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Thread: Weak flush

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member gbh's Avatar
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    Default Weak flush

    Hi all. First post. Longstanding problem. I'm tired of it.

    Been in this house 10 years. Two baths, two toilets separated by a wall. Both are cheapo AS Plebes. Toilet #1 has never had what I would call a strong flush, but has only clogged a very few times in 10 years. Bath #2 has a slightly weaker flush than #1, and clogs often (often as in 10-12 times a year). One year ago I pulled #2 and snaked pipe as far as I could get (4' - 5', short snake). Also rebuilt internals and am positive that was done properly. Ended up with same flush results. Also tried running a hose down the vent pipe. No changes. For a more detailed descript, when "clogging", the material doesn't seem to make it over the trap. A quick plunge and all is well.

    Last week: Pulled #2. Tried dumping 5 gals of water down pipe a couple times at a high rate. Took it no problem. Replaced it with toilet from #1 bath. Same weak results. Put #2 toilet in #1 bath and it works the same as the previous toilet. So issue seems to be with pipe config in bath #2 as the problem is independent of toilet.

    My question: Based on the above, what are the chances I would improve the situation in bath #2 merely by replacing the toilet with a Toto Drake or AS Cadet 3? I'm assuming the venting must not be just exactly perfect, but am hoping a good toilet might overcome a less than ideal drain config.

    Really looking forward to reading opinions on this.

    Thanks,
    Gary

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    The way I read your post it doesn't seem to be a pipe problem with the bad fushing toilet it seems to be a toilet problem.

    The Am. Std. Plebe toilets are well known as a dog of a flusher.

    I would upgrade to a Toto not another Am. Std. That has undergone 3 redesigns to be a better toilet!

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member gbh's Avatar
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    Thank you for your comments Redwood. I'm encouraged that you don't suspect a plumbing issue. I would like to clarify that either Plebe in bath #2 has a comparatively weaker flush. Historically, bath #2 clogs about 10 times a year vs 2-3 times a year in Bath #1. I forgot to mention the Plebes are 3.5 models if that matters. Neither are very awe inspiring. I guess I'll go ahead and pick up a Drake this weekend. Sounds easier than ripping out the ceiling on my garage to look at pipes. A local vendor sells them for $220. This is the two piece unit. Is that the going rate for these?

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    That's a great price for the Drake. Unless these is an issue inside the drain pipe that is causing the clogs, You will probably never have another clogged toilet unless you try to flush a cell phone.

  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    More than likley, you have somthing or things in the lower trapway slowing things down and catching paper.

    A large ended closet auger can sometimes remove them.

    The other thing you may check for are the rinse holes under the rim, take a coat hanger and maker sure that are clear, allowing water to rinse down the bowl, thus helping the flush.

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    DIY Junior Member gbh's Avatar
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    Great comments. Thanks! I was going to give it a good snaking before installing a new toilet. I actually bought a snake, but I don't know how useful it will be. Just a coiled spring at the end. I saw large attachments for a snake with a "female" tip, but concluded I'd have to spend some bucks to get such a beast. I think a neighbor may have a more aggressive unit. If not and I call a plumber, what would be a reasonable price if all he has to do is snake the pipe? I'll pull the toilet. Also, is it possible to tell if a semi-clog has been cleared while running a snake, or do you just go for it and hope for the best?

    Gary

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Many plumbers will wad up a ball of "Paper Towels" and see if that flushes. The stiffness of the paper is a better test than toilet paper.

    Just make sure you have the lid off so you can push the flapper back down and end the flush if it plugs and starts to overfill the bowl.

    Or, you can just dump the offending bowl and move up to something that works better.
    I don't know how homeowners can deal with plugging toilets as often as they do. When I moved into this home, every toilet was replaced that same day.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member gbh's Avatar
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    I think as homeowners we just get used to it. Obviously, being a pro, you know how a toilet should work, but I suspect most folks just accept what they have and work with it. I did that for 10 years, but no more!!!! I'm going to buy a Drake this weekend. Because even if it was $500, that would be better than cleaning a clog from my mother-in-law (who is here for the next three weeks).

    Can I hijack my own thread? I just tiled the floor in this bathroom. The floor is now 3/4" higher. I have installed a 1/2" Oatey spacer that brings the flange to about 1/16" above the tile surface. Should I use the thicker 35b wax ring, or the regular one?

    What is the preferred product to put around the base with a tile floor? I've read caulk. I've read grout. What is the "Toto Drake" for this application?

    Cheers,
    Gary

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I like the thicker wax ring for that.

    I like clear polyseamseal for the base.
    It disappears which is nice, rather than looking at a smear of white on the tile.

    Any of the Drakes would be fine.
    If you like the taller bowls, that would be the CST744SL
    The elongated bowl is CST744S, and the elongated with Sanagloss is CST744SG
    Last edited by Terry; 12-18-2008 at 03:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    I spoke to someone yesterday who is a plumbing supply rep and one of the most important things to make sure your toilet has is a "glazed trap" so does not catch things and has much less friction. I have two AS Plebes in the upstairs baths and they have been uncloggable. For 15 years I never had a clog ... now this year it is nothing but clogs. I have snaked the bowl and there must be something in that trap but I just can't get it. I figure if I pull the toilet, then it is going in the trash. How much do I have to speng for a full glazed toto? I was also told the Gerber Viper is a good one too.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member gbh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post

    I like clear polyseamseal for the base.
    It disappears which is nice, rather than looking at a smear of white on the tile.
    OK, so the clear instead on bisque to match the toilet. I wouldn't have considered clear I don't believe. Maybe a dumb follow-up, but would I use the Tub & Tile Kitchen & Bath Ultra Sealant product of the Polyseamseal line?

  12. #12
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbh View Post
    Because even if it was $500, that would be better than cleaning a clog from my mother-in-law (who is here for the next three weeks).
    No love lost.

  13. #13
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99k View Post
    I spoke to someone yesterday who is a plumbing supply rep and one of the most important things to make sure your toilet has is a "glazed trap" so does not catch things and has much less friction. I have two AS Plebes in the upstairs baths and they have been uncloggable. For 15 years I never had a clog ... now this year it is nothing but clogs. I have snaked the bowl and there must be something in that trap but I just can't get it. I figure if I pull the toilet, then it is going in the trash. How much do I have to speng for a full glazed toto? I was also told the Gerber Viper is a good one too.
    Never mind on the cost ... Terry has an excellent review of toilets ... I think I'm going to get the Drake

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    $220 is a great price for the Drake!

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