Problems due to lack of use ?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by kstuart, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. kstuart

    kstuart Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    Central Coast CA
    I just purchased a new home, which has two relatively new identical toilets in the two bathrooms. The home was a "short sale" (bank owned), which took so long, that the toilets (and everything else) had not been used in 6-12 months (or possibly even longer, it is hard to get any information about anything from the sellers since they are losing money on the deal, i.e. unmotivated).

    In both toilets, I have needed to use the plunger on more than one occasion.

    Since this is happening in both toilets, my thought was that it might be due to lack of use.

    Is this a possibility ? If so, is there a DIY fix, or do I need to call a plumber ?

    ( I am specifically not mentioning anything about the brand or model of toilet, because I do not want the focus to be on whether it is or is not a good performing model. )
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    In general a toilet sitting...even if all the water evaporates out of the bowl will not change the way it flushes...unless there was something in the bowl that didn't get flushed before it dried out...then all bets are off...
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  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    I think it is likely the toilets are builder grade specials from a Box Store. No known cure other than replacing. A couple of Toto Drakes might be in your future. Sorry, that's probably not what you wanted to hear.
  5. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    It's fairly easy to pull them yourself to look for blockage in the trapway, etc. You should only have to install a new wax ring and put them back in place once you are done.
  6. kstuart

    kstuart Member

    Nov 23, 2005
    Central Coast CA
    True, but remember that both toilets are exhibiting the same symptom.

    Is it possible that there is an obstruction in the pipe to the sewer that is beyond the point where both toilets' outflow comes together ?
  7. Firemark

    Firemark New Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Southern NJ
    Pull the toilets and snake the drain lines

    I've purchased several foreclosed properties over the years and every one of them sat emptly for at least a year. The problem you are having is most likely some parting gift from the previous homeowner, dumping something down the toilets. Be sure to check inside the trapway of the toilet itself for things jammed in there.

    As previously mentioned, pulling a toilet to check for obstructions is an easy do it yourself job however you should also take the time to have a plumber run a powersnake through all the lines to make sure they're clear to the street sewer.

    Finally, replace the wax seal with a plain seal, no flange. If there was one, this can contribute to poor performance. Be sure to check the date on the Toilet. The early versions of 1.6GPF toilets were notorious for poor performance, leading to Toto's rise as a very popular, very good, replacement.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    There could be problems with the toilets that are not related to how long they sat, but how long they were in use, such as clogged jets and/or rim holes.
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