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Thread: Are new toilets the solution?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member davidhmd's Avatar
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    Default Are new toilets the solution?

    I'm pretty sure the solution to my toilet problems is to review your toilet buying advice (http://www.terrylove.com/crtoilet.htm) and buy some new toilets, but is there anything else I should rule out first?

    House was built in 1984. I assume all the toilets are the original ones the builder selected.

    2 story house built on concrete slab. All 3 toilets have the same tank, marked American Standard, 4083, NOV 9, M84.

    Toilet 1 on first floor near front of house, has different base-bowl than the 2 upstairs. It clogs somewhat often and often overflows. In the overflow cases, last flush appeared to go down, but didn't. Next flush overflows.

    Toilet 2 & 3 upstairs, base-bowl says American Standard Plebe. Master toilet often clogs. It also often fails to sink the goods w/out sufficient toilet paper to surround them and pull them down.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Those were not good toilets.
    I'm always pulling those out of homes.

    The best ones out there right now are the Toto brand.
    There are plenty of choices now that work.
    Some of it depends on how much time you have on your hands.
    I like to go with a brand that only puts "A" grade porcelain in the box.
    Last edited by Terry; 08-17-2008 at 12:08 PM.

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    You may do well to go through the toilets to make sure they are in optimum working order before giving up on them.

    Auger the toilet to make sure the trapway is clear. Use a 3' General or, Ridgid closet auger with a drop head that has a retriever hook. About $40 at most supply houses. If you see the $10 econo auger save your money! IMHO they would be a waste of $0.01 to buy one if they set the price that low.

    Set the tank water level to the full line or, 5/8" below the top of the overflow tube. Make sure that water sprays out of the bowl refill tube and down the overflow tube when the tank is refilling.

    Replace the flapper with a proper new one. The Korky #2991BP should fit, make sure you cut the ring off.

    Take a piece of coat hanger wire and push it into each of the holes inside the bowl under the rim. Make sure that the siphon jet hole in the bottom of the bowl is clear as well.

    More than likely... It's Time!

    If you use an in tank bowl cleaner like the blue smurf glop that sits in the corner of the tank remove it and don't use it again.

    If the flush does not improve after all this then you can be pretty sure it's time for a nice new Toto toilet to repace them.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    You can do as Redwood suggests, but in my opinion you will be wasting your time for two reasons. These are old technology, and they were not very good when they were new. Replace with Toto Drakes and live happily ever after.

  5. #5

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    Toilet replacement can solve headaches one might not expect. Our old one would just swirl around when you flush and barely go down. We tried pumping the septic tank, replacing the mechanism in the tank, and nothing helped. I finally listened to me wife who's solution to most things is, "throw it out and get a new one" and voila, problem solved. It's easy to do, too.

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    During the time frame mentioned, I think all the manufacturers were building to a 3.5 GPF interim spec. It seems they did little in the way of new design....they just took a toilet which was designed to flush on 5 to 7 GPF, and rigged the tank so it only flushed 3.5. They were not wonderful toilets!

  7. #7
    In the Trades Master Plumber 101's Avatar
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    Mansfield also makes a toilet like Toto with a 3" flapper. Price may even be cheaper.
    Last edited by Terry; 08-17-2008 at 12:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Plumber 101 View Post
    Mansfield also makes a toilet like Toto with a 3" flapper. Price may even be cheaper.
    Everybody had to make a toilet with the large flapper after Toto showed the world that a 1.6 GPF toilet really could flush.

    Problem is the quality of Toto is not matched. How much quality are you wanting to lose for a lower price? Do you want to go all the way down to the zinc plated steel bolts holding the tank on?

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'm all for saving money, but a toilet is something that we don't buy every year or two. A toilet is something that will not be replace for 20 or 30 years, maybe even more barring it getting broken. It is something that is used everyday by every member of the family, usually several time each day. Does it make sense to go cheap on this appliance when cheap may well mean frequent problems with clogs and poor flushing performance? Toto has set the benchmark for toilet performance, and the price isn't that much more than the wanna be's.

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