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Gerber toilet is slow to flush

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  • Gerber toilet is slow to flush

    I have three bathrooms all have Gerber 1.5 GPF toilets (12 years old) Two of the three flush fine but the one that is in the half bath seems to plug very easily. When it doesn't plug, it is very slow to swallow the load... It helps if the handle is held down when flushing.

    The bathroom sink, laundry sink, and wash machine all drain properly so I think there may be something caught in the toilet and plan to pull the toilet but if there may be something in the tank of the toilet that is causing the issue, I'd much rather work in that section of the toilet. I'd hate to pull the toilet for no reason.

  • #2
    Re: Gerber toilet is slow to flush

    Dump a bucket of water into the bowl and see how it flushes. If you get a good flush, do it several more times just to be sure. Also pull the tank lid off and do additional flushes while watching how fast the water vacates the tank. Since you have similar toilets in your house you can compare several toilets to the one that is giving you trouble to see if there is a difference. Get back to us with your results so we can assist you with a remedy.


    • #3
      Re: Gerber toilet is slow to flush

      I timed the good toilet and the problem one. The good one (master bath) takes 6 seconds to flush and 24 seconds to refill. The problem toilet (half bath) takes 6 seconds to flush but 50 seconds to refill. The water full level in the bowl of the problem toilet is lower than that of the good toilet.

      A year and a half ago, I had an issue with very low water level with the master bath toilet and replaced the diaphram in the ballcock. It sounds like that may be the problem with the half bath toilet.


      • #4
        Re: Gerber toilet is slow to flush


        Please try a fast pour of water from an almost full 5 gallon bucket of water into the bowl of the problem toilet. Can it take all of the water from the bucket quickly and not overflow?

        The problem is that you're not getting a much water in the bowl quickly with the problem toilet, provided it does well with the bucket flushing test.

        As for the slower fillup, I think you already know what to try doing. Can you adjust the water fill level?
        Last edited by Woussko; 06-18-2009, 10:26 AM.


        • #5
          Re: Gerber toilet is slow to flush

          I poured 5 gallons of water into the bowl and it flushed without a problem. It took the water as fast as I could pour it into the bowl. At least I don't have to pull the toilet and deal with sewer gas.

          I noticed that water was not flowing from the tube between the ballcock and the upright tube that fills the bowl. That was the problem with the low water level in the bowl.

          I shut off the water at the valve, removed the top of the ballcock and the diaphram looked OK but water was still flowing out of the top of the ballcock. I removed the tube and made sure it was not restricted, reassembled the ballcock and flushed the toilet. Water was now flowing from the tube filling the bowl to the proper level but the tank was still too slow to fill.

          I am pretty sure the seal in the shutoff valve is bad or otherwise restricting the flow of water when the valve is fully open (it's not shutting off the flow when closed either). The next step is to shut off the water to the house, drain the toilet tank and remove the shutoff valve and inspect/replace the seal. I'll post back my findings.


          • #6
            Re: Gerber toilet is slow to flush

            For fun try filling the tank to the full mark by adding water from a pail or such. Once full try flushing the toilet. If all is good, you might want to replace the water stop with a new 1/4 turn one and also the ball cock with a Fluidmaster 400A which you can adjust.

            It's a PITA but you'll get it working soon.

            I'm sure you've already thought of this, but a wet/dry vac is your friend when you need to totally empty the tank. Keep some old towels - big rags handy too.
            Last edited by Woussko; 06-19-2009, 12:19 PM.


            • #7
              Re: Gerber toilet is slow to flush

              It's fixed! I drained the tank, then shut off the main house supply valve and removed the shutoff valve. The problem was obvious - the sealing washer was split.

              I couldn't buy just one washer so I picked up a pack of 10 washers for $1.37. I reassembled everything and the tank filled in 30 seconds. I had to adjust the ballcock so it would shut off at the proper level - it kept over filling and sending the excess water to the bowl. The toilet flushes properly and fills properly now.

              Thanks for the advice!


              • #8
                Re: Gerber toilet is slow to flush

                That's great news and I bet you feel great having it working again. Good job

                You may want to put the extra washers inside a clean baby food jar or such with a label on them. Then the next time you need one you'll know what and where they are.


                • #9
                  Re: Gerber toilet is slow to flush

                  Yeah - It's a good feeling being able to fix it. The package of extra washers is labeled "toilet shutoff valve" and is in my plumbing toolbox.