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melanie 09-09-2006 04:50 PM

Blocked toilet rim...please help
Just moved in....I found some particles in the tank that resemble pieces of brick...the flapper was also falling apart in bits.
The toilet only flushes when it wants to....I can pour a bucket of water in the bowl along with the flush and it flushes I don't think it's the trap or anything below the bowl. The water in the tank fills up but I don't think the water is moving into the bowl fast enough to cause a flush and due to the evidence of particles i found in the tank, I think the rim is clogged. i tried a coat hanger wire and was able to get it up into the holes but I think there is actually something in the aside from build up that is keeping the water moving particles and this may explain why every once in a while it manages to flush. It was made in 79 and i am just pretty convinced the rim has got something in it.

How do I get it out?

Coat hanger didn't work.....I even stuck a shop vac hose down in the tank hole but it obviously couldn't get in far enough or have enough pressure to suck anything out. I was told by a receptionist at a plumbing company that there was no way to unclog the rim without taking the toilet out. Moving is more of an option that taking the toilet out.

Please respond.

jonesiera 09-09-2006 05:12 PM

You probably have a lime build up under the toilet rim and its not letting the water in to the bowel fast enough to flush, the bricks were probably placed there to displace the water in the tank.
I would or get someone to spray muratic acid under the rim to disolve the lime to open up the hole for the flush water to have a greater force to flush the toilet. the flapper can be changed out.I'm sure a Plumber on the forum will be able to get you on the right track!I'm only guessing.

melanie 09-09-2006 06:11 PM

muratic acid.....

hmm....not real familar with that but I'll look into it.....Thanks!

Mike Swearingen 09-09-2006 10:23 PM

Be careful with that muratic acid. Even diluted, it can burn you.
Since you're not familiar with using it, you may want to turn the water off, flush the toilet, duct tape off the toilet rim holes, and pour in vinegar (let sit overnight), then remove tape, turn the water on and flush. Vinegar too will dissolve most minerals.
Also, sounds like you need to replace the water inlet valve and probably the flapper in the tank. I would go with a Fluidmaster 400A valve. They're very easy to install. Just follow the illustrated directions that come with it.
Good Luck!

melanie 09-09-2006 11:14 PM

vinegar...hmm...I used vinegar last week to remove dried acryllic paint off of a table. I'll have to try it.....and duct tape...I never thought about taping the holes shut. That's a good idea.

As for the inlet valve....I must admit I have no idea where that is....would that be the piece just under the flapper?

Thanks for the advice. I'll try it out.

melanie 09-09-2006 11:30 PM

oh...I just looked up inlet valve....would that be the fill valve?...over there with the float device?
I don't know what half of these things are called.
Is there any additional water that comes into the bowl besides what has filled the tank? I'm not real clear on how toilets work. I thought it was just what comes out of the tank but one thing I do know is that more water going in the bowl quicker will make it flush. That much I am sure of.
I just couldn't think of any more possibilities other than a clogged rim making the water slow...that and all the junk in the bottom of the tank.

As for the flapper...that most certainly has to go. I'm suprised it's not running. I bought one but I was in a huge hurry and I grabbed the one that closest resembled the one in there off the wal-mart shelf....unfortunately it did not work so I'll have to try that again.

melanie 09-10-2006 12:12 AM

Reading again...
Involving the inlet valve...which I read let's a little water in at the end of a flush to give it the normal amount of water in the bowl after it has almost all be siphoned out....and if it didn't could cause problems althought i don't think it's doing that because there seems to be enough water in the bowl but it also let's fresh water in to the tank while the flapper is still up for a momment?
Enough to make not get a complete flush? seems it's a little more complicated than I thought.

I have another question.
When you flush a toilet, does any water remain anywhere in the system apart from the slight amount in the bottom of the tank?
For example...when i put the shop vac hose down in the flapper seat, I pulled up some water. when I cleaned the shop vac...I noticed the water was rust red. I don't know if that was because it mixed with the water I sucked out of the bottom of the tank which contain particles...which were red but I didn't think it could make all the water red unless perhaps it was stirred up...because the top of the tank water was not red...I could see all the way to the bottom of the tank which is also stained red, but in the shop vac all of the water was murky red. I only had the hose in there for a second to pick up the little rocks...most of the water came out of the very bottom past the flapper had stopped flowing of course, before I put the hose in there.

To put it shortly....was this water murky red from the particles on the bottom of the tank or did all that come out from beneath the flapper seat?....Does it hold any water down there?....perhaps to collect debris before it hits the holes in the rim?

The reason I'm asking is because if it has the ability to trao any water within...or chemicals that I put in there....could they remain there to some extent after it is flushed.....since some of that might not want to get acquainted with my shop vac if they have fumes.

I need a diagram.
If there is something in there such as rocks I want them out but I certainly don't want to cause a situation.

Calling a plumber is not an option at this momment....but it may be.
I need to buy a tank lid but I want to know jst how much effort is oing to have to go into this.

If there is actual pieces of brick in this toilet bowl this a really really potentially bad problem? In theory...which could be my over active imagination...if a brick really fell apart....a clay brick...over time....and the pieces that remain are actually loose hard pieces...

I'm just imagining stuff that won't dissolve.

Ahhh...what is this toilets problem?

I'll inspect it all over again and try the vinegar thing before my next reply.

Such aggravation.

redline 09-10-2006 06:31 AM

Is this toilet a relatively inexpensive toilet?

If so, then I would just replace it.:thumbup:

The wax ring may need to be replaced.

melanie 09-10-2006 05:04 PM

I was afraid someone would say that. It is not technically my toilet and this is just going to be a huge hassle...last week it was the freon leak in the fridge. which was also full of bugs and did not get replaced. i don't think the toilet is going to be replaced. I just don't see that happening.
This is all just becoming extremely complicated.

Could the trap be sticking, perhaps?...and the only way to open it is put more gravity on it.

I just don't know. I would very much just like to solve the issue in a simple manner. Last night I turned the water off and the damn thing did a complete flush while the water was turned off.

Why would it do that?

melanie 09-10-2006 05:04 PM

...and what is the wax ring?

Ron The Plumber 09-10-2006 05:59 PM

Install a new fillvalve fluidmaster 400A, thats the 1st thing I would do, then give us a report.

redline 09-10-2006 07:10 PM


Originally Posted by melanie (Post 17805)
It is not technically my toilet...

Are you renting the house?
If so, then let the owner repair it.

From what you have described, it sounds like you have smaller paticles that are "floating" inside the rim but are too large to flow thru the rim.

Is this a 1.6 gallon toilet?

the wax ring is what "seals" the toilet to the the drain line. It is between the bottom of the toilet and the floor (or drain flange).

redline 09-10-2006 07:19 PM

First turn off the water to the toilet. Then remove the water line going just below the toilet tank. Then remove the tank from the bowl. Then loosen up bowl from the two bolts to the floor. Then tilt the bowl up so that the the "particles" may fall back out. Be careful not to crack either item.

redline 09-10-2006 08:08 PM


Insert a garden hose into passage way just below the flapper.
Turn the water on to the garden hose and it may or may not dislodge the particles and push them past the rim.

:boat: (don't flood the bathroom):lol: :oops:

Ron The Plumber 09-10-2006 08:14 PM

Take an allen key set, use a small size key, push it into the holes under the rim of the toilet, move it in a circular motion, thus will open the holes up, flush the toilet often, soon it will start to flush good.

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