Slow Toilet

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Gazoo

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I have two Briggs 4440-1.6 gpf toilets in my home. One is rarely-used and flushes fine. The other is frequently-used and has started to flush slowly down the drain. When I flush, the water gets alarmingly high and then unimpressively flushes.

I tested for an obstruction in the pipes by quickly pouring a 10 oz. glass of water into the idle bowl, and the bowl quickly flushes. I assumed the rim jets could be clogged, but my Briggs 4440 toilets don't have rim jets.

Instead of rim jets, there is a slit underneath the rim. If you're standing in front of the toilet and the edge of the bowl closest to the tank is 12 o'clock, the slit runs narrowest from 11 to 1 o'clock and it appears to open wider beyond these points (towards you).

I squirted The Works into the slit and let it set a few hours, but it didn't improve the flushing power. I pour vinegar into the overflow and let it stand for a few hours: still slow. Hot vinegar: still slow. CLR: still slow.

Any suggestions?

P.S. I'm sorry if this is a duplicate post, but my first post (same title) didn't seem to take.
 

Reach4

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Try pouring from a 5 gallon, or bigger, container from as high as you can and as fast as you dare.
 

BECplumbing

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I don't know anything about plumbing, but what will this do?
The toilet could be flushing slow due to mineral deposits in the rim and siphon jet. This can be cleaned with acidic toilet bowl cleaner and you will need to let it sit for an hour. Be sure to open a window so you don’t breath in a ton of toilet bowl cleaner fumes.
 

BECplumbing

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The toilet could be flushing slow due to mineral deposits in the rim and siphon jet. This can be cleaned with acidic toilet bowl cleaner and you will need to let it sit for an hour. Be sure to open a window so you don’t breath in a ton of toilet bowl cleaner fumes.
Oh wait I just realized you are talking about an open rim toilet. But there still could be minerals slowing it down a little bit although it wouldn’t slow it down by much due to the design of the toilet.
 
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Gazoo

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1. It will better test your toilet drain line's ability to accept water.
2. If there is a partial blockage, the deluge may clear the blockage.
I poured a 5-gallon bucket of water into the bowl and the water raised to almost the rim...but I kept going...and it eventually drained. I then flushed the toilet and it still slowly drains.
 

Gazoo

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Oh wait I just realized you are talking about an open rim toilet. But there still could be minerals slowing it down a little bit although it wouldn’t slow it down by much due to the design of the toilet.
Ah...an "open rim toilet!" I was trying to find the technical name of this "jet" system of mine.

I filled an empty toilet-cleaner bottle (The Works) with CLR and spent an hour squirting small amounts into the rim until it started cascading down the side of the bowl. I could hear fizzing but only a few brown flakes came out from the open rim jet. The color of the brown flakes match what can accumulate on my shower head if I let it build up for a while (couple years).
 

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Ah...an "open rim toilet!" I was trying to find the technical name of this "jet" system of mine.

I filled an empty toilet-cleaner bottle (The Works) with CLR and spent an hour squirting small amounts into the rim until it started cascading down the side of the bowl. I could hear fizzing but only a few brown flakes came out from the open rim jet. The color of the brown flakes match what can accumulate on my shower head if I let it build up for a while (couple years).
the toilet could also have minerals in the trapway that cause it to slow flush. To clean this out put a substantial amount of toilet bowl cleaner in the bowl and let it sit for an hour or two. Then flush the toilet and see if that fixes the problem.
 

BECplumbing

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Here’s what I think is happening. Either there is a lot of minerals in the trapway or the vent stack is obstructed. This could be two reasons why your toilet is flushing slowly
 

Gazoo

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You just beat me to my next question because I needed time to craft it:

-----

I'm stabbing in the dark, but would the experts suspect the vent for this one toilet? I read about vents on another site. However, if I have a clogged vent, it's only affecting the one toilet.

