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Thread: Toilet water in bowl slowly drains minutes after flushing has completed

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  1. #1

    Question Toilet water in bowl slowly drains minutes after flushing has completed

    The water in my toilet bowl drops very slowly minutes after a flush has been completed. The water in the bowl won't empty completely but it does drop considerably lower than right after it completed flushing. It has me a little puzzled because there isnít any leak anywhere around the bowl or tank and the water in the bowl does eventually stop dropping after a while. I installed a new FluidMaster Flush Valve & Flapper over the weekend but that didn't fix the problem.

    How do I get the water in the bowl to stay at the height it's at right after completing a flush? Is this a DWV problem? A couple of