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Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

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  • Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

    Hoping for some suggestions that will prevent me from disposing of an otherwise perfectly good toilet. Wife is fed up with it.

    I have an American Standard, Std Height, Round Bowl, 2 piece toilet that is about 23 years old in our first floor bathroom. Top tank has a number of 4083 in it.

    Problem: Toilet does not consistantly flush. Water will swirl around sometimes, but not go down. Other times it all flushes down. Doesn't matter whether it has any solids in it or not.

    This problem has always been present with this toilet. Just took 23 years of nagging for me to get around to do something about it.

    When it doesn't flush down, sometimes you can wait till it re-fills and flush it again with success, other times it may take a couple of tries to get it to flush down.

    Time it sits doesn't seem to matter. Again sometimes it will flush, other times it will not.

    Have taken it up to see if there is any kind of blockage and there is none.

    Any suggestions??

    Thanks,
    Carl

  • #2
    Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

    How many gallons per flush? If you have a 3.5 per gallon flush you ought to replace it with a newer 1.6 Gallon per flush unit. They are designed to flush better with less water. Saving you the nagging and water.
    Last edited by EasyEman; 02-19-2009, 04:21 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

      Take a 5 gallon bucket of water and pour it in the bowl as fast as it will take it. Repeat two more times.

      How does it work now?

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      • #4
        Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

        Originally posted by EasyEman View Post
        How many gallons per flush? If you have a 3.5 per gallon flush you ought to replace it with a newer 1.6 Gallon per flush unit. They are designed to flush better with less water. Saving you the nagging and water.
        It's definitely 3.5 gpf. If you go with a new toilet, don't buy the cheapest one you can find. If you do, buy a plunger too.

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        • #5
          Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

          Make sure the water is at the proper level in the tank, Within 1 inch of the top of the overflow tube.

          It may be calcium deposits blocking the main jet at the bottom of the bowl.

          You may or may not be able to see this jet.

          If you can see it. Use a short screwdriver, or allen wrench to scrape the brown calcium from inside. You should be able to fit your pinky all the way up this hole. Careful not to get stuck Also use the allen wrench to clear the small jets under the rim of the bowl. There is usually one every 2 inches or so under the rim.

          If you can not see this jet at the bottom of the bowl. Remove all of the water from the bowl with a cup and a sponge. Remove the tank lid. See the overflow tube in the tank? Pour CLR (Calcium, LIme Rust, Remover, available at most stores) into that little overflow. NOT INTO THE WATER IN TANK. You will see the CLR flowing into the bowl from under the bowl rim filling up the bowl. You may need two bottles of CLR to fill the bowl. This should clear much of the calcium deposits. Let the commode sit for an hour, come back and flush it. Try this twice if it doesn't work the first time.

          If it doesn't work the second time call your friendly neighborhood drain cleaner. It may need to be augered or you may have a trapped line under slab. There can be many things causing this problem.

          Unless the porcelain is cracked there is hardly ever a good reason to throw away an old commode. 98% of commodes can be rebuilt to like new condition.

          You know the saying, "They dont make them like they use to"

          It will have a whole new meaning for you if you buy a new commode.

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          • #6
            Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

            I cant say this is the same cause but I have had a similar problem with that age Am Stand. toilet. It turned out to be the knockout for the jet was still inside the toilet. Every once in a while it would interrupt the jet and it would just swirl, not flush.
            Good luck
            Mike

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            • #7
              Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

              If you have a bottle of water or a brick in the tank to conserve water, remove it. The 3.5 gpf commodes were meant to flush 3.5 gpf. Anything less can effect performance.

              You may have a blockage that can not be seen by removing the commode and flipping it over. It may need to be augered.

              You could have an object stuck in the jet.

              If you do replace the commode and have the same or similar problems, you may need your sewer line cleaned and video inspected.

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              • #8
                Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

                This problem has always been present with this toilet. Just took 23 years of nagging for me to get around to do something about it.



                They apparently didn't make them like they used to when they used to either.

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                • #9
                  Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

                  Does the water level in the bowl ever rise or does it just swirl? If it just swirls the it's most likely what Herber said-clogged jet

                  Watch the flapper when you flush it. It should close just about the same time the water evacuates the bowl. If it drops too soon or too late the next sequential flush won't be effective

                  Make sure water is flowing from the little tube into the overflow tube.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

                    Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                    Does the water level in the bowl ever rise or does it just swirl? If it just swirls the it's most likely what Herber said-clogged jet

                    Watch the flapper when you flush it. It should close just about the same time the water evacuates the bowl. If it drops too soon or too late the next sequential flush won't be effective

                    Make sure water is flowing from the little tube into the overflow tube.
                    Good Point.

                    The fill valve may need to be changed.

                    Easy E - I see your point but I run into "New Toilet Syndrome" about once a week. Tens of thousands of people here are remodeling because of the storm and are buying new commodes. 1.6 gpf commodes do not carry the waste out as effectively as 3.5. 1.6 gpf commodes expose problems in the sewer line that were not noticed for 40 years with 3.5 gpf.

                    Also I constantly have to explain to people with regular auger jobs that they should flush twice.

                    Just recently a rental property owner that I do work for replaced the 2 year old commode that the tenant was constantly stopping up. I augered the original commode on several occasions to unstop. No sewer blockage. A week later the new commode stopped up.
                    Last edited by HebertDrainCare; 02-19-2009, 05:47 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

                      How in the world did you survive "23 years of nagging" from your wife???? Man, you got balls!!!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

                        If the comode still looks good dont even think about getting rid of it..
                        All that water saving stuff is for states that dont have water..
                        You got a classic, fix it and keep it
                        bye a new seat for the wife

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                        • #13
                          Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

                          You could go here for unbiased evaluation:

                          http://www.cuwcc.org/MaPTesting.aspx

                          They update their findings on a regular basis.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

                            Originally posted by myakka View Post
                            I cant say this is the same cause but I have had a similar problem with that age Am Stand. toilet. It turned out to be the knockout for the jet was still inside the toilet. Every once in a while it would interrupt the jet and it would just swirl, not flush.
                            Good luck
                            Mike

                            Will take a look at this. Is this the Jet that that you can see in the bottom of the bowl that points directly to the rear of the toilet?

                            Thanks for all the help and suggestions. The inside workings of the toilet all seem to be working properly. My father had a Hardware store for about 50 years that I worked at for quite a few of those years, so I'm pretty familiar with how they should be working. There doesn't seem to be any calcium deposits anywhere, but might be worth a try.

                            Have always suspected that there might be something caught in the trap of the toilet somewhere due to things (toys) being dropped into the toilet when our kids were little. Would seem like it would be subject to clogging up if that was the case though. Will try having it augered.

                            House has a basement with all exposed PVC pipes. Everything seems to run pretty free from the sounds of water flowing through the pipes.

                            Really got me supecting the Jet being plugged. Water never rises, just swirls around sometimes without going down. If its a foriegn object blocking the jet, how do you get it out? Will augering do anything for this?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Help Needed-Irratic Flushing Am Std Toilet

                              try taking all of the water out of the bowl. sometimes whatever the "thing" is will simply float down to the bottom of the trap or jet as the water is being emptied.

                              if there's nothing there, that will give you the opportunity to use a mirror and flashlight to check the first leg of the trap.

                              if you can't see anything, consider pulling the WC and checking the floor flange or the second leg of the trap.

                              hope that helps.

                              keep us posted.

                              Vince

                              i've had luck removing a object from the bowl by reversing the flow of water backwards through the bowl.

                              of course this has to be done outside with the toilet upside down.

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