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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had 2 weeks to find a house to buy AND move 350 miles away. This problem was undisclosed by seller. Both toilets over-flowed when solid waste is ummmm, in the toilets. Plumber told me that it was because the toilets were from the 1990s. He wouldn't let me chose the new toilets. He put in Gerber Viper ADA toilets. Problem was not corrected and the handles on both toilets go down half way sometimes and there is a weak flush then. One of the toilets runs for about 35 seconds before it shuts off. Plumber returned and increased the fall of the pipes in the crawl space by 20%. I've now paid near 1500.00 and I still have the same problem. The plumber said that he would look at the stack next. There are new pipes from the house to the road, no trees near the house and when the man looked in the cleanout he said it looked fine. I'f I put a cup of Dawn dishsoap in the toliets and flush with a pail of hot water, the waste goes down. Any ideas what the problem could be? Should I ask him to look at the stack? Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 35 second fill sounds like a supply line issue. Possibly an obstruction in the supply valve. I'm sure the plumber would have ensured that the valve was turned all the way on, but he should also have noticed if it was slow to fill. Definitely have the vent stack checked because both commodes aren't flushing properly.
'Thank you, Wrangler. I'll do that. Would the stack be clogged? Too narrow? It looks narrow to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did the plumber suggest snaking the main sewer line?
Also, check the chain length from the handle to the flapper and adjust, if necessary.
The plumber has been here 6 times (He is also the electrician.) and everytime he said he forgot the snake and/or plunger. Which makes me think he doesn't think it is necessary. I went to Farm King and bought one. I couldn't get it to go down inside. It was a cheap one. I'll youtube how to adjust the flapper, but the old toilet did the same thing in that bathroom. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thank you, everyone. This has been very helpful. I wrote him a letter, included it with the last check, saying that I still have the same problem that I had before I paid him anything. He knows that I'm unhappy with the service and he didn't respond. I am going to mail him a copy of this thread. I'll post an update, when the issue is resolved so that we can all learn what the problem is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Please direct your Plumber/electrician to this web site - he needs help.

Old toilets flush just fine. Modern ones are the culprits.

I once had a local licensed plumber ready to have me jackhammer two new bathrooms that another contractor have remodeled. Tile on the floor - new vanities, tile on wall, etc. The renting tenant had moved in after the remodel and told the property manage the toilets needed to be flushed 2-3 times to get everything down. The PM sent me over (troubleshooter - which I loved doing) and I verified the trouble, tried my snake, tried pressure with garden hose and rag, etc. etc. Finally, I called in the well-established plumber that had a camera and a power auger snake, etc. Well he immediately started with; "Bad vent, collapsed pipe, plugged from other unit" Sent the camera down and saw "suspicious bends and turns" and then told me the floor and common wall between the toilets had to be pulled so the vent and plumbing could be checked.

Well (yeah, most of my stories get long - sorry...), I assembled my labor guys, brought jack hammer, wheel barrows, shovels and picks, etc. We had already pulled one toile ("T"d to the other against the common wall) during snaking - so I tried flushing the toilet not that this PERFECT vent was available to the second toilet (open to the room about 2 feet away). Well, the second toilet still could not flush crushed toilet paper!

As my guys leaned on the jack hammer and shovels, I had one run to another remodel we were doing and bring that toilet for testing at the FANCY bathroom. Once we installed the spare toilet from another location, everything flushed as if it was a tornado - heck, I could have put full-sized bricks down those pipes...

Long story shorter - the freakin' modern toilet couldn't flush anything worth a darn. If I had listened to the revered, well-established, eminent plumber the owner would have had a $10,000 bill to R&R the two baths and STILL would have had toilets that did not flush.

Subsequently, I found a Canadian study (circa 2002?) where the researchers had diligently mimicked POOP using soy bean paste and then run tests on all the major brands of toilets. I wish I still had that paper to share with you all as it was hilarious the way they pre-tested and developed the artificial POOP, and I wish I could remember which toilet came out on top. However, that might be a moot point as it's now 2021 and apparently all toilet manufacturers think our OUTPUT requires additional engineering add-ons to get down the same old pipes our grandparents had been using.

