View Full Version : Toilet Flushing Problem!

02-17-2012, 03:53 PM
Recently our toilet has not been flushing all the way. Some water goes down, then it stops and swirls. Here is what I know and have done. I just installed a Hydro clean 660 fill valve and new flap and they both work properly. I have also dumped a large amount of water down the toilet and it flushed as it should so no septic or clog issue.If I hold the flush lever down all the way it still does not flush properly. It seems as though the water is not flowing into the bowl fast enough to flush it out. None of the under side jets are clogged as I have stuck a piece of wire up each one. Also the hole near the bottom of the toilet is clear and seems to be pushing out water. Water level in the tank is maybe a half inch from the top of the overflow so it has plenty of water. There is nothing blocking the underside of the flap. The rest of the toilet is just porcelain right, what could it be? The toilet is not very old. Thank you!

02-17-2012, 04:13 PM
Sounds like it needs more water to me. Is the little fill tube hose actually hooked up to the "overflow" tube? (thats called a fill tube by the way). Is the flapper actually staying open until the tank is emptied? Is the flapper opening enuff to allow full flow thru the flush valve? Is there anything stuck in the flush valve? (thats the big hole the flapper covers). Some toilets just need a little more water and the fill valve can sometimes provide that extra little bit if you have one that fills quickly. In other words the new super quiet slow filling ones sometimes can cause this issue.

Also, if ya got little kids, they have a way of sticking stuff into toilets and causing all kinds of issues. 20 years ago before i was a plumber I had a problem with my toilet that had me stumped for days. I learned a lesson about what can get stuck in a toilet when i saw my toothbrush come sliding out the jet hole in the bottom of the bowl.

02-17-2012, 05:49 PM
Yes, the tube is hooked up to the overflow. Does length of tube matter? I have it looped once. Nothing is tuck in the valve. I'm going to adjust the Hydroclean fill valve to raise the water level to a cm below the overflow. Can I higher my overflow anyway? The tank says 1.6 so I assume thats the max water that can go in the back without going over the overflow?

02-17-2012, 06:06 PM
The outlet of the refill hose should be above the top of the overflow, but it doesn't sound like that's your problem. It sounds like there's a partial clog. Something like maybe a pen, pencil, or maybe a toy. This will leave enough room to let liquids get by easily, but when you add waste or paper, it slows things enough to prevent a good flush. You may need to auger the trap in the toilet, or, if that doesn't work, it may be lower in the drain.

02-17-2012, 07:04 PM
loop in hose probably doesnt matter as long as not kinked. 1.6 toilet doesnt mean that thats all the water the tank will hold. that just means that it SHOULD flush out using 1.6 gallons of water. Does the flapper stay open until the water reaches the bottom of the tank?
jadnashua brings up a good point as well. I was under the assumption that this started immediatley after you made repairs to the toilet, but it could easily be a partial clog.
Quick story, I once went to fix a toilet (at a convienent store) that was acting simular to yours. I tried everything I could think of. I changed all its guts including the flush valve and tank to bowl gasket. I couldnt get that toilet to act right no matter what i did.. I augered it multiple times, but still nothing. I even Pulled it off the floor and shot auger thru it to prove nothing stuck in it. Come to find out the day before, someone had tossed an entire roll of toilet paper into the tank and put the lid back on. The next guy who flushed it loaded the innards of the toilet slap full of paper. This went on basically until the whole roll was gone and mashed all into the inside passages of the bowl. The best part... you cant see any of it cuz when it comes out its mostly liquified.. Took multiple pours of professional strength acid (the stuff you cant get) thru the flush hole of the bowl to clear all that stuff out AND there was nothing you could actually see.
Keep trying, you'll figure it out. Also, maybe go watch another toilet in your house to see what its doing inside the tank. see if they are acting simular.

02-17-2012, 07:19 PM
This just recently started to be more of an issue. The past week. Prior we always thought the flush was just ok (got the job done). The flap does stay open until most of the water it out. My father gave me two snakes, one looks like a tommy gun and the other is just thin wire on a loop. I could not get either to far down the toilet, not as if I hit something that was stuck but rather the shape of the toilet was restricting me from going farther. This is our only toilet so youtube is my only option now and I have already watched countless videos. If something was stuck in the toilet how do I go about getting it out and why are these snakes not getting more then 1ft into the toilet?

02-17-2012, 07:26 PM
ya gotta shove it down there... work it! lol... plumbing is hard work... thats why no one wants to do it. crank the (tommy gun) snake and shove at the same time. the bend in a toilet is pretty severe and it takes some doing to get a snake thru it. the fact that you cant get a small cable thru it aught to make you appreciate what it takes to get a big turd to go thru it.. ;)

02-17-2012, 07:36 PM
Not all toilets are created equal. What you may be seeing is one result of that. Some toilets have nice, smooth curves, and are pretty good to great flushers; some have some nearly right-angle bends in them, and those are more easily clogged as stuff slows down, and if there's anything hard or stiff - even a cotton swab on some, it can catch and anything that slows down the flow can stop the siphoning effect, severely affecting the ability to flush things.

