What The Heck Is This Thing In My Toilet Tank? - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-16-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: VA
Posts: 47
Rewards Points: 25

What the heck is this thing in my toilet tank?

First week in my new house and I've been having toilet issues. Pretty much anything solid clogs. It's not a hard clog, it just seems to stop halfway through the flush. The plunger clears it right up, but this is getting annoying.

I ran about 10 buckets of hot water through it this morning to rinse the pipes out, and I pulled the tank lid off to see if there was anything tangled or blocked. That's when I found this...

What the heck is this thing in my toilet tank?-tank-insert.jpg

It looks like a plastic bowl surrounding my flapper. When you flush, the darn think restricts the whole flush to maybe a half a gallon or so.

***Action shot!***

What the heck is this thing in my toilet tank?-action-shot.jpg

Has anyone seen anything like this? Is is some crappy attempt to make this 1.6 gallon tank a super low flow system? Surely this isn't a stock item is it? How much trouble would it be to remove it?

The house is from '68, but I think the toilet is newer. I think it is a Eljer 141-0120 if it makes a difference.


Joeboo25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
joed's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 13,268
Rewards Points: 13,332
Blog Entries: 11

Definitely a water saving feature.


joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
Doing it myself
Alan's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Crescent City, CA
Posts: 3,798
Rewards Points: 2,086
Send a message via AIM to Alan Send a message via MSN to Alan

That Eljer is a piece of junk. You can try dismantling or destroying the "bucket" but chances are the toilet will want to double flush if you do that, meaning you'll have to do a bunch of adjusting to the fill valve, possibly replacing the flapper, etc... etc...

If you need a budget toilet, call some plumbing supply houses and see if you can find a Gerber Viper. Excellent flushing toilet for the budget conscious.
Journeyman Plumber
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 11:35 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 34,440
Rewards Points: 14,010

I'd just rebuild the whole thing.
About $20.00 and an hours time and it will be like new.
joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 12:28 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: VA
Posts: 47
Rewards Points: 25

Originally Posted by Alan View Post
That Eljer is a piece of junk.
I might agree with you. What makes it junk? Is it the flushing mechanism, or some weird geometry with the plumbing/vents?
Joeboo25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
ddawg16's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: S. California
Posts: 11,406
Rewards Points: 1,968
Blog Entries: 2

If I had to speculate on what that thing does.....

It lets the water level go higher which gives you a bit more 'head' pressure (pun intended) and give you a bit more velocity on the water entering the bowl. The cone lets the water drain down to it's level and then stop. Basically, it's a way of raising the level of the tank without using more water.

However, assuming it raises the level about 3", then your looking a 0.108 PSI increase in pressure.....I doubt that will make a whole lot of difference in those "tough deposites".....

I personally can't offer any advice on how to fix it....though replacing the guts would be my 1st attempt.
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

My 2-Story Addition Build in Progress Link ... My Garage Build Link and My Jeep Build Link
ddawg16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 43
Rewards Points: 33

What a coincidence. I just pulled an Eljer with that weird tower out of my bathroom this week and replaced it with a Toto Drake II. It was a horrible flushing toilet that could barely handle any number twos. As far as I could tell it was working normally. When I pulled it up there wasn't anything obstructing the trapway, beyond some hard water scale.

We just moved into the house this week and that was the toilet in the upstairs. I still have it sitting outside my garage, so I could probably snap some closer pics if anyone wants to see them.

It's a little hard to describe, but it appears to be a water saving feature. My guess would be that this was one of the first low flow toilets Eljer released, and they just tried to retrofit an old design to use less water. I would guess it came from the factory that way. It would be a huge coincidence if the OP and me had similar Eljer toilets and previous ownerss had just happened to install the same water saving devices in the two toilets.

The weird plastic tower slows the flow of water to the flush valve. So, you flush, the water in the tower drains through the valve and the flush stops. Then, small holes in the tower allow the tower to slowly refill with water from the tank. When the water level inside the tower and the the tank have reached equilibrium, it's ready to flush again.
stephen9666 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: VA
Posts: 47
Rewards Points: 25

That's a crazy coincidence. I just bought one of those retrofit kits from Home Depot, so I'll give that a try first.


Joeboo25 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Repair 1962 Rheem pink toilet tank or find vintage replacement ? khaef Plumbing 0 09-09-2011 09:55 AM
HELP!! Toilet leaking from sides of tank when flushed. teamcampreder Plumbing 17 08-01-2011 09:26 AM
Carbon particles in toilet tank BobMac Plumbing 0 11-21-2010 01:58 PM
How to drain toilet without tank? tripflex Plumbing 8 06-02-2010 08:27 AM
Upstairs toilet pipe noise bliss Plumbing 8 01-10-2008 07:55 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1