Moral of the story - I'd swap out the toilet with some used one found street-side on large trash day before I invested any more time or money. And, while I had the toilet off I'd grab a 5 gallon bucket of water and pour it rapidly into the open hole to make sure the line can swallow it. It's one of the other - plugged line or bad toilet.
Excellent ! I like the way you think. - Ginene
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Sounds to me like your plumber is incompetent. I would suggest you find a new one. I would propose you try to flush twice with solid waste. 1 time for poo and another for paper and see if that resolves your issue. Next time around, I recommend right height American standard toilets. This guy sounds like a handy man and tradesman of none.
It is kind of hard to move to a new town and not know anyone. It takes a while to figure out who is the right person to call. I've picked some real winners so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
If your plumber was any kind of plumber at all, he would have installed an American Standard, Champion toilet. The American Standard toilet has a large 4" flush valve, with a larger that average, 2 3/8" trap. The combination of more water per flush and the larger trap, (trap is the opening at the bottom of the toilet) give you one of the best toilets on the market. The 35 second refill time is about average and has NOTHING to do with the quality of flush.
That's exactly what people are telling me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Sounds to me like your plumber is incompetent. I would suggest you find a new one. I would propose you try to flush twice with solid waste. 1 time for poo and another for paper and see if that resolves your issue. Next time around, I recommend right height American standard toilets. This guy sounds like a handy man and tradesman of none.
Flushing twice causes over-flow. I don't put any toliet paper in either toilet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I called the plumber last night to say that I would like him to "stand up to the plate" because I still have the problem I started out with 1500.00 ago. I asked him if he had ever been to this house when the prior owner lived here with a call about this issue. He said he had not. He suggested that he come over with an auger. Remember, he said that he didn't have an auger or plunger in the truck when he came to the house the first two, maybe three times. Anyway, when he said that, I mentioned that I didn't want to spend anymore money without it being fixed. He didn't say he would do it for no charge. Instead, he said that I could call someone else because he doesn't know what is wrong. He said that I should find someone with a camera to look inside the lines. I asked him if I could mail him some of the suggestions written here and he said, "That's just peoples opinions." I think that brain-storming is a good idea. So, that is the end of this story. I'm going to follow all of the suggestions made here and I might even follow the small-claims suggestion. I think this guy should have brought an auger the first time or the second time. Thank you, everyone. You all tried to help for free and I appreciate your kindness and knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
what happens once you have a clog how does it get unclogged can you plunge it then it goes down? That should tell you something, if there is a blockage in the drain then the solid should be hitting that an backing up all your drains. Are the 2 toilets close to each other as one different floors but above or same floor back to back?

I would look at the stack as anything could get in there or if the house was vacant something could have nested there.

I would hire an actual plumber to come out and also talk to your agent about action against the seller if it was a known issue or not.
Getting a company out to scope the pipes would not hurt my BIL just had a blockage in his sewer line that backed up the whole house, fortunately it was from an upstairs shower and basement floor drain.
Cost him 175.00 for the scope and cleanout, he is in Denver your location might be helpful for others.
I'm in Blandinsville, Illinois, 61420.
 

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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
As far as the handle only going half way sometimes, it sounds like you have a Gerber Viper Dual Flush. Push the handle half way for a light flush. Push all the way for a full flush.
He didn't tell me that and I saw no box or information sheet regarding details! I don't think he knows that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
The company was Maximum Performance I believe. They list the results on their website.
Okay, I read that. Good to know because I would rather not think the plumber tried to put one over on me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
First, let's deal w the basics:

1. Licenses come from the State, at least in TX. Ask him for his License #/Certification. If he refuses, tell him you are reporting him to the authorities. Send everything CMReturnReceipt. This is to get your money back so you can go to point #2.

2. Go to your nbors, a church, grocery store, city hall, and ask for some references of a good, reputable plumber. Whatever name you get the most, chose him. Tell him your problem(s), and see if he can give you a potential solution and cost? Also, get your real estate agent involved in sellers disclosure. No one selling a house doesn't know the toilets dont work, unless you bought "As is". Didn't you have an inspection.

3. Since both toilets do not flush, either they were both installed wrong, or you have a main sewer line to your septic that is bad. You have to isolate the problem.

a). Put whatever you want in the toilet, take off the lid to the tank, and flush the toilet keeping your hand on the handle until all the water is emptied out of the tank. If it all drains, go immediately to the other toilet and do the same thing. If neither back up, it's not your main line. You can repeat going back and forth 1 more time to make sure.
b). If you flush your toilet by handle as normally, and one or both backs up, you have an issue w how your toilets were installed/configured
c). If one or the other back-ups while flushing w the tank top off, you have main line issue that needs to be scoped.

4. In Texas, you never see the same person as both a Policeman and Fireman; we also never see a licensed Plumber and Licensed Electrician as the same person.

5. Finally, haste makes waste...having to buy a house in 2 weeks ? Whoever made you do that, see if they will handle some of the fallout for such a quick decision.

6. Good luck
 
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