Pick up a new wax ring...you may need to pull the toilet and check things from the bottom of it, rather than the top. You'll need a new wax ring to set it back down.

02-17-2012, 08:23 PM
Whats the condition of the drain lines? how old? what material? proper fall? Any problem with any other fixtures draining? any bubbling or gurgling from other fixtures when trying to flush toilet or drain washing machine??
I had a house once with simular issue, toilet was 1-2 years old, used to flush good and was over time not flushing well. couldnt make sense of it until one day the washing machine emptied while I was there and the toilet started to gurgle a little. That let me know that i was dealing with a mainline problem. I went under house, cut out 10 foot section of horizontal 4 inch cast and found it to be almost totally blocked. Long story short, figuring out the actual problem is all the work. fixing it is the easy part.

02-18-2012, 11:35 AM
If you can't push a closet auger though the trapway, then you will need to pull the bowl, and auger from the other side, hoping that what is stuck at the top bend will come out.
Or, replace the bowl.

You've come to the roadblock, and you either have to go around it, or pull down the barricade.

If water wasn't getting to the bowl, then what liquid plumbers was mentioning was good information.
Sometimes something falls into the bowl from the tank, and blocks the bowl inputs. Also take a mirror and check the siphon jet like was mentioned.


02-18-2012, 01:33 PM
LP - PVC lines, I have no idea about correct fall. I think I have hit the road block, the auger is a pain to get anymore then 12 inches into the drain. I might buy a close auger and try that before I have to take the toilet off. I see no bulbing or poor draining from any other water using appliance or drain. I thank you all for the helpful ideas you have provided. I will keep posted

02-18-2012, 03:07 PM
All your comments are pointing to the likelihood that there's something caught in the trapway of the toilet. An auger doesn't always catch it. That something may not stop liquids from passing, but it is slowing down the total flow.


Many of the newer, low-flow toilets use a siphon jet to get the flush started. If that path from the tank is somehow obstructed, there won't be enough velocity to create the suction. Did any of the toilet flapper valves come with a separate float? Have any of those disappeared? Depending on its size, it could be caught in various places, some of which would be hard to clear out.

02-19-2012, 06:45 AM
The key to your problem is HOW the water acts when you flush the toilet. If it rises and then goes down it is partially plugged, it the water just goes through the bowl without creating a suction the water is flowing too slowly. There are many different things that can cause a poor flush, but we would have to be there to tell which one applies to your situation.

Hackney plumbing
02-19-2012, 07:25 AM
Look down near the bottom of the bowl toward the front. If there is a hole there it should be free and clear with no build up in it. Water is sippose to shoot out of this hole when the toilet is flushed. This hole can become filled up if urine is left in the toilet for extended times. It can build up very hard deposits that can be difficult to remove.

This may not be your problem but its easy enough to check.

02-19-2012, 03:38 PM
The toilet seems to be flushing fine now. The water is just under the overflow pipe. Last night I poured 1/3 white vinegar down the overflow to work out any build up. The first flush of the morning I did not see anything abnormal that came out of the jet holes but it flushed fine. It may have been a deep clog that worked itself out.

I want to thank you all for the input. It is very much appreciated and I'm thankful. I have gained some insight on toilets only some come to lean after years of working on them due to this forum.

Take care all,


02-21-2012, 09:56 AM
Well. I lied. It worked fine for a day but back to the same issue. Solids flush fine but liquids do not. I have come to the conclusion that the jets are not allowing a good flow of water to come out. I want to tape off all the jets, and pour baking soda and white vinegar down the overflow. Is that ok? I need a good cleaner in the rim. Only half the rim is allowing any water to flow out when we flush.

02-21-2012, 11:34 AM
If you have mineral deposits there, and you can't stick something like a metal coat hanger in to ream the holes slightly, you might just want to use acid (vinegar). Throwing in the baking soda just neutralizes the acid and makes gas...you want the acid to disolve the deposits. Not sure I'd recommend this at all, but if I did, it would only be the vinegar, and leave it for awhile. Not sure how well you'd seal things up, though, to keep it there long enough to do anything.

02-21-2012, 12:15 PM
I was able to get a peice of wire up each hole, nothing was blocking them though. Can there be build up prior to the hole? I cannot see anyother reason the water is not flowing to the bowl fast enough.

02-21-2012, 01:25 PM
ANywhere that gets wet, that can then air dry will eventually get mineral deposits if you have hard water...the harder, the faster they'll accumulate. WHether that is your problem, or something else is hard to say from afar. Did it ever work well? Not all toilets are created equal!

If the flapper valves for your toilet come with an attached float, some have reported losing those, and then finding that they were caught inside, reducing flow. Other than that, it's hard for other foreign objects to get there to restrict flow.