Problem with Crane Pressure-Assisted Toilet

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by BluesBrother, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. BluesBrother

    BluesBrother New Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    I moved into this 2-story, 20-year-old house 9 months ago, and noticed right off that a couple of the toilets (Kohler, gravity flush) on the ground floor didn't flush well. So I took the opportunity to replace both of them with Crane pressure-assisted models, using a PF-2 Model 150-403, Serial No. 494206 pressure vessel manufactured by Geberit and distributed by Chicago Faucets. I'd used the Crane pressure-assisted toilets before (in another, new home) with excellent results.

    One of the toilets works fine; the other has been a disappointment, flushing poorly and often requiring multiple flushes to evacuate and clean the bowl. I've tried everything: I followed the maintenance instructions on the Chicago Faucets web site, all to no avail. Water pressure here is about 55 PSI, which should be adequate. The toilet seems to behave and operate "normally" as described on their web site.

    I suspected that there might even be a problem with the sewer line (an obstruction of some sort). My suspicions were encouraged by pouring a bucketful of water into the bowl. The water level rose and settled back to normal, but the bowl never "flushed out" by gravity, drawing air, as is the case with the other pressure-assisted toilet.

    So I had a plumber camera the line. He could find no problems with the line all the way out to the street. However, he did find that the line makes some odd twists and turns. It goes down into the floor and immediately makes the usual 90-degree turn. then it heads towards the wall, where it hits a Tee; the upper half of the Tee goes up to the roof as a vent; the lower half heads vertically down further into the ground, where it makes another 90-degree turn before heading toward the street.

    Could these twists and turns produce enough "back pressure" to make this toilet flush poorly? Is it a problem with water pressure? Or is the pressure vessel mechanism possibly defective and needs to be replaced?

    I'm at my wit's end on this one, having spent a small fortune on the toilet itself and having the line camera'ed. Any insights would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  2. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I've got a Crane with a Flushmate mechanism. After about 5 years of use, the linkage between handle and the flush actuator button got "sloppy" and as a result, about half the time, the thing wouldn't flush properly. By this I mean that it would half-heartedly flush. You could feel the slack in the linkage when you moved the handle.

    I called Crane and they mailed me a new handle and linkage, no charge. Works great again.

    This is probably irrelevant to your problem, since you say that the bowl doesn't empty the same way your other toilet does when you dump water from a bucket.

    Where did the plumber insert the camera? I'm not familiar with the process -- is the camera and line flexible enough to be inserted into a toilet and proceed through the trapway?

    If not, have you snaked the toilet?
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  4. BluesBrother

    BluesBrother New Member

    Feb 26, 2005
    Thanks for the reply, Steve

    Yeah, this toilet is new and I'm familiar with the linkage adjustment/wear problem, as I saw it on my previous Crane toilets.

    A camera is a slick little piece of equipment a lot like a snake, about 3/4" in diameter, with a camera and light in the end. It's flexible and can be "snaked" down a line. Using a TV monitor, the plumber can see the interior of the line and what lies ahead.

    It can be inserted through the trapway of the toilet, but as with a snake, there is some (lesser) risk of marring the porcelain finish of the trapway and bowl. So I had the plumber pull the toilet and insert the camera directly into the floor opening.
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