Vent-Away doesn't flush completely

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by welmoed, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. welmoed

    welmoed New Member

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    Aug 26, 2007
    We purchased a house built in 1972; three of the four bathrooms have American Standard wall-mounted Vent-Away toilets. Two of them work fine; the third (in the master bathroom) has problems with incomplete flushing. The contents of the bowl don't clear with one flush; it sometimes takes three or even four flushes to completely clear the bowl. What can we do about this?
    --Welmoed
     
  2. welmoed

    welmoed New Member

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    Aug 26, 2007
    The situation with the toilet finally got so bad that we called in a plumber to snake the line. He found no obstructions and is getting us a price on replacing the unit. In the meantime, my husband has removed the toilet from the wall in order to see whether there is an issue inside the toilet trap that is blocking or minimizing flow. He even replaced the innards with a standard flushing mechanism, plugging the vent-away hole. The issue seems to be that there isn't enough power behind the flush to create the strong swirl.
    Any ideas on what to try next? Replacement is going to be costly and we'd like to avoid it.
     
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  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Plumber
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    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]
    This is the Closet Auger.
    Most likely, the problem is in the trapway of the bowl.
    I wouldn't have left the tank parts alone.
     
  5. welmoed

    welmoed New Member

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    Aug 26, 2007
    Problem solved!!!

    Bob took the tank and bowl off the wall, gave them a thorough cleaning, and discovered what the problem was. Evidently, the seal around the ventaway portion had failed, creating an air gap during the flush, which led to a failure of the swirl. I'm not sure exactly where he plugged it up, but once he did, he put the whole thing back together, and it works like a charm. I'm so proud of him... he just saved us $1000 (cost of new toilet and installation).
     
  6. goodbyetospam

    goodbyetospam New Member

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    Illinois
    YAY!!! Give Bob a hearty handshake and a pat on the back for me!! Sealing that vent away port in the back of the bowl did the trick!

    I, too, have an American Standard wall mounted Vent-Away toilet from the 1970s that I converted to a regular flush toilet because I couldn't afford to repair or replace anything on it. I plugged the "third hole" in the bottom of the tank with a regular sink drain plug (for 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" size drains). It fit perfectly from the inside of the tank. I wasn't sure if I should also plug the matching hole in the bowl below the tank, so I left the original gasket in place between the tank and the bowl and put the tank back on. There were no leaks, but the bowl would not flush completely whereas it has flushed fine before I started working on it. LOTS of searching the internet did me no good until I stumbled on this post which pointed me in the right direction. My repair was not leaking because of the sink drain plug I used, but the gasket I re-used was not sealing between the tank and the bowl. Who cares, right? As long as there's no water gushing on the floor, what's to worry about? Apparently, the air gap was allowing air to get sucked down the soil pipe with the flush water which seriously interrupted the suction action of the flush. The water would swirl and maybe half would go down the pipe, but the rest just stayed in the bowl. I replaced the old gasket with a simple "Fill Valve Shank Washer" (aka, Ballcock Shank Washer, Master Plumber part #396082) which is just a really thick, heavily tapered rubber washer. I put the tapered side in the hole with the flat side against the tank, bolted everything back up and now I"M BACK IN BUSINESS BABY!! Thanks Bob and "Welmoed" for a real money saving post!!
     
  7. gsbarrett

    gsbarrett New Member

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    Florida
     
  8. gsbarrett

    gsbarrett New Member

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    Nov 17, 2016
    Location:
    Florida
    Hello goodbyetospam...I bought a home that has two American Standard wall-mounted toilets. One is the Glenwall two-piece and have no problems with it. My problem is the AS Vent-Away toilet that I assumed was put into service around 1967 which is the year my home was built. The toilet worked but the inside parts were so corroded with calcium and lime buildup over the years that it would never shut off after the tank filled up. I would have to shut the water off to the toilet after use. I didn't want to get rid of the toilet for a couple of reasons. 1. didn't want to pay over $500 for a new one. 2. it looks and functions great it just needs a conversion with new fill and flush valve. I came across this forum and i followed your advice down to plugging the 3rd vent hole with the 1 1/4 tub-stop. Put a new 2 inch heavy duty gasket in between tank and bowl. No leaks, but when i flush it all i get is a swirl with no discharge, only will flush solid contents that sink to bottom of bowl. I'm perplexed by your Ballcock Shank Washer, Master Plumber part #396082. This part is beveled but its dimensions are 1-11/16 inch outer diameter x 7/8 inch inner diameter x 7/16 inch thick. I don't see how this part fits into the equation. It's not really thick or heavily tapered and doesn't fit with the 2" shank. It does fit, but not perfectly, in the hole at top of bowl but loosely. Any suggestions, very frustrated but not ready to give up.
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    The Vent-a-Way has absolutely nothing to do with the toilet's flushing. Since most of them were low profile toilets, if that is what you have then the problem is that the Fluidmaster does not have any provision for flushing the rim which is where the swirl comes from. How did you plug the Vent-a-Way opening because that is a port in the bottom of the tank?
    Posted by hj.

