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andsoitgoes 05-30-2009 11:14 PM

Toilet UNDER Flushing...??
This seems to happen at various times during the year, primarily around summer... and seeing as this is only the 2nd year we've lived here, that's my only basis :)

Anyway, the basement toilet is fine. Upstairs toilet is the issue.

In my mind, I keep thinking it's the fill valve inside and this is at least the 3rd time I've spent HOURS trying to fix it so that it's not continually running. Every time I fix it to get a bit more water in the top tank, I flush and the thing goes like the dickens.

The problem is that it stops once it, you know, drains out and fills again. Then it continues to underflush without a good swift dump of water.

If I adjust again, even with just a slight bit more water in the tank FROM the tank, it flushes okay. But in order for it to be at the right "level", the tank has to keep running. It's like there's this mystical "slot" on the float level.

Oh, and it doesn't have the float "ball", it's the newer design... and, as I mentioned, I've fiddled and adjusted it umpteen times.

Is it just a serious clog? I do get some air bubbles up from the base of the toilet when I flush sometimes...

Thanks for the help! :)

hayewe farm 05-30-2009 11:40 PM

Low water usage toilets always seem to be a problem. If yours has a chain going to the flapper valve with a Styrofoam float on the chain There is a retaining clip it looks like a flat piece of plastic on the top and bottom of the float to hold it in place. They have a slit in them and can be slipped off the chain. Remove the bottom one and move it down the chain about " to and inch, slide the float down and then move the top retainer down. This will hold the flapper open longer and dump more water into the bowl. The farther down the chain the more water you will use.

andsoitgoes 05-31-2009 10:46 AM

Hmm, thanks for the help. I don't have that kind of setup, there is no "chain" so to speak.

There's a fancy looking plastic bit on the left hand side that controls the amount of water that fills the tank, rather than the float.

there's a hose that goes within the overfill tube that fills it with water.

The flap is fine, it seals quite nicely.

any other thoughts?

Plumber101 05-31-2009 12:11 PM

What Hayewe I believe is trying to say is not refering to the fill valve but the flapper valve and the lenght of time it stays open to release more water into the bowl to help it flush properly. I have had flappers seal fine but are a little to heavy and close quickly causing a non flush

andsoitgoes 06-02-2009 12:23 PM

I've tried to manually keep the flapper valve open, both by holding the handle down as well as manually from inside the tank, and it's not helped.

I still run into the same issue...

Any other thoughts?

MALCO.New.York 06-02-2009 01:21 PM

If it is not the Water Level, it is the flapper.


Obstructed venting!

andsoitgoes 06-02-2009 02:22 PM

Well, that's the thing - It MIGHT be the water level, but I can't adjust it without it constantly running.

The flapper was fine.

What does obstructed venting doing, and why would this happen, clear up, and then happen again?

andsoitgoes 06-24-2009 04:32 PM

Anyone here? I'm having a heck of a time, it's just not working, nothing I do seems to help...

AllanJ 06-24-2009 08:47 PM

If the waste pipe is not properly vented, the toilet flushing is impeded by air in the vent pipes that gets compressed rather than equalize pressure via the vent at roof leve.

To see how well the bowl flushing takes place, measure off different quantities of water in a bucket and pour that into the toilet without activating the flush lever. You may need more than one trial with each chosen quantity

Is the entire toilet new with tank and bowl matched, as opposed to a smaller capacity low-flow tank attached to an old high flow bowl?

Yes there is (or should be) a mystical slot or open topped vertical tube somewhere in the tank that acts as a safety overflow down to the bowl if the incoming water doesn't shut off and the level of water in the tank gets too high. So there is a maximum level in the tank you can adjust to.


rtoni 06-25-2009 10:56 AM

is it possible that the rim on the bowl (or jet) is clogged up? and does not dump water in fast enough from the tank for a good flush?

in my case (older unit - 3 - 1/2 gallon tank) , it barely flushes from the tank, but if I dump a couple gallons in from a bucket (read somewhere - maybe here - that this is a good sanity check for vent issues) it flushes like a tornado. So I'm thinking the flow from the tank to the bowl is impeded (gunked up). I'm thinking about replacing the toilet (as I really want to avoid any nasty chemicals - especially with my son being very sensitive to those things).

I might be out to lunch on my assessment - but if this is in fact an issue in my case, it may be a factor for you too? fwiw....

andsoitgoes 06-25-2009 12:37 PM

If I do pour water into the main tank, it works fine if I do it RIGHT. Basically I have to aim it as a jet into the center of the bowl.

I've scrubbed like the dickens under the rim, but I'm half willing to do anything. I'd much rather not have to spend to replace the toilet.

Allan, I've adjusted the flow control in the tank to add more water/less water in. The only time it works properly, the water keeps running. Any adjustment less than that and it doesn't work.

Outside of that, I'm just confused at the situation.

Leah Frances 06-25-2009 12:47 PM


Originally Posted by AllanJ (Post 292580)
Yes there is (or should be) a mystical slot

Is this like the drywall fairy? Or the underpants gnomes?

majakdragon 06-26-2009 01:11 PM

For less than $10 you can replace the fill valve with a Fluidmaster 400A fill valve. The bubbles you spoke of would be a vent problem. May be spider webs with leaves on top, blocking the vent pipe partially. This could explain why it changes and is not always the same. Only way to check this is a trip up on the roof with a flashlight.
Your comments about adjusting the fill valve flow makes me think that when you adjust it for more water, it is running into the overflow pipe since it is set too high.

andsoitgoes 06-26-2009 03:16 PM

Okay - Sorry, I'll clarify things a bit more too. We have 2 toilets, the one in the basement is currently and always has run fine.

It seems like the problem clears up for 2 or so flushes if we heavily plunge, but reverts back after a short time.

ANd yes, when it goes higher it does run into the overflow pipe, and from what I gather, if I could increase that height ever so slightly, it would solve the problem.

I do have a newer fill... area. I don't know if it's the kind you're mentioning, but I'll take pictures and post those.

hayewe farm 06-26-2009 05:39 PM

You have stoppage in the drain, run a toilet snake down the drain.

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