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We just moved into a house that has been abandoned for >year. The upstairs toilet works, but the flush never seems to clear the bowl very well. I'd say 75% of the time, I need to use a plunger. I've never done any plumbing so I don't even know where to start. Can someone help me please????

Thanks in advance!
 

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hows all the other drains....bath,sink upstairs...if there good draining out could be just that toilet before it hits the main house riser up on the 2nd flr.how's the first floor toilet and sinks? could be just to snake the toilet up on 2nd and is rentable tool check this video out ..that last snake she uses try the other end!!! of it. turn it as you push it in with a slight back and forth motion warning watch when you pull it out it might have some of the blockage on it...don't flush unless your way down on the water in the bowl everytime http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-unblock-a-toilet
 

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If you take a 3 gallon bucket and pour it directly into the bowl, does it create the suction to empty it?
If not, you may want to pull the toilet and check there isn't a clog. I had this happen and when I pulled the bowl off the seal, I found one of my daughter's friends had flushed a handful of q-tips and they were jammed into the drainage tube, grabbing all kinds of things.

If it does drain, then check the holes around the top of the toilet where the water flows to start the swirl process. They will be under the rim and angled to flow the water properly. Make sure they aren't clogged. Next, check the water level in the tank and make sure the fill up valve wasn't set too low and not flowing enough water.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Marty1Mc said:
If you take a 3 gallon bucket and pour it directly into the bowl, does it create the suction to empty it?
If not, you may want to pull the toilet and check there isn't a clog. I had this happen and when I pulled the bowl off the seal, I found one of my daughter's friends had flushed a handful of q-tips and they were jammed into the drainage tube, grabbing all kinds of things.

If it does drain, then check the holes around the top of the toilet where the water flows to start the swirl process. They will be under the rim and angled to flow the water properly. Make sure they aren't clogged. Next, check the water level in the tank and make sure the fill up valve wasn't set too low and not flowing enough water.
Thanks for the advice! All of the drains work great, so no problem there. There is a big plastic thing in the tank that seems to be slowing down water flow! Is this a "low flow" flapper? I tried to pull it out and it appears stuck. How can I uninstall this?
 

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Show us a picture of that plastic thing.

I suppose that it is part of the 1.6 gallon or whatever flush limiting.

By getting a bucketful of water and emptying it into the toilet bowl you test the bowl without having possible toilet tank problems interfere with your test.
 

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Probably need a pic, but the two major components in there is the fill valve and the flapper. The flapper is over the drain hole and is pulled up with the handle. This is supposed to stay open (some have a place for an air pocket) until the tank is drained. This should come off fairly easily and new ones install easily as well.

The other is the fill valve assembly. Some have long rods with a big ball on the end. I personally hate these types. The other type has a float ball on the stock of the valve unit. These tend to work much better but need adjustment for the proper fluid level (just follow the instructions).

Either way, the other suggestion to post a pic will clear the mystery.
 

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If it passed the 3 gallon bucket flush test, ( and i gather from your last post-it did) I would also check to see if the drain holes (under the rim of the toilet) are all open and draining properly. If it has been sitting un-used for over a year it is possible that the holes could have crusted over and not letting the water through fast enough for a complete flush. Also check the main hole in the bottom inside the bowl of the toilet with your finger, to make sure it's open as well. If needed, a stiff coat hanger will open the holes with a little work. I would check these things before throwing money at anything. At least it would'nt cost anything to rule these out.
 

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a lot of the low water consumption toilets dont empty out well. if you hold the handle down when you flush does the bowl empty out better? if it does adjust the fill valve so the water level in the tank is higher. also which way does the water spiral when it goes down? clockwise or counter clockwise. toilets for the northern hemisphere should go counter clockwise southern hemisphere goes clockwise. the cheap toilets usually go clockwise and never flush very well. also i have seen people use too many x oozes out and covers part of the hole, offset flanges will sometimes cause that also.
 

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It looks like you have a 3 gal tank and someone added that thing to limit the flow, probably to save water. I would pull it out. The rest of the tank looks normal. It's easy to take the tank off. While I had it off, I would change the fill valve (you have the type I don't like), go with a newer version.

If that piece is part of the flapper assembly, just change the whole assembly to one that doesn't have that. It's pretty easy, just be careful not to over tighten. The bowl is ceramic.

I don't live in a water restrictive area, so I am not familiar with various devices used for water.

To replace your fill valve...
http://www.homedepot.com/Bath-Toile...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

Flush Valve ...

http://www.homedepot.com/Bath-Toile...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

Bolts for the toilet tank...( you usually only need 2 bolts though)

http://www.homedepot.com/Bath-Toile...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053


This should be enough to complete fix that toilet.
 

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Thanks for your help, Marty. I'm not sure why the previous owners did this - it's the only toilet like this (and it's the master). I'll go pick up a new unit now!!

Thanks!!
 

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If you put a low flow tank on a non-low flow toilet then the toilet will probably not flush correctly.

You can cut away chunks of that plastic "thing" to nullify the water flow restricting nature of it. You don't have to cut it all away. The deeper you cut it the more water will empty into the bowl
 
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