Toto Ultramax flushing problem

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by lordmoosh, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    Hello all,

    I replaced a 3.5 gallon American Standard toilet from 1987 with a Toto Ultramax elongated model a little less than a week ago. If I press the handle and let it go right away the toilet does not flush. The bowl gets filled with water from the tank but the water does not get sucked down the drain. If I press the handle and hold it for a second before letting go of it, the toilet seems to flush correctly. I have not had any issues with the toilet besides this delay. It is able to flush solid waste pretty well so far. (the true test will be when a lot of people come over one day).

    At any rate, does anyone have any ideas about this delayed flushing? I hope it is not normal operating procedure to have to hold it for a second before letting go. My family has also reported this problem to me, and I am sure guests will not be used to it when they need to use my bathroom.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    14,814
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    There may be too much slack in the chain.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,830
    Location:
    New England
    You want the chain to only have a little slack in it so when you press the lever fully, it pulls the flapper up vertical. You shouldn't have to hold it if it comes up fully. Also, the tank will not fully empty, this is normal. The flapper valve has a calibrated hole in it to shut it after just the proper amount of water gets dumped.
  4. anthony reddy

    anthony reddy New Member

    Messages:
    1
    There is nothing wrong with the toilet. Pressing the knob down empties only half of the tank. This is meant for liquid waste. Pressing it down and holding it for a couple of seconds empties the full tank. This is for solid waste. It is designed to save water.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,830
    Location:
    New England
    If your 1.6g flush toilet needs you to empty the tank by holding the handle down, you've got a poorly designed one. If you measure the water, it is using more than 1.6g if you do that. A properly designed and functioning 1.6g toilet will not empty the tank, and does not need the handle held.

    Many people don't have confidence that it can flush with the short violent (in comparison to the old ones with 5g or more) action, but if you've got a good toilet, you don't need to hold the handle, just make sure you push it down all the way before you release it.
  6. micp879

    micp879 New Member

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    68
    Location:
    Martinez, CA
    Sorry Anthony, I have to disagree. Last time I checked, the ultramax was NOT a dual flush toilet. It is only supposedly a 1.6 gpf unit. And reread the original post. The poster said THE WATER doesn't go down the drain. They didn't say SOLIDS, they said WATER. So even if it was a dual flush toilet, which it isn't, it still wouldn't be working correctly since the WATER isn't even going down the drain. No toilet is designed to work that way, since urine would just constantly accumulate in the toilet bowl since not even liquids are getting flushed down. In essence it would just be an outhouse with no connected plumbing.
  7. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks for all of your responses. I reduced the slack for the flapper and the problem still occurred. I also tried adding slack, and this did not help either.

    Is there anyway I can measure how much slack there needs to be? I will take pictures at some point and post them if i cannot fix it.
  8. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    OK, let's start over.

    *********************************************
    QUOTE:

    Hello all,

    I replaced a 3.5 gallon American Standard toilet from 1987 with a Toto Ultramax elongated model a little less than a week ago. If I press the handle and let it go right away the toilet does not flush. The bowl gets filled with water from the tank but the water does not get sucked down the drain. If I press the handle and hold it for a second before letting go of it, the toilet seems to flush correctly. I have not had any issues with the toilet besides this delay. It is able to flush solid waste pretty well so far. (the true test will be when a lot of people come over one day).
    *********************************************************


    Soooo...

    You have a toilet which IS able to flush solids without a problem, but for some reason if you attempt to flush it in the normal way, by simply pushing the lever down and releasing it, the bowl fills up but water doesn't go down the drain? In other words, the bowl fills up with water like it's going to overflow?
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
  9. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    Yes that sounds about right. Basically if I hold the lever for about a second, most of the time it flushes normally. I say most of the time because once in a while even if I hold the lever for a second I have the same issue as when I don't hold the lever. If i just press the lever all the way down and let it go without holding it, water gets released from the tank into the bowl, the bowl water gets about halfway full but there is no suction created to pull the water down the drain. It never seems to get into danger of overflowing though, even if I try to flush multiple times without holding the lever during the flush.
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,814
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It sounds like something in the trapway.
    Pouring a bucket of water in the bowl
    Plunging
    Or using a closet auger may clear it.

