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  • Why does the toilet flush every other time?

    I have a toilet that will drain fully (and refill) on one flush and then just swirl about but not drain (or overfill) on the next flush. It does this same thing every other time. A plumber had looked at the equipment in the tank and said it's working fine, but they could not suggest why it might be doing the draining thing. They said that it wouldn't do what it's doing if the equipment in the tank was faulty or if there was a clog in the lines. It's been doing the same things for the 4.5 yrs we've been in the house. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

    Sounds like a clog to me, I have seen an instance like this when there was a matchbox car stuck in the lead bend.

    I bet if someone pulls that toilet and snakes the Water closet and also the bend you will find something.

    I am willing to bet money on that
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    • #3
      Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

      Could be jet holes plugged in the bowl.

      J.C.

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      • #4
        Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

        Does not sound like a clog to me. Years ago when Fluidmaster fill valves first started to hit the market many of us discovered that they put so little water through the refill tube that on many toilets, particularly the 3.5 American standard models that there was insufficient water in the bowl to generate a good flush. The big complaint was the same complaint that you are bringing up. So take a look at the water in the bowl (not the tank) and see if there is a height differential between the good and bad flushes. A good test will be to put a little water slowly in the bowl after the toilet has flushed well and flush it again. If this turns out to be the problem then you may have to consider a different fill valve. The new age Fluidmaster fill valves work great.

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        • #5
          Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

          Thanks to both of you. My father-and-law suggested that I take a damp cloth and wipe down the holes to see if I get any residue that might suggest rust or sediment clogging the holes. Came up clean and water does seem to flow freely from all of the holes surrounding the bowl (though I don't know how fast the water should be flowing to say if it's working right).

          I will say, having tested it a moment ago, that the toilet does seem to make a strange suction or gurgling noise from the discharge in the bottom of the bowl (like if you breathe in hard through your mouth with your tongue at the roof of your mouth). Would this continue to suggest in your mind that there might be something stuck down in the line that's causing the flushing situation/noise?

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          • #6
            Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

            Still leads to the toilet in my opinion based on the information provided. Replace fillvalve, clean holes with clothes hanger, don't work-Make a new friend in a plumber.

            Good luck.

            J.C.

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            • #7
              Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

              could be a 1.6 gallon flapper installed in a 3.5 tank

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              • #8
                Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

                Originally posted by gmjfrankel View Post
                Thanks to both of you. My father-and-law suggested that I take a damp cloth and wipe down the holes to see if I get any residue that might suggest rust or sediment clogging the holes. Came up clean and water does seem to flow freely from all of the holes surrounding the bowl (though I don't know how fast the water should be flowing to say if it's working right).

                I will say, having tested it a moment ago, that the toilet does seem to make a strange suction or gurgling noise from the discharge in the bottom of the bowl (like if you breathe in hard through your mouth with your tongue at the roof of your mouth). Would this continue to suggest in your mind that there might be something stuck down in the line that's causing the flushing situation/noise?
                "It's been doing the same things for the 4.5 yrs we've been in the house."

                guys,

                wouldn't this suggest a venting issue?

                Vince

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                • #9
                  Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

                  Originally posted by Vince the Plumber View Post
                  "It's been doing the same things for the 4.5 yrs we've been in the house."

                  guys,

                  wouldn't this suggest a venting issue?

                  Vince
                  Or just proves pure lazyness ....j/k......I would have fixed it at 3 years
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                  • #10
                    Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

                    guys, you all are over thinking this

                    toilet flushes on a #1

                    and doesn't on a #2

                    then back to a #1

                    eat more fiber

                    rick.
                    phoebe it is

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

                      Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                      guys, you all are over thinking this

                      toilet flushes on a #1

                      and doesn't on a #2

                      then back to a #1

                      eat more fiber

                      rick.
                      LOL....Right exactly
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                      • #12
                        Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

                        I've seen this before! One arm is longer than the other!
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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                        • #13
                          Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

                          could the hard water deposits in the toilet and drain cause this?
                          I have met a lot of stupid professionals.
                          I have met a few smart DIYs
                          I'd rather be a DIY, as I have already proven to outsmart and outperform most so called professionals.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

                            Why wont anyone pull the toilet>?

                            Am I missing something here?
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                            • #15
                              Re: Why does the toilet flush every other time?

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              guys, you all are over thinking this

                              toilet flushes on a #1

                              and doesn't on a #2

                              then back to a #1

                              eat more fiber

                              rick.
                              Yeah......either that, or the toilet's possessed and is fighting back......

                              "Yeeesh, you again? All right.....I'll fix you.......half-hearted flush coming up..."

                              Wait a minute......forget about the movies "Cars" and "Monsters, Inc.", how 'bout "TOILETS"?

                              Toilet Seat - "Jimmy, I'm afraid it's my last day.....I heard them talkin - I'm wigglin' too much and I'm too cold in the morning. I hear they're gettin' on 'a them toilet seat bidets. Seeya, friend, but I'll say hi to Frankie the tankless water heater at the dump..."

                              Bowl - "No Sammy.....say it ain't so.....I'll flush harder next time, it's just that my flapper ain't as strong as it used be.......maybe I'm next..."

                              Sink - "We're all doomed - here comes the damn dog....."

                              Camera angle turn - zoom in to slobbery bulldog coming towards toilet looking thirsty...........

                              I can't wait to see the Happy Meal toys..........
                              I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

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