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Mystery Clog - Toilet won't flush

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  • #16
    Re: Mystery Clog - Toilet won't flush

    I've had several memorable closets over the years. The first was a situation similar to boilerman's. Slow one piece in a kid's bath. Snaked it: nothing. Pulled and flipped it: nothing visible. Then I got the bright idea to use a make-up mirror and a flashlight. It was a doughnut-shaped plastic kid's toy loosely stuck in the trapway. The closet snake went right through it and so would the big chunks, eventually. Then it would swing and block everything. Got it with a hanger.
    The next that comes to mind was an AS Siphon Jet 1.6Gpf with a commercial trapway that had an erratic and crappy (no pun intended) flushing action. Snaked it and mirrored it (because now I'm smart): nothing. Pulled and flipped it: nothing. Put a flashlight on the throat while flushing. There was a loose small plastic disk in the cavity behind the siphon jet oriface. At rest, you couldn't see anything. When it was flushed, the disk would float up to the back of the jet oriface and partially block it, but not the same way each time. I reached in with bad finger, hooked it and pulled it out. Presto!
    Now, I am having trouble with an old AS Vent-A- Way. It's a rim-flush with a lake of water coverage in the bowl and no oomph to the flush. I would change it out but there are fixture color matching issues. Just looked at it on Friday; I haven't pulled it yet. Does anyone have any experience here?

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    • #17
      Re: Mystery Clog - Toilet won't flush

      Originally posted by GChiumep View Post
      Well, considering the fact that I've seen my share of "Slap 'n Twist" plumbers over the years install some crap that my grandson could have done a better job at, trust me - it goes both ways. Difference is I don't "hate" people who aren't as good at my job as I am.

      I've probably learned more from good plumbers over the years than I ever did from any book, and I'm always grateful for their advice and wisdom. I see too many kids come out of engineering school these days who don't even know how much they don't know... they love to draw things that don't exist or can't be built, and figure "the guys in the field" will make it work.

      I've also learned over the years that any plumber that "hates engineers" usually needed his hand held and resented it. And for the record, I'm not an engineer.

      Thanks for your kind welcome.
      Never seen a good tradesmen that "needed his hand held and resented it". But I have seen many engineers that behaved this way. Ever seen the show "Engineering Disasters"?

      And welcome to the Forum. A magical place where everyone thinks they are right.

      But only I am.

      J.c.

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      • #18
        Re: Mystery Clog - Toilet won't flush

        Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
        This is why I hate engineers.
        Careful, Ben. Wrench Spinner is an engineer but did his time in the field of plumbing I believe
        YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

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        • #19
          Re: Mystery Clog - Toilet won't flush

          I forgot to add:

          What type of toilet is the OP having problems with. For some reason, I've had problems with certain American Standard Cadets. It would flush fine once in a while, but every other time, it wouldn't flush. It was at the water line (even a bit above it), good water flow so when the toilet flushed, the tank filled with water really fast and helped with the initial flush, and the jets were clean.

          After we replaced it, we busted open the bowl to see what was the problem. We couldn't find anything! Weird.
          YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

          Plumbing Reviews

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          • #20
            Re: Mystery Clog - Toilet won't flush

            Seen the same thing Atlas. I've installed NEW out of the box toilets that behaved similarly. We took them out and set them level on blocks in the street just in case there was something in the DWV we missed. Nope, wouldn't flush. And there was nothing in the trap.

            Alot of times it's faster and more economical to replace it rather than go on a mystery search.

            J.C.

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            • #21
              Re: Mystery Clog - Toilet won't flush

              Originally posted by HouseOfAtlas View Post
              Careful, Ben. Wrench Spinner is an engineer but did his time in the field of plumbing I believe
              Wrench is different for this very reason and I would proudly follow his prints. I've seen too many engineers fresh out of college with a degree not know squat on proper construction. I had to put one hvac unit in according to prints and the unit would never cool the place down. When I did my load calculation I found we were short 2 tons of cooling. Come to find out the engineer never took into account the windows. Seen plumbing and electrical conduit supposed to be installed in the same place. I've just run into this too many times to respect engineers in my circles when the majority of them have no field time.
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

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              • #22
                Re: Mystery Clog - Toilet won't flush

                Those older American Standard toilets flushed in excess of 3 1/2 gallons per flush. Take a 5 gallon bucket of water and introduce it quickly into the bowl and see how the toilet swallows. If it is still sluggish then you most likely have a stoppage. If not, pull the tank lid and watch how long it takes for the water to vacate the tank. If holding the tilt ***. open by hand gives you the desired flush, consider putting several coins in the tube portion of the tilt ***. Personally, I hate the vent away so I have devised a method where I yank out the vent away portion in the tank since I never encountered a customer that had used it or had even known it existed in their toilet. Disabling the linkage at the handle and using a plastic "dollar" plug turns this nightmare toilet into a nice one piece toilet.

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