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Thread: How to increase low flow toilets water flow

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    DIY Junior Member Lisa J.'s Avatar
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    Default How to increase low flow toilets water flow

    I have low flow toilets in my house and I just installed new Kohler Class 5 toilets. I am concerned that while these are strong flushers they only deposit waste and paper into the pipe without enough water to wash the waste to the street. I have seen other friends with low flow toilets and sure they flush okay but they end up with a toilet that won't flush because the pipes under the house are clogged. Any idea how to increase the water flow in Kohler's rectangle fill pipes? Right now I flush the toilet twice and I have had no problems myself but am concerned with house guest not flushing enough. I don't thing I'm the only one with this problem and there is a lot of money for someone that will give these toilets a longer flush. Any ideas are appreciated............

    Lisa

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    It is illegal to increase the amount of water flushed by low-flow toilets. I've heard of plumbers who changed parts to increase the flush getting fined five hundred bucks each.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    This concern has been raised here in the past. Knowledgeable plumbers say that there is ample water to wash the waste down the drain provided of course that there is proper slope to the drain and no low or rough spots. Perhaps it that particular toilet that is giving you a problem. Kohler does not have the quality that they once had.

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    DIY Member grazzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herk View Post
    It is illegal to increase the amount of water flushed by low-flow toilets. I've heard of plumbers who changed parts to increase the flush getting fined five hundred bucks each.
    is it also illegal for the do-it-yourself-er?

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Many of todays toilets are designed to prevent tampering. A line in good condition should not have a problem. A long flat run, a belly in the line, or, an old leaking line may have problems.

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    DIY Junior Member Lisa J.'s Avatar
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    The reality is I'm not too concerned about the legality of the situation. Especially when I'm running around the house trying to grab towels to keep water from running into the central heating system of the house. With that said I haven't had a problem yet but I would just feel more comfortable with more water going down the pipe. Sure flushing twice is a solution but a nice fix or a water timer type arrangement on the flapper would be nice too. I know with my old toilets I was able to find a work around to that situation but the Kolher rectangle pipe is difficult to work with. I was just looking for someone that is bright enough to figure out how to make these things flush longer and that's all. So, any help here is still appreciated.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Illegal for plumbers but not for DIY? I think not. Perhaps a DIYer won't get caught because it won't be inspected, but does that make it OK? I know by some folks standards anything is OK if you don't get caught, but really there is no reason to alter a low flow toilet. There are a number of good performing 1.3 gallon toilets available today so there is no point in trying to fix what isn't broken. If there is a flushing problem with a good quality toilet, look elsewhere for the problem. As already mentioned, a clogged line or sag in the line, or an excessive amount of paper could cause the problem and increasing the water flow won't cure those problems.

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    DIY Junior Member Lisa J.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Illegal for plumbers but not for DIY? I think not. Perhaps a DIYer won't get caught because it won't be inspected, but does that make it OK? I know by some folks standards anything is OK if you don't get caught, but really there is no reason to alter a low flow toilet. There are a number of good performing 1.3 gallon toilets available today so there is no point in trying to fix what isn't broken. If there is a flushing problem with a good quality toilet, look elsewhere for the problem. As already mentioned, a clogged line or sag in the line, or an excessive amount of paper could cause the problem and increasing the water flow won't cure those problems.
    Okay Gary, you win here. I will agree that there is enough force in this toilet to wash almost anything out of the bowl and into the system. As I mentioned before, I have NOT had a problem with these new toilets. For that matter the cheapies, that I replace only clogged in the bowl and not in the line. I guess I'm just a little nervous that "product" will collect in the line to the street. A toilet at work constantly clogs because of the line problems you have mentioned. But it was fine before a "low flow" was put in place. So I guess from that standpoint I will continue to double flush the toilets just for my satisfaction and no other reason. I have given up trying to modify these toilets for all the reasons you have stated. But the reality is I'm just old fashion enough to have really liked the idea of 4 - 6 gallon flush washing the pipes really clean. Thank you for your comments to my original question and I do appreciate the good feed back. I don't have all the answers and I'm willing to learn and all the points you made are good learning tools for future problems if they should ever arise...........

    Take care my friend........... Lisa

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    DIY Junior Member curt martz's Avatar
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    Wow you guys are real sticklers for toilet morality. Kudos, much better men than I. Wasting of fresh water in general is a terrible idea. 36 million gallons a day leaks from the NYC municipal water system. That being said, i am not aware of any toilet police per say that would have any real way knowing if a homeowner has modified their personal plumbing, you could always say the plumber did it anyway, whats his name? I can't recall, but he said it wouldn't be a problem, are you going to cuff me and take me down town now Mr. Toilet cop? So anyway, many low flow toilets have a modified flapper valve than is less buoyant and therefore closes before all the water leaves the tank. This can be bypassed by adhering a piece of styrofoam to the top of the flapper valve. This may require some experimentation with the size of the piece of foam and the adhesive. Thats all I'm gonna say, wouldn't want the man breaking down my door! ;~)

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You know, the simple answer is to get good toilets. Kohler is one of the worst performers there is. Toto has proved that low flow toilets can work if they are properly designed. You don't have to tweek them, modify them, double flush, or any other "fix". The newer toilets now are using even less water than before and still function just fine. Of course, even a well designed toilet will not work well if the drain line not pitched properly or if it has a low spot.

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    DIY Junior Member KennyD's Avatar
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    Default Keep a bucket nearby

    I use a bucket to dump down after number 2 (bust me!). Then I refill it from the tub (right next door). Number 1's fine. Probably uses more water than the good kind of toilets that we used be allowed to have, but like most legislation passed by idiots who believe they are geniuses, it is counter productive. I wonder if those geniuses ever considered the possibility of letting people choose how much water is needed for the purpose. Most apartment leases now state that you are responsible for the toilet backups caused by the wonders of modern technology. Hmmm... is it possible those geniuses may be be as smart as they think?

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I use a bucket to dump down after number 2 (bust me!).
    The new toilets work. It's excellent that we are wasting less water. If you have to flush with a bucket, then there is something seriously wrong with yours. Most people would fix it instead of complaining that the sky is falling.

    If more water is needed, just hold the handle down longer.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-25-2011 at 05:23 PM.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I've never had any problems with my 3 year old Kohler toilet nor do I worry about a lack of water. We take 40 gallon showers, the clothes washer uses 20 gallons during a cycle, etc, etc. Thankfully there is no water shortage in this part of the country.

    There is no lack of water flowing down anyone's pipes that I know.

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    DIY Junior Member sam02135's Avatar
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    Holding down the handle would not give it the flushing power, but it will go down continuously "slow". I'm having an issue with my rental unit as I bought Kohlers in 2005. They were designed back then to be "rim flush", meaning the water comes down the rim to flush vs. newer low flows just sends the water dwon as quick as possible and use that as flushing power (which works better to flush) but doesn't "clean" the rim as well. Which one does one wants? .. They have to decide. I'm just reading some of these old post about the "plumber police"... not in my house...

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Holding down the handle would not give it the flushing power, but it will go down continuously "slow".
    Sounds like something lodged in the trapway if the water goes down slowly.
    Or you may have a one-piece Kohler that needs a special fill valve to help with the flush.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-26-2011 at 01:57 AM.

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