Flushing Problem with Old Toilet

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by JimmyStan, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. JimmyStan

    JimmyStan New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    I have an old toilet that was installed when my house was built 38 years ago. I don't know the make. I started having a intermittent flushing problem several months ago. I would flush and sometimes the water would just whirl around in the bowl but nothing would go down and out. I had a Korky flush valve that I thought might be at fault, so I replaced it with a newer Korky, since it worked well for me previously. I still have the same problem with the new valve. Here's what puzzles me. I don't remember what possessed me to try this a while back, but if I squirt some liquid dish washing detergent into the bottom exit part of the bowl, everything goes right down immediately, as it should. What might my flushing problem be and why does the liquid detergent work to make it flush properly? Thanks for any help you can give me here.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I suspect it is a lubrication thing. That is an interesting observation.

    Unless you have some collectors or decorators value for the old toilet, a new toilet will be a lot better flushing reliably.
     
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  4. JRC3

    JRC3 Member

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  5. JimmyStan

    JimmyStan New Member

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    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    Would this Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner with TEFLON Surface Protector that I read about in another thread help with my flushing problem? OK to use with my septic system? If so, where do I get it?
     
  6. hj

    hj Master Plumber

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    Occupation:
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    After all this time the bottom jet is probably full of calcium and the dish soap has nothing to do with it flushing better.
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    38-years and that toilet has paid for itself! YOu might be able to restore the internal passageways with an acid bath, but the water savings available with a new toilet may be called for here to resolve the problem.

    If you take a bucket and pour it down the toilet bowl slowly (fast will cause it to flush), does the water ever back up, or does it just flow out? If it eventually backs up the toilet, you have a drain line problem (there could be a toilet one, too).

    Texas is one of the states where if you decide to change the toilet, it MUST be one that meets the current water use requirements...you cannot legally buy, sell, import, or install one that does not whether you are the owner or a professional. You can legally repair what you have, though, if you can.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I think you are letting your imagination run beyond the facts.
     
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    You were much closer this time, but that law does not prohibit installing a 5 GPF toilet that you already had. It does not prohibit receiving such a toilet as a gift and installing it. It does not prohibit picking one off of the curb and installing it.

    And then there is this section Sec. 372.002.(f), which provides some very significant exceptions:
    Sec. 372.002.(f)
    This section does not apply to:​

    (1) a plumbing fixture that has been ordered by or is in the inventory of a building contractor or a wholesaler or retailer of plumbing fixtures on January 1, 1992;

    (2) a fixture, such as a safety shower or aspirator faucet, that, because of the fixture's specialized function, cannot meet the standards provided by this section;

    (3) a fixture originally installed before January 1, 1992, that is removed and reinstalled in the same building on or after that date;

    (4) a fixture imported only for use at the importer's domicile;

    (5) a nonwater-supplied urinal; or

    (6) a plumbing fixture that has been certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the WaterSense Program.​

    Sec. 372.002.(f)(4) says Jimmy could import the Al Bundy toilet from Canada for his own house. Of course Jimmy doesn't want to do this.

    And of course you will say that I have twisted this somehow.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    I did say he could fix and use his own toilet - any non-conforming used one must have been removed from your domicile, not something you picked up off the street used (it wouldn't be being installed in your domicile after removal)...but, the only way to use some other, non-conforming toilet is to physically import it into the state for use in your own home. Any other, non-conforming toilet that you might install must either be new from stock somewhere already in the state, and the dealer cannot order one since it won't be installed in his home when you're buying it. Try to find a new, non-conforming toilet to import...it's going to be tough. Try to get a building inspector to approve installing an old one you picked up off the street. If someone sends you one as a gift, you're not the importer and unlikely that it would be being installed in the same domicile, which precludes it. If any dealer has stock new from 1992 (when the federal low-flow, water sense requirements mandated what could be manufactured), I'd wonder how they stay in business.

    The intent of the regulation is to allow you to use what you already have, but any new fixture to meet the current requirements. The dealers cannot buy new stock that doesn't, because they can't sell it and the Feds have mandated water saving functions for decades now, and nobody makes them anymore to buy. Canada fairly closely follows the US low-flow requirements, so getting one from there would be iffy, then there's the practical situation of shipping a brittle, heavy, piece of porcelain and having it arrive intact.

    So, to dumb it down...you can reuse an old, non-conforming fixture IF you reinstall it in the same domicile (can't do that in public buildings or commercial - those aren't domiciles), and you can't buy a non-conforming one locally because they can't buy them or import them or sell them. That leaves you trying to find one somewhere that you can import for yourself. For practical purposes...when the old one is no longer viable, buy a new, conforming one.

    Back to the OP's problem...it is probably gunked up with mineral deposits (generally, requires an acid wash...dangerous if you don't know what you're doing (noxious fumes, potential chemical burns, may not work). If you can remove them, it may restore its functionality and could last decades. Given the drought in a good portion of Texas, there is incentive to replace it with something that can save some water and, many of the new ones will perform better than some of the old ones.
     
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