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

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Old 12-16-2012, 10:12 AM   #1
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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.


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Old 12-16-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Definitely a water saving feature.


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Old 12-16-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:35 AM   #4
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I'd just rebuild the whole thing.
About $20.00 and an hours time and it will be like new.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:28 PM   #5
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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?
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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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.

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Old 12-16-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
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That's a crazy coincidence. I just bought one of those retrofit kits from Home Depot, so I'll give that a try first.


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