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Old 08-19-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


Over the weekend I started to take out the piping that went to the old laundry room at the back of our house. The (bad) artwork below shows the plumbing before my cuts this weekend -- and yes, there's no vent from the 1st floor bathroom.

Code:
          Vent       AAV   Vent
           |          |      |     Vent
          2nd  1st  New LR   Kit    |
S          |   |       |     |      | 
e   Vent   |   |       |     Y------+Old LR
w    |     |   |       |     |
e    |     |   |       |     |
r<-U-+-----+---+-------+-----+



The plan was to cut out the Y leading to the old LR and remove the vent (unneeded, and we could then have a nicer ceiling in the kitchen), and replace it with straight pipe.

However after I made this cut we noticed that the 1st floor bathroom wouldn't flush well. If you hold the handle down you get a complete flush, otherwise you don't. I'd say this is clearly related to my cuts, but I also changed out the fill valve and flapper valve on that toilet this weekend, and I stirred up a ton of gunk from the tank when I did.

I have the Y in the system still as I ran out of time (taped closed) so I did a test today. I remove the tape over the Y and there's a flow of air out of the Y. I held a candle there* and it's clearly out, almost strong enough to blow out the flame. When you flush the outward flow stops. However, even with the pipe open, we still got a poor flush.

So the question, could the vent in the old laundry room be needed in this setup?

*I didn't think about the (lack of) wisdom in holding a candle to a sewer vent until after I was done.

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Old 08-20-2009, 12:42 AM   #2
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


Are you sure the first floor bathroom has no vent? If not then that will be a problem. all fixtures need to be vented.

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Old 08-20-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


Yup, I'm sure. The basement is unfinished and I can see the waste pipe come off the bottom of the toilet and into the rest of the system, no where to hide a vent. I'm just surprised that removing a vent that far away would cause the problem. And when I took the tape off the wye I'd have expected it to fix itself.

So the next question, it the vent there to let air in or out? If it's to let air in then I would think I could add an AAV into the system to make up for the loss. If it's to let air out...
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


A vent actually does both , let air in and out. the toilet might be wet vented off of the sink or tub. pictures would help.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


Sorry for delay, had to get pix. Hopefully this helps...











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Old 08-21-2009, 04:03 PM   #6
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


new code you can wet vent a w/c in new york since i believe june or july of this year
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:53 PM   #7
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


Well, I don't see how your disconnecting the laundry line would have caused a problem with the toilet. that setup is a bit of a mess though. I am betting someone moved that bathroom around before. I bet the original setup had the toilet going into that cast elbow on top and the sink and shower tying into the horizontal after the toilet but before the cast elbow. now. I think your right that the pipe on the top you think is a vent may very well be. it doesn't look like your sink is vented though and i didn't see a trap on your shower. if your toilet isn't flushing well maybe your vent is clogged or your toilet has something clogging it.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:57 PM   #8
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


Ok, after looking at it again the lav would be vented but is still wrong. It looks like it was put in by a handyman. It is amazing that this has worked without many problems before.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:14 PM   #9
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


You only need one vent to atmosphere and the rest can be AAV's. The last run on your vent stack should be your vent to atmosphere and then any below can be AAV's. You can also by traps with built in AAV's so that if a toilet is pulling air it wont pull it from the basin and sink traps and empty them.
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:49 PM   #10
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


First of all you have a plumbing nightmare!

Check with your local codes before adding an AAV. AAV's are a handymans fix to anything. Do it right and add a vent.

Some codes DO NOT ALLOW AAV's. In 15 yrs I have to use an AAV once.

The reason that I don't use AAV is because of seal failure. Spiders and nats can get in the seal and cause failure.

Do it right and do it once.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:54 AM   #11
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Poor toilet flush - vent related?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumber101 View Post
First of all you have a plumbing nightmare!
I don't know, it's certainly a mess, but "nightmare"?? I've seen much worse.

At any rate, I'm not going to add an AAV there as I don't think the issue is vent related at this point. I think I just stirred up a bunch of gunk when I replaced the fill valve on the toilet. The cut I made will be removed and replaced w/a straight run of PVC, simple and neat.

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