weak-flushing toilet, how to? - Posted by PerlM

Posted by Terry Heilman on July 11, 2001 at 15:59:26:

A plummer friend puts about a half gallon of muratic acid down the overflow tube and lets it sit for 30 minutes. It cleans out the mineral deposits and works well.

weak-flushing toilet, how to? - Posted by PerlM

Posted by PerlM on July 11, 2001 at 15:47:04:

It still flushes down all the “stuff”, but the water level does not reach to the bottom of the toilet… Hence, some “stuff” still floats afterwards… Definitely not what I would consider “satisfactory”.

I have tried putting liquid drano, plunge,
and let water run for a few minutes but to no avail.

This toilet is all the way up on the second floor so my guess is that it is probably not having “pressure” problems. (am I making sense?)

What should I do?

Re: weak-flushing toilet, how to? - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on July 12, 2001 at 10:16:22:

I had one those new water saver toilets that had this problem. It flushed, just not all the way and stuff was left behind.

The tank had a plastic container in it that would hold some of the water back from being able to drain to the bowl when you flushed it. It was like the bowl needed more water added to it during the flush to flush everything down. I cut the plastic container out of the tank and that took care of the problem! All the water in the tank was able to drain into the bowl after that.

Check the water inlets - Posted by John J.

Posted by John J. on July 12, 2001 at 24:36:30:

In addition to the items mentioned below you might also check the holes where the water comes into the toilet bowl when you flush. Sometimes mineral deposits build up inside them, clogging them or causing enough friction that it slows down the speed of the water flowing into the bowl and thereby reducing the suction action of everything leaving the toilet bowl. Some toilets have lots of little holes underneath the bottom of the rim and/or a bigger hole on the bottom accross from the outlet. I clean out the little ones with a flathead screw driver and the big ones with an old knife.

Check the outlet also. I’ve found all kinds of items get stuck in the gooseneck, including toothbrushes, dentures - someone vomited and then flushed, happy meal action figures, and a mousetrap with dead mouse. I use a toilet auger (you can see an example at: http://e-comm.mwh.com/jspages/B_ProdDetail15_7.jsp?sku=152565&supplier=mwh) or see part number 152565 at www.mwh.com (Home Depot). However, many times I had to remove the toilet and push the item back from the bottom.

In any case, let us know what you found.

Re: Good advice but it could be something more… - Posted by Lori Samson

Posted by Lori Samson on July 12, 2001 at 24:12:27:

I have had several houses that we couldn’t resolve the plumbing problem with here in Texas and we had to video the lines and both were found to have broken pipes under the slabs. I was fortunate to have a plumber that did that type of investigation. With Texas having had several years of hard drought summers I am seeing this happen alot now. If you have a plumber that has that type of equipment you can find out for sure what is going on.


Re: weak-flushing toilet, how to? - Posted by louis

Posted by louis on July 11, 2001 at 17:48:25:

Don’t ever put draino or any cleaning acid into the bowl EVER !!!
The waste line the toilet is attached to is almost allways made of lead and if it’s not then it’s plastic
in either case you will burn a hole right through it and create expensive aditional problems for your self
go to the hardware store and pick up some new johny bolts, a wax ring, a braided water supply,and a flush vavle
remove the toilet flip it over and check for obstructions then replace with all your new parts and you’ll have a practicly brand new toilet when your done (about an hour) and you’ll have spent about 15.00
and i bet you’ll find an obstruction it’s almost allways the prob…if not the new flush vavle will take care of the prob

Re: weak-flushing toilet, how to? - Posted by Tidy Bowl Man

Posted by Tidy Bowl Man on July 11, 2001 at 16:34:17:

You’d be surprised what can get stuck in toilets. Once I found a pop can crammed inside the outlet. Kids can get downright nasty in their war games, sacrificing evil action figures to the porcelain god.

Three things you can try, just in case there’s an object in there.

  1. try snaking it with a plumber’s snake.
  2. put a tennis ball in there, and plunge the heck out of it, forcing the tennis ball through, which will force the object through as well. I’m not kidding…
  3. Detach the toilet from the floor and try to pull the object out from the bottom. While you’re there you can snake the open sewer connection to see if the obstruction is there. Make sure to use a brand new wax seal when you replace the toilet.


Re: weak-flushing toilet, how to? - Posted by Bob (Md)

Posted by Bob (Md) on July 11, 2001 at 16:25:08:

Take the cover off the tank in back. There should be an overflow pipe sticking up in the middle of the tank, and it will probably have a thin hose sticking into it. The water level in the tank should be just about to the top of the tube, but not running into it. If the water isn’t high enough, you won’t have enough pressure to flush the “solids” reliably.

Assuming that the water level is low, see if you have the traditional ball-on-a-stick float. It looks like a long metal rod, a little thicker than a clothes hanger, with a plastic or metal ball on the end (usually about 3" across and 4-5" long). If so, you can bend the metal rod a little bit to raise the ball. That will let more water run into the tank (just don’t let it run over into the overflow tube).

If you don’t have the bendable ball-on-a-rod type of float, but rather have a cheezy plastic assembly (the dreaded water savers) - you’ll probably have to replace it if you want to raise the water level and get the flush action working right. Some parts of the country only allow retrofitting with the stupid water-saver things. If that’s your problem, either visit a junk yard and scrounge up a used float assembly from an older toilet, or junk the toilet and replace it with a new water-saver model that’s designed to flush with less water.

If the tank is full of water, nearly to the overflow tube - you probably have some sort of blockage in the toilet base. I’ve seen kids’ toys and hair rollers get stuck just out of sight and cause the same thing you describe. You can try fishing around with your hand or a clothes hanger, but you might have to turn off the water and pull the toilet loose to remove a stuck item (from the bottom side). If you do, remember to install a new wax seal when you re-install the toilet.