    When the trip lever is pressed, the flapper should float up, and then drop down.
    If the trapway is clear, and there is no mainline blockage, it should siphon the bowl out.
  11. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks, will try it.
  12. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    Hello guys. Tonight I took a large container and filled it up with water. I think it was around 5-7 gallons. I poured it into the toilet fast but not fast enough so the water would overfill and spill out of the toilet. The water then drained and the toilet flushed on its own. Unfortunately there was no difference in how the toilet worked after I did this.

    I have also observed another interesting thing. If I press the toilet lever down and let it go right away, I can see a large bubble come from one of the holes (I think the drain hole) and the water splashes a bit inside of the bowl. I have come to understand that if I hold the toilet lever long enough for that bubble to come out of the toilet, the toilet will flush perfectly. If I press the toilet lever and let it go before that bubble comes out, the flush will fail and the toilet will fill up partially. Does this ring any bells? It seems as if there is some kind of water pressure problem going on between the new toilet and the drain.

    Is there any mistake I could have made during installation that could cause such an issue? A problem with the toilet itself? All I did was remove the old toilet, clean up the wax ring, put a new wax ring and install the toilet. There do not seem to be any leaks of any kind.

    Does anyone with a Toto Ultramax toilet have to hold the lever for any period of time in order to flush correctly, or should I expect to just have to press the lever and it should work like my old toilet?
  13. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    I've read on this forum that if somehow the wax ring gets deformed so that part of it is intruding on the inside of the closet flange, you can get poor flushing performance. Just a thought.
  14. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    I just played around with the chain slack again and had no lucky with the toilet flush. I am thinking about taking the toilet out and reinstalling it. Do you guys have any other suggestions?
  15. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    I think I figured out the reason the water is not getting sucked into the drain during a flush. The water level in the bowl is pretty low, it looks like there is about a pint of water in the bowl after a flush successfully completes. When I try to do a normal flush (pressing down and letting go right away) there is not enough water in the bowl for the toilets gravity suction process to work, so the water fails to get sucked down into the drain. After the first flush failure, water fills the bowl halfway so there is about a gallon of water in the bowl now. If I flush the toilet by pressing the lever and letting go right away, this second flush always works due to there being enough water in the bowl.

    I have never seen another Toto Ultramax toilet before so I do not know if my toilet should have a pint of water in the bowl after a flush, or about a gallon of water. Terry or someone, could you answer this?

    Depending on your answer, this leads to the next question. How do I fix the water level? (if indeed one pint is not enough). Do you think my toilet could be bad?
  16. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    I think I solved the problem guys. After my last post about the low water, I searched this forum for low water problems. I found this one:

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15101&highlight=bowl water

    Someone posted about making sure the water fill hose is pointed at the overfill tube. My hose was completed pointed directly into the tank. I think that is how it came from the factory. The toilet bowl now fills up about half way, and every flush works after a quick press of the lever. Just to verify, please let me know if this all sounds right. I bought this toilet to stop wasting water. We've wasted a ton of water in the past two weeks because of this problem but hopefully we will make up for it soon. Thanks for all your help.
  17. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

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    115
    Location:
    USA
  18. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

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    Looks good to me .
  19. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Sounds like you nailed it!

    Makes sense - you'd need a critical mass of water in the bowl to adequately siphon.

    Just think - now you've also helped someone else solve this down the road, by posting it here.
  20. lordmoosh

    lordmoosh New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks. I will leave those pictures up for as long as I have that comcast account. Hopefully the pictures will be good guidelines for others who had the same questions as me. Thanks again!
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