Water belches from overflow tube.

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by frank in ohio, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. frank in ohio

    frank in ohio New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've noticed small amounts of water on the floor at the back of the toilet lately and have discovered that when flushing the toilet, water belches from the overflow tube for a split second. I think it hits the lid and then just kind of squirts out the back of the tank. I've looked at my other toilets and see the water comes up the overflow tube upon flushing, but doesn't get near the top. I've tried adjusting the fill valve, both to the lowest and highest adjustment, doesn't seem to make any difference. Any ideas as to what might cause this.

    thanks
    frank
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Pure physics would say that when the tank is flushed, there is no way for the water in the tank to create enough pressure to force the water HIGHER than its level, so something else is at play and you do not give us any facts to tell what.
  3. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Try turning down the water flow to the toilet and see if that helps. You may have high water pressure. Check it.
  4. frank in ohio

    frank in ohio New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ohio
    All I can say is that the other two toilets don't do this. I'm on a well and the pressure is the same as what it has been for years, so not sure how to respond.

    thanks
    frank
  5. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Did you turn the flow down some?
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Turning the flow down may or may not stop the problem, but shut off valves should be full on. If you think the pressure is too high, get a pressure gauge and check it. It would be a good idea to have a gauge anyway, you should know what your pressure is anyway. You cannot lower pressure by turning a valve down either, you may reduce flow that way, but pressure will not change.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    One possibility, and you would have to remove the cover and watch while it flushes, is that the water from the refill tube is splashing out.
  8. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    While that may be true for main valves.....its not as important for a fixture with intermittant use. I could give you an example of this if you wish.
  9. frank in ohio

    frank in ohio New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ohio
    That's exactly what is happening, any idea why. It happens when you first push down on the flush handle, the water shoots out the top. I tried closing the shutoff valve a bit, no help. I also notice that if I ease the flush handle down gently rather than like you normally use it, the problem does not happen.

    frank
  10. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Turn the water completely off to the toilet and flush it. Does it still happen then?
  11. frank in ohio

    frank in ohio New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ohio
    Yes, I figured I'd try that when I closed the valve partially and that didn't work, so after the tank filled, I closed it all the way, same thing

    frank
  12. SamC

    SamC Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Georgia
    It sounds like something may be obstructing the flow of water from the tank into the bowl, causing it to back up the overflow tube. Also, the quick flow of water into the bowl traps some amount of air in the rim that must escape somewhere, so make sure all your jets are completely open. Since opening the flapper slowly helps, it may be giving the air time to escape, without pushing water ahead of it. Try turning off the water to the toilet, draining the tank, and lifting the flapper for a look where the water flows into the bowl. If your other two toilets are the same model, compare what you see there to them for any obstructions.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  13. frank in ohio

    frank in ohio New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ohio
    Sam, actually took the tank off, don't see anything strange that would cause blockage. I used some drill bits by hand and rotated them up into those little holes under the rim, some holes were smaller than others, but none were blocked completely. I ran a snake into that hole at the very bottom of the bowl, it went in quite a ways without any obvious blockage. I dumped water into the hole at the back of the toilet where the tank connects, no problem there either although I realize the quantity isn't like a normal flush. I was going to go to Home Depot to get the parts to replace all the innards in the tank just for grins, but getting late and it's 20 miles away. Maybe tomorrow.

    frank
  14. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    897
    Location:
    Midwest
    I'm wondering if this would be a symptom of a venting problem for the toilet drain (no fault of the toilet.) If the vent is partially clogged and can't handle the volume of liquid entering it all at once it is going to compress some air (a couple of inches of water pressure) in the line and then that air will find another path to vent. Perhaps snake the vent stack from the roof and flushing through it to wash out any gunk that is knocked loose.
  15. frank in ohio

    frank in ohio New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ohio
    I will certainly try that also, but wouldn't it be the same vent for all the toilets, the other two work fine. But I will try, supposed to be close to 60 today, rare for Ohio in January.

    frank
  16. SamC

    SamC Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Georgia
    If you're going to replace the innards anyway, see if there is a flush valve available with an overflow tube larger in diameter than the one you have now. If there is a fixed amount of air escaping each time, that should lower the level of the water in the tube. Then maybe your dripping problem is solved, even if you don't figure out why that particular toilet does what it does.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,157
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I would just glue a small cup or jar lid to the underside of the tank lid so that it directs the water back into the tank rather than onto the floor.
  18. frank in ohio

    frank in ohio New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Ohio
    I was actually thinking of doing something like that and slowly tip-toeing away, just want to know what the cause is. Also, I just talked to the Home Depot guy that is seldom there because he is old and works only part time, but he's been a plumber for 35 years (retired) and he says there should never be water in that overflow tube, that don't seem right to me, how can there not be when you flush.

    Sam, I will look for bigger overflow pipes this evening.

    thanks
    frank
  19. SamC

    SamC Member

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Georgia
    I have two different model Toto toilets. Water and air bubbles rise up the overflow tubes in both of them when flushed, and to two different heights, though they don't overflow.
  20. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    WHen you flush the toilet, the water in most Toto toilets goes in two directions: some goes to the siphon jet that actually starts the flushing process, and the rest goes to the rim for bowl wash and eventual refill. Since the water from the hose is what eventually refills the bowl, and it goes through the overflow tube, there is a connection from the flush valve path (under the flapper) and the overflow tube. If there is something caught in the path between the tank and the bowl, it could slow the flow enough so that you might get some splash up the overflow tube, but static pressure would normally prevent it from overflowing during the flush.
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