    Dennis
    We just moved into a house and have noticed a continuous dripping sound that is eminating from the toilet (an American Standard "Vent-Away" toilet). It only seems to pause when we flush the toilet, only to begin once again 30 - 60 secs later. I'm pretty sure it's not the flapper, because I held the flapper down tightly for several minutes and the dripping continued despite this. I also shut the water off to the toilet overnight and the tank level stayed where it started, also suggesting the flapper is not defective.

    I'm convinced the dripping is due to the venting mechanism - when I use the venting mechanism, the dripping stops, but starts up once the venting cycle is ended. Does anyone have any good solution to stop the dripping when the venting mechanism isn't on?
    4/3/2004

    hj
    You are not "using" the venting system, since if you did, the water would be flowing into the toilet. It does not function when you flush the toilet, it operates when you pull the handle out, and then the water keeps flowing until you either push the handle in, or flush the toilet. The handle could be misadjusted so that when it returns to the "center" position, it partially opens the venting system, or it could need to be repaired.
    : We just moved into a house and have noticed a continuous dripping sound that is eminating from the toilet (an American Standard "Vent-Away" toilet). It only seems to pause when we flush the toilet, only to begin once again 30 - 60 secs later. I'm pretty sure it's not the flapper, because I held the flapper down tightly for several minutes and the dripping continued despite this. I also shut the water off to the toilet overnight and the tank level stayed where it started, also suggesting the flapper is not defective.
    4/3/2004

    Dennis
    To clarify, the dripping is continuous unless I pull the handle out (turning on the venting system) or when I flush the toilet. The dripping resumes after about 30-60 secs later. The dripping is unrelated to the handle mechanism itself though.
    4/3/2004

    Carolyn
    My American Standard vent away toilet was leaking so I replaced the bolts and put a gasket in the center. After I put the tank back, it doesn't seem to flush completely though I've never had this problem before. What did I do wrong?
    10/25/2002

    hj
    Did you also replace the gasket on the Vent-a-Way opening? If not then you are not creating the siphon that is required for a proper flush. And if the new gasket is too thick the same thing can happen because the V-a-W gasket is not sealing.
    10/25/2002

    http://www.lockeplumbing.com/detail...0A&r1=WHE-USS25C&r2=GRU-595916&r3=FEI-NL9-LED
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017 at 2:23 PM
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    [​IMG]

    Hi Terry,

    Thanks again for the link. I didn't get home until late, so didn't have a chance to review it until this morning.

    I know next to nothing about toilets, but in reading through what you sent, it sounds like if one totally removes the Ventaway mechanism to convert the tank to "normal" hardware" (e.g. Fluidmaster) the "third hole" mentioned in the link simply needs to be plugged because it only relates to the Ventaway feature; once that hole is plugged, the tank would seem to act like a normal American Standard two-bolt tank.

    After we talked, I stopped by McLendons Hardware to confirm that the black-disk flapper was correct for our old style toilet (as opposed to a low-flush model), and they said it was OK. It turns out that we have another toilet which still has the "Ventaway" mechanism intact, and the flapper on that is the black-disk type; here's a couple of pictures:

    [​IMG]


    So...if the flapper is OK, and if the comments in your link about a poor seal between the tank-to-bowl gasket causes an "air leak," resulting in the not-emptying problem, I'm guessing that the gasket has a poor seal which needs to be resolved?

    If you agree, I'll take one more shot at removing the bowl and reattaching or replacing the toilet-to-bowl gasket that I previously installed.

    I told my Mom about the higher toilet that you installed for your mother, but she is too attached to her "old pink toilet."

    Any thoughts would be appreciated...

    Many thanks,

    Scott
     
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