How to troubleshoot toilet flush v clogged lineissue

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by aliris19, May 19, 2021.

  1. aliris19

    aliris19 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    California
    Hi - y'all have been so helpful in the past; thanks for weighing in again please. I have a Toto -- forget the name, it's a low end two-piece type (that was still crazy-expensive; it's the smoothed-sides version which is I guess just a superficial distinction). We have two of these, one upstream from the other. The upstream one has always worked well, the downstream one less-so. As well we definitely have clogged lines issues with tree roots and the like. *However*, if that were the problem, I should think both toilets would be equally poor-draining. They're not. The down-stream one is horrible, sometimes requiring holding down the flusher for a couple minutes before you hear that "glug". Drives me crazy. My husband is able to improve things by fiddling the fill valve a little, sometimes, and always only temporarily.

    Is there a way to determine if this is a drainage problem or just a toilet's-guts problem? I'm OK with just changing out that fill assembly. But I suspect it's not really the problem. And yet, there is that other slight evidence that it might be..... any thoughts anyone please? TIA!!
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I think the key could be that downstream is closer to the roots. The upstream toilet probably has venting before the standing water, and plus it is uphill. So the lower pipe can serve as a buffer.

    I am not saying there is not an obstruction in the downstream toilet. https://terrylove.com/forums/index....ease-advise-any-advise-is-appriciatred.38585/

    [​IMG]

    The "smooth side" toilet could be a Vespin II, but that is not really low-end, but it is low end for Toto with a "concealed trapway".

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2021
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  4. aliris19

    aliris19 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    California
    Ah. That explains it (photo too). So... if it's obstruction could fiddling with the valve assembly fix things just temporarily like that? And yes, there is venting upstream. Hadn't thought of that.
     
  5. aliris19

    aliris19 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    California
    So... call roto-rooter before switching out the toilet's guts...? (And yes, I know you can rent equipment to do that from Home Depot but (a) it's hard and (b) it's gross and (c) I think professionals will do a good job for (d) not much more money when all is said and done and (e) I think they'll do not just a good job but better than we did and (f) We get to keep our limbs as an added bonus). Point is, the behavior of the upstream toilet isn't evidence that the known problem isn't a problem yet... *sigh*.
     
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  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    One way to check a toilets flush, is by pouring a bucket of water right into the bowl. If the bowl isn't draining, just stop pouring.
    There could be something in the trapway slowing things down. Even Q-Tips can slow things down.
    Also, check to see if the little hole for the siphon jet is clear. I had bowls where that was blocked a bit, cleared it with my gloved finger and it was good again.
     
  7. aliris19

    aliris19 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    California
    Yes, that's it - Vespin. I was thinking "thespian" which I knew had to be wrong, lol! The name is rubbed off which is annoying but you have it right. And I'm remembering now there was some special that netted us this "upgrade" for the same price as a lower end version. It's been a while.

    Thank you, Terry for the test. I can do that easily. So you're saying, if roots (or an action figure) are blocking the exit, the water won't flow. Else, it will flow and look elsewhere, maybe the mechanism. OK. I'll check the siphon jet too.

    And yeah I mean "rotorooter" as an icon. I'm in LA and there are approx 5,265 ppl offering this service who are small indpendent guys. And they're specialists. I asked our plumber once long ago if he could snake it out and he said to call a specialist bc they have really good, fast, ginormous equipment and can do it fast better and cheaper than he could. Course, I didn't, resulting in the HD rental equipment escapade. But I didn't explain all that when I say "call rotorooter". I would for sure find an independent guy, but who specializes in this stuff.

    First, though, to find a bucket....
     
  8. aliris19

    aliris19 Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    California
    Totally drains. Toilet bowl filled briefly then flushed and kept the water moving down the whole time.

    So - should I just buy one of those replacement valve assemblies? I'm not sure what the siphon jet is - the black hose that is clipped to a piece of vertical pvc tubing? That's cranking at high volume. DH seems to think the PVC tube is "not high enough" and wants to extend it. Which seems absurd to me; I presume this is highly engineered out the wazoo. Not sure if this is relevant but after the water fills and the inflow shuts off, there's a trickling sound for a while, which does then stop.

    Thanks for further advice.
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Click Inbox, above.
    Try pouring from a 5 gallon bucket or big waste container with maybe 4 gallons of water in it. Pour from as high as you can, as fast as you dare. The deluge could move something along. The greater volume could show a restriction by backing up.

    The Vespin II uses the Toto Unifit. This changes what you will deal with if you ever lift the toilet. The Vespin II has two big holes up top instead of rim holes. I presume there was a Vespin before that was not II. It probably has rim holes rather than the two big holes inside the top of the bowl.
    The siphon jet is the pretty-big hole at the bottom of the bowl that is opposite of the exit hole. It shoots water toward the exit, and gets the siphon going more vigorously. That removes the payload and most of the water. The refill then refills the bowl.

    The black tube is the refill tube. The refill level in the bowl should max out when the fill stops, or a bit before. If you slowly add maybe a quart of water to the bowl, and the water level rises and stays higher than before the pour for 5 minutes, the bowl refill is not adequate. The amount of water the bowl can hold is limited by the "weir" -- a hidden spillway at the top of the trap inside the toilet. Did you click Inbox?
     
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