Vent-Away doesn't flush completely

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by welmoed, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. welmoed

    welmoed New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    We purchased a house built in 1972; three of the four bathrooms have American Standard wall-mounted Vent-Away toilets. Two of them work fine; the third (in the master bathroom) has problems with incomplete flushing. The contents of the bowl don't clear with one flush; it sometimes takes three or even four flushes to completely clear the bowl. What can we do about this?
    --Welmoed
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
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  4. welmoed

    welmoed New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    The situation with the toilet finally got so bad that we called in a plumber to snake the line. He found no obstructions and is getting us a price on replacing the unit. In the meantime, my husband has removed the toilet from the wall in order to see whether there is an issue inside the toilet trap that is blocking or minimizing flow. He even replaced the innards with a standard flushing mechanism, plugging the vent-away hole. The issue seems to be that there isn't enough power behind the flush to create the strong swirl.
    Any ideas on what to try next? Replacement is going to be costly and we'd like to avoid it.
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]
    This is the Closet Auger.
    Most likely, the problem is in the trapway of the bowl.
    I wouldn't have left the tank parts alone.
     
  6. welmoed

    welmoed New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Problem solved!!!

    Bob took the tank and bowl off the wall, gave them a thorough cleaning, and discovered what the problem was. Evidently, the seal around the ventaway portion had failed, creating an air gap during the flush, which led to a failure of the swirl. I'm not sure exactly where he plugged it up, but once he did, he put the whole thing back together, and it works like a charm. I'm so proud of him... he just saved us $1000 (cost of new toilet and installation).
     
  7. goodbyetospam

    goodbyetospam New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2016
    Location:
    Illinois
    YAY!!! Give Bob a hearty handshake and a pat on the back for me!! Sealing that vent away port in the back of the bowl did the trick!

    I, too, have an American Standard wall mounted Vent-Away toilet from the 1970s that I converted to a regular flush toilet because I couldn't afford to repair or replace anything on it. I plugged the "third hole" in the bottom of the tank with a regular sink drain plug (for 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" size drains). It fit perfectly from the inside of the tank. I wasn't sure if I should also plug the matching hole in the bowl below the tank, so I left the original gasket in place between the tank and the bowl and put the tank back on. There were no leaks, but the bowl would not flush completely whereas it has flushed fine before I started working on it. LOTS of searching the internet did me no good until I stumbled on this post which pointed me in the right direction. My repair was not leaking because of the sink drain plug I used, but the gasket I re-used was not sealing between the tank and the bowl. Who cares, right? As long as there's no water gushing on the floor, what's to worry about? Apparently, the air gap was allowing air to get sucked down the soil pipe with the flush water which seriously interrupted the suction action of the flush. The water would swirl and maybe half would go down the pipe, but the rest just stayed in the bowl. I replaced the old gasket with a simple "Fill Valve Shank Washer" (aka, Ballcock Shank Washer, Master Plumber part #396082) which is just a really thick, heavily tapered rubber washer. I put the tapered side in the hole with the flat side against the tank, bolted everything back up and now I"M BACK IN BUSINESS BABY!! Thanks Bob and "Welmoed" for a real money saving post!!
     
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