Flushing problem in Australia

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by viewer, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. viewer

    viewer Member

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    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi,

    Our toilet tank fills to the correct height, but on flush, it needs to be done at least 2 x times to clear the paper tissue.

    There appears to be no blockage in the waste line, as the water never rises up in the bowl when we flush, it just disappears normally.

    The toilet is in an ensuite, and it joins via its pipes to our main toilet and then to our sewer system. The other toilet works perfectly as well.

    The water, on flush, enters the bowl via one hole only, under the lip, pointing upwards to empty,at the base of the porcelain, closest to the wall. The hole is clear, allowing the flushed water to enter the bowl, creating a swirl effect around the rest of the lip, flushing the waste down the pipe.

    I have also sent a hand type curly pipe cleaner ( 3metres in length) down the waste hole, and into the pipes, with no hint of any obstructions.

    Solids never fail to flush, however, all the paper tissue does not do so, forcing this extra flush.

    This has only started happening over the last few months, but as we are on tank water, and not town water, this will impact on our tank water usage, as well as not looking good to the next user, if the second flush was not taken prior to someone using it.

    Can anyone offer me any more expert advice to see if I can eliminate the problem?

    I forgot to add, the toilet would be at least 30 years old.

    Thanks...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2015
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    You may have an accumulation of mineral scale. You could probably clean that out with a lot of work and chemicals. Here is a thread where some of that was discussed: https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/kohler-k4520-1984-vintage-wont-flush.50200/


    However it might be better to get a new toilet. A new toilet would almost certainly use less water and give effective flushes. I suspect you don't use the same toilet rough-in there, but I suspect there are parallels. Do you use a wall exit or floor exit? A little more money can give better performance, but not always. So you probably want to read up on the local offerings.
     
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  4. viewer

    viewer Member

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    Thank you Reach4, I have read that article, but unfortunately it does not appear to assist me.

    I cannot locate any jet hole in the bottom section of the toilet bowl, and as such, assume my model does not have one...I did say it was old...perhaps those "appeared" later in toilet development? My only hole anywhere is the outlet from the water tank, to the one under the lip, and it is clear.

    The toilet pipes go to waste via the tiled floor, and under the house to eventually drain away.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    You must have several holes under the rim. Those, and the passages to those holes, can clogged up.

    Try dumping 3 gallons of water into the bowl from a big bucket. If that flushes well, then figure that water is not being delivered to the bowl.

    If you could get a Toto Drake II, you would get a good flush with less water.
     
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  6. viewer

    viewer Member

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    Location:
    Australia
    I agree there should be more holes under the rim, however a physical examination using both my own and my wife's little fingers to slide around the lip and locale others, proved negative. We then used a mirror and a torch to reflect the image, and still only the one hole found.

    I will look again!
     
  7. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Location:
    New York, NY
    A lot of Australian toilets are "washdown" models, where the flush water comes from the lip and/or back of the bowl, without a siphon jet, so the design you mention is no surprise.

    We don't get too many Australia-manufactured toilets here in the US. The primary one we do get is Caroma, which does a good job. The ability of our non-pros to be helpful may be limited, but our founder, Terry, may take a look at this thread and give you a pointer or two, because he is well-travelled around the world, and takes an interest in the plumbing that he finds in different parts of the world...
     
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  8. viewer

    viewer Member

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  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I did some looking around *.au sites, and found the terminology was different from the US. I see that the toilets that feed into the floor are "s pan" or "s-trap". I also did not see discussions of "rough-in" distance which is a measure of how far from the wall the toilet flange is. If they are not all the same, you will want to make sure you get one that fits.

    It would be good to find some discussions of the particular toilet that you might consider. It's good that the toilets are available at a reasonable price. But if you could get a much better flush for A$60 more, you probably would. I did not find the kind of comparisons or ratings I was looking for.
     
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  10. viewer

    viewer Member

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    Yes, I guess toilet discussion is not one of those things that many people bring up, and in reality, unless you are building from new, or doing a renovation, then it is something you really don't think about.

