at the bottom of the tank, pour, ... no ... dump in 5 gallons of water into the tank. See if that will flush. If 5 gallon is OK, then try again with 1.6 gallon. If that is OK, then check that the tank will fill to max per the design of the tank and the fill mechanism. If dumping 1.6 gal works, then there is nothing wrong with pipes & toilet. Verify a few times to make sure. It has to be the filling mechanism.
  12. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The symptom of the water rising on a new toilet would suggest that the vent to the toilet is plugged or non-existant or you have a partial blockage before the drain exits your home.

    How would you know if the toilet is vented if you do not see inside the walls?
  13. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    Bear with me as I am trying to understand as well ... If dumping 5 gallons into the toilet and it flush normal, AND dumping 5 gallons into the tank is also flushing normal (we have not get a confirmation from the OP yet, we'll see), can we conclued that the vent is connected OK?
  14. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The vent has nothing to do with it...
    But it could be a whole lot of other things and as HJ says...

    Without accurate logcal troubleshooting...
    There is a whole lot of expensive guessing going on...
  15. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes it would be connected fine.. My bad, I missed the ealier comments.

    The only thing that i can think of, if the refill tube in the tank is not in the overflow tube ,to fill the bowl to proper level
  16. xroad

    xroad New Member

    Messages:
    113
    OK ..... SO .....

    5 gallons bucket of water dumped into the toilet flush OK.
    5 gallons bucket of water dumped into the tank, assuming the tank is less than 5 gallon but dump 5 gallons anyways, with flap propped open, flush OK.

    Check if the tank volume will flush the toilet: ... with the flap shut, fill the tank to it's maximum, until the water start to overflow into the overflow pipe. Pull the flap open and keep it open (or hold the flush lever down). Does it flush?

    Check if the flap is closing too early: ... repeat the previous step, with full tank, except, flush normal with the flush lever, push and let go. Does it flush?
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