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Flush Problems | Snakes | Basements | Condensation
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Flush Problems

Takes two Flushes

Whenever I flush it stops halfway thru the cycle,but when I have a lot of toilet paper in it it goes thru the whole cycle.

You may have one of the early models of low flush toilet. The reason your toilet seems to flush better with more paper is that the extra paper is creating a temporary blockage that allows water to build up behind it, finally pushing the paper through the bowl. Not a good situation, and not a solution. You may want to look into a new toilet, the newer models work far better.

Iron in toilet

Because of the high concentration of iron in our well, our water closet doesn/t flush very well since the particles of iron plug up the inner flow of water into the WC basin. What product will dissolve the iron particles so that water flows freely?

Are you looking for a pruduct that will dissolve the iron presently in the basin? Or to prevent it from keep happening.. or both?

I am not aware of any product that will dissolve what is there, except for trying to clean them out manually. To prevent it from reoccuring, you can install a filter on the water supply that will filter out all the iron. You can get a small one which will just do that one line, or a large one that will do all the water for the whole house. The filters need to be changed every 1 to 3 months.


Toilet not flushing

I live in a 3 story townhome. We have two bathrooms upstairs in each bedroom, and a bathroom downstairs. One bathroom upstairs and the downstairs bathroom does not flush completely. It does not overflow, but when your flush, it fills up and the water just spins around. On average about 1/4 of the waste actually drains on each flush. At times it actually flushes completely. It appears odd to me that the other upstairs bathroom does not have this problem. I have tried Liquid Drano for toilets, but it does not seem to to the job. I actually used 2/3's of the bottle. Should I try something else, or is there a problem that will need professional help or something that I can do. Just to note. The other bathroom that does not have a problem is in the guest room and not used as often as the other bathroom.

The two bathrooms that have the problem could be on the same waste line, a different line from the one without the problem. Have you tried a plunger form both toilets? You probably need a plumber to snake out the pipe.



Magic toilet bowl

My toilet bowl slowly drains. If full when I go to bed it is empty by morning. I cannot hear any dripping or water draining noise. The tank is fine but I need to flush twice to refil bowl then empty bowl. Any Ideas??????

Is there any sign of a leak below? How empty is the bowl when you get up in the morning? Do you have a dog?

You see, the shape of the passage in the bowl makes it unlikely that it could drain away. There is a trap built in which should prevent that you live in a house or apartment (with people living above you) and how do your drains and toilets work... meaning do they all drain and flush fine. (If your vent system was plugged or not working properly when you use other drains, you could be causing a suction on the toilet's line and sucking the water out.

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Up-Flushing Toilet

I have a McPherson up-flushing toilet and need replacement parts. The company used be located in Tampa, FL, but I have been unable to locate them. Does anyone know where I might be able to get the parts?

If no one else has a better idea, try this


Click on products. If nothing else, maybe they have a list of dealer/dealers closer to you, or they can ship parts direct.

Ghost flushes

Every now and then, we hear a flushing sound coming from our bathrooms, when in fact, no one's used the toilet! I'm sure I don't need an exorcist. Any idea what could be causing this? These are almost new Kohler units in a 23-year old home. The curious thing is that although it sounds like a toilet being flushed, I've never seen the bowl get full and then flushed. Get usually only a trickle of water.

You either have a bad flapper which allows a bit of water to seep out until the toilet wants to refill...or your fill hose is stuck down in the fill tube causing a siphon effect with similar results. You can change the flapper for bout $3 or pull the fill hose up above the fill tube free.

Toilet won't flush properly

To flush my toilet I have to hold down the handle as the plug closes to quickly over the valve. I have adjusted the slack many times and this does not seem to be the problem. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

You may want to get buy a whole new set of innards and replace the whole thing as you may also have a loose link in the chain. New innards do not cost a lot and if the rubber stopper if older it may be leaking as well. Never hurts to have new innards.

Flushing toilet "burps" up

I recently replaced a leaky toilet with an American Standard "Antiquity" model. This one has a new problem. During a flush, large air bubbles burst up from below, sometimes sending water up above the rim and out of the bowl. Is this due to a mistake in the installation or a flaw in the model?

Sounds like a partially blocked sewer line. You sure you did not drop something down there when changing the WC?

Actually, I did it first attempt at such a large home-maintenance project. I sincerely doubt that I left anything in the drainpipe, so I'm wondering if there might be another possible cause for what's going on. I will pull the unit out just to be sure, but what if there's nothing down there? Could it be something else?

You may have misdiagnosed the problem to begin with. You said the old unit was leaking. Could have been the result of a sewer line clog and a bad wax ring. Now that the wax ring is fixed, the clog has no where to go but up through the bowl. You may also have a semi or blocked vent stack through the roof. No air in, no poop down...

Flushed toilet echoes

I recently purchased a condominium and I noticed lately that when my neighbor flushes their toilet, it sounds as if I just flushed mine. I had this happen in apartment buildings too. What is the care of this and is it a major plumbing problem?