    Yes, I will need to find out those distances from the wall to suit a new one, with the likewise probability that new installation sizes of pipes and fittings are different as well.

    It may indeed be more a job for the trained plumber, who would likely hold supplies of different sleeves etc, to do the job in one visit, rather than me having it out of commission, and then working out what different things I need, thus making the job a lot longer?

    Thank you..
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I think you are right on track with the plumber installation being much more time-effective.... He will have the stuff the local plumbing needs, and will do it right.

    If you added a new bathroom, then you could take the time to be slow. :)
     
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  12. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

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    You may want to get two bottles of lime-away, CLR, or de-mineralizer gel or liquid, then pour a good 8 ounces down the tank tall fill tube; repeat two or three times. That may break down any mineral deposits where the rim drain holes are, hopefully giving you a stronger flush.

    Or you could just pour 8 - 16 oz. of white vinegar down the fill tube, using a funnel, and keep repeating until the whole gallon is gone. That should eat away any calcium buildup.

    If that doesn't do it, you say, "it joins via its pipes to our main toilet and then to our sewer system," which may mean that there is an obstruction where it joins the first toilet's outlet. You will have to snake at least that far.
     
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  13. hj

    hj Master Plumber

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    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Some older toilets have the jet hole inside the bowl so it shoots directly into the water passage. If yours is one of these a "muriatic acid bath" may be the only way to unplug it.
     
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  14. viewer

    viewer Member

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    I was eventually able to get more water go into the tank, and now all is good...hasn't blocked up for a long while.

    Now to ask another question to you gurus if I may.

    Our water is coming inside the house from our rainwater tank. It naturally has an electric motor to pump it into the house.

    Whenever we use this water, pump works wonderfully, whether filling up kitchen sink, washing machine, washing hands, showering and baths etc. It just keeps going until you turn off the tap...no problems.

    For our two toilets though, the water/pump always cycles on/off for ages, and it takes an eternity for the toilets to get to their proper levels, and then all is good.

    Is this because the mechanisms within the toilet are ancient and need replacement?

    The picture attached shows the innards we have, and the manufacturer is Caroma. I suspect the loos were installed 25 years ago.



    Your analysis of what best practise would be appreciated.

    Thanks....as usual...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2020
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I had that long piece was made of wood, but I now think it is ivory plastic with some iron stain.

    The wall of the tank is very thin. Is that somewhat flexible?
     
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  16. viewer

    viewer Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, everything is plastic, all cheap and nasty. Yes, very thin and flexible.

    And yes, the discolored look was from our bore water problems prior.
     
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I had meant to comment that a new toilet that has a 4L flush would fill faster for a given flow. I know you are asking about the valve type, but I don't know about that.
     
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  18. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

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    Probably mineral deposits, or sand or gravel, inside the fill valve. On the Toto you remove a screen and clean it.

    I was surprised to see sand on the bottom of my Drake tank, along with white mineral deposits floating in the tank. Now I'm thinking of adding a sediment filter to the house... The "white" on the right side and the "red" in the tank makes me think lime and rust. Do you have a sediment filter at the output of the pump?
     
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  19. viewer

    viewer Member

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    Australia
    Thanks again for replies...sorry, but what is a toto?

    No filter on the tank, but old residue and staining is from a problem we had when using bore water in the house, high in iron content. I did clean the toilet water tank with a chlorine soak or two, and what you see now is 10,000 times better than it was.
     
  20. Wallijonn

    Wallijonn Member

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    I had the same problem with my old Briggs toilets, except many times solids didn't completely flush. Sounds like you need a new toilet. Like a Toto. The most inexpensive one is the "Entrada".

    When it takes a long time to fill the tank it could be a faulty fill valve or a leaking flapper, but usually a bad fill valve since the flapper will show signs of a leak into the bowl with stains inside the bowl, and if you lift up the flapper you will either feel slime, which should be cleaned, along with its mating surface, or blisters.If the flapper is blistering it should be replaced ASAP.

    Sine you say that they are 25 years old, going to a 1.28gpf toilet should save you a lot of water since you probably have a 3.5gpf toilet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
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  21. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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