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Old 08-07-2011, 08:19 AM   #1
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Slow/overflowing toilet


My husband and I moved into a house (built in the 1920s) that we are renting a few months ago and we've consistently had a hard time with the toilet. We have only one bathroom on the 3rd floor of the house. If the toilet only has urine and a small amount of toilet paper in it, it will flush albeit slowly. When there is feces or a large amount of toilet paper there is sometimes a problem. You flush and keep watching the water level rise and sometimes it will flush (big sigh of relief) and other times it will start to overflow. I've now taken to standing over the toilet with a plastic wand while it's flushing, so that I can swish the toilet paper/feces around if the water starts to get too high in the bowl (I have been able to avoid overflowing this way).

It seems like there is not enough "suction" (I know that the toilet doesn't really work on suction) to pull the waste down. It also seems as though the toilet uses a lot more water than advertised. The markings on the back of the bowl say American Standard 1.6 gal, I checked in the tank but couldn't find a date of manufacture. It certainly seems to use more water than any toilet I'm used to using. The other thing I've noticed is that the toilet is a bit wobbly - I wonder if it's not placed the right way/the wax ring is not really creating a seal?

My landlords are nice people but they seem to half-ass most things (as in they'll do it themselves but don't really seem to know what they're doing) and since I'm the one that will have to live with the results, I'd love to be able to give them a good idea of what the problem is before bringing it to them. I'd really like to get a plumber in to diagnose it, but I feel like I"ll be out several hundred dollars just to find out what *might* be wrong.

For what it's worth the tub also seems to drain slowly but I think that is more because my hair clogs the top of the drain (I clean it out after every shower).

Any ideas for what the problem could be/where I should start?


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Old 08-07-2011, 08:26 AM   #2
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I should add that it seems as though the bowl often needs to fill nearly to the top before it starts to drain so we're always wondering if if's going to flush or overflow. Could it be a pressure problem and that's why it starts flushing when the bowl is really full?


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Old 08-07-2011, 08:27 AM   #3
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Put away your magic wand and either have the landlord spring for a plumber, or lift the toilet up yourself. (buy a new wax seal and a T-bolt kit, too!) Trusting that you've plunged the hell out of it, you must have something stuck in the toilets trapway. You'll have to get at it from the bottom. Wear gloves.
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