I live in a townhouse community, and I occasionally smell what seems to be a sewer. "Occasionally" is a strong word but it's more than "rarely." I don't know what triggers the smell and I don't know from where it emanates. When I do smell it, it'll just waft for a while. I thought it was my neighbor smoking one of his stinky cigars in his garage. I'll ask.

Could a change in weather (temps, humidity, dew point, etc) trigger the smell from a partially clogged vent? How would a vent become clogged? I haven't nailed anything into the wall or into any wall.

There must be 50 toilets within the units of this building; however, I do not see an abundance of vent pipes on the roofs. It seems like each building only has four. Could toilet vents go downward into the ground? I came home one day and smelled the "stinky" cigar near my neighbor's door, so I suspected he was recently outside with a cigar. Perhaps the stink pipe exits near his front door.

Again, I'm just guessing because I don't think I have any buildup in my toilet.
 

Reach4

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I poured a 5-gallon bucket of water into the bowl and the water raised to almost the rim...but I kept going...and it eventually drained. I then flushed the toilet and it still slowly drains.
Sounds like a partially clogged drain to me, unless there is a clog in the toilet trapway. A closet auger can usually clear the trapway.

A professional with a big machine can clear the 3 inch pipes much better than a small snake.

But wait.... how about doing the same bucket test on the toilet that flushes well. This will calibrate your expectations.
 

Gazoo

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Sounds like a partially clogged drain to me, unless there is a clog in the toilet trapway. A closet auger can usually clear the trapway.

A professional with a big machine can clear the 3 inch pipes much better than a small snake.

But wait.... how about doing the same bucket test on the toilet that flushes well. This will calibrate your expectations.
I did the water test on the good toilet, and the five gallons went down the drain as fast as I could pour it into the bowl, which was about three seconds.
 

Gazoo

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Here’s what I think is happening. Either there is a lot of minerals in the trapway or the vent stack is obstructed. This could be two reasons why your toilet is flushing slowly
I replied to your vent theory but, I only posted it for I forgot to click Reply.
 

Gazoo

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It could also be a partially blocked drain.
What could be in the drain to have not broken free by now? It's been slowly flushing for about a year. The water doesn't whoosh down the drain like the good toilet. The water in this problematic toilet just lowers down the drain. I'm afraid to use it because...without going into detail...it'll easily clog. How about five gallons of hot water?
 

BECplumbing

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What could be in the drain to have not broken free by now? It's been slowly flushing for about a year. The water doesn't whoosh down the drain like the good toilet. The water in this problematic toilet just lowers down the drain. I'm afraid to use it because...without going into detail...it'll easily clog. How about five gallons of hot water?
It’s unlikely but there could be roots in the drain that are holding it back but I think the drain would be fully clogged by now if that was the case
 

Gazoo

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It’s unlikely but there could be roots in the drain that are holding it back but I think the drain would be fully clogged by now if that was the case
...and my bathrooms are on the third floor of the building. My living room, kitchen, dining are over my garage and my bathrooms are upstairs.
 

Gazoo

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the toilet could also have minerals in the trapway that cause it to slow flush. To clean this out put a substantial amount of toilet bowl cleaner in the bowl and let it sit for an hour or two. Then flush the toilet and see if that fixes the problem.
Do you know of and could recommend a powdered cleaner I could mix with water?
 
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Reach4

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the toilet could also have minerals in the trapway that cause it to slow flush. To clean this out put a substantial amount of toilet bowl cleaner in the bowl and let it sit for an hour or two. Then flush the toilet and see if that fixes the problem.
Minerals in the trapway causing slow flushing? Seems improbable to me, because a trapway is big. The toilet is slow to accept water, and the minerals would have to be incredibly thick to slow water significantly.

Minerals in the siphon jet can reduce flushing performance, but in this case, pouring a big bucket of water right into the bowl also shows reduced acceptance of water. So something other than minerals in the trapway IMO.
 
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