I would imagine it's because at some point, everyone's lines tie into one main sewer line and you get the echo. Here's an analogy: If you were in a house with hot water heat, and tapped on the main supply line at your furnace, you would hear that tapping at all the radiators, anywhere in the house. Everything is tied in together. It would be monetarily impractical to have totally separate lines.


How to get something out of a toilet

I know, I know...silly me ...I dropped a pair of nail trimming scissors in the toilet, of course while it was flushing, and they disappeared. Since the toilet is periodically stopping up, I'm assuming the scissors did not continue on and are stuck in the middle somewhere. Is it possible to get them out? Any help would be appreciated, once the laughter stops.

You can try reaching up inside but I think, if it is stuck in there beyond where you can get your hand, you may have to take the toilet up and reach from the other side.

You can try a snake, even, to get it to move on through. If you do need to remove the toilet, you will need ot drain the tank and the bowl and unscrew it from the floor. Probably replace the wax seal when you are replacing the toilet.


Plugged toilet

I think my cat knocked a small plastic cup into our toilet, approx. one and a half by one and a half inches. The toilet will fill to the top when flushed and then drain slowly. Are there any suggestions other than calling a plumber?

Something that small wouldn't plug the pipes below, I don't believe. So, if you don't want to call a plumber, get the rubber gloves out. Shut the water off to the toilet, flush it then get all the water you can out of both the tank and the bowl. Remove the hose or line from the bottom of the tank. Take the screws out or caps off the lags that hold it to the floor. Put a couple towels on the floor in front of the toilet and tip it over. Chances are that little devil is up inside the toilet in one of the bends in the trap. You may not see it, and will have to probe with something that is semi-stiff but flexible ,(still have an old metal coat hanger around?) It might be better to remove the tank completely before you tip it over. It would make it lighter; in addition, you won't be taking the chance of breaking the tank. This way you can lay the bowl upside down on the floor and maybe you will get lucky and the offending article will fall out on its own. If you take it completely apart, you will need a new gasket for where the tank mounts to the bowl, and a new wax ring for the bowl. That's the nasty looking stuff you see stuck to either the bowl or the floor after removing the toilet. Clean both areas good, install the new ring to the bottom of the toilet, center it on the pipe and give it a good, firm push down to seat it, then put your screws back in. Hey, before you try all this, take that handy coat hanger, put a little hook in the end and try probing down into the toilet. Maybe you will get lucky.


Basement Toilets

Looking for best way to install toilet into slab floor of basement.main drain line to outside approx. 2 feet from proposed site.

I assume the drainline to outside (sewer or septic) is above the toilet as in most basements.

They sell (in Home Depot, etc.) a base unit you mount the toilet on that has a tank and pump so that no cutting into the slab is necessary. It sells for under $600. The pumbing can be piped right out of there to your drain line. (A maker of this unit is Bur-Cam Pumps Inc. ((514) 337-4415)

Basement bathroom

How do I vent the basement bathroom when there is no existing vent lines?

You should have some sort of venting stack. IF not, but you should, you can do a cheater vent if your city by-laws allow. This is a direct vent to the outside wall then up the wall about 3'. You may want to visit your local library or city hall for what is allowed in your area.


The Toilet always sweats, What can I do?

It is caused by COLD water filling the tank and humid air in the bathroom. The methods usually employed to correct this, is insulating the inside of the tank. They sell kits for this, and it works fairly well. (by the way, those tank covers you put on the outside help somewhat).


You can get a mixing valve. You put this on the cold water supply. It adds just enough hot water to the cold to warm it up. If the tank is filled with water at room temperature it won't sweat.



Broken toilet flange repair/replacement

The waste flange that my toilet mounts to has a cracked flange face, I went to the home supply store. They Recommended a metal ring that some how mounts to the top of pvc flange. I think that it gets turned and screwed into the pvc flange in relationship to the mounting slots. Any info on fixing this would be great!

The metal ring does mount right on top of the old flange. You screw it into the floor with the toilet mounting bolts in the slots so that they can be aligned to the bowl's mounting holes.

Just place the bolts in pointing up, and place it right on top of the old flange. I think then you should see how it mounts and is simply screwed into the floor through the outside screw holes.


Toilet Seat Bumpers

I have restained and varnished an oak toilet seat and want to obtain replacement bumpers. I want the ones made of rubber rather than the cheap plastic ones and they need to be brown. All the local stores carry only the white ones. Is there a mail order Co. that would carry this kind of thing. The Renovators Supply catalog lists them but the listing doesn't indicate either material or color.

Here's a thought. Instead of looking all over creation for the brown ones, why don't you buy a set or two of the white ones and try coloring them by staining or dying. Let them soak for a few days and see what happens.

Click here for our Simple Toilet Repairs Article
Click here for our How To Keep Your Basement Dry Article
Click here for our Dealing With Condensation In The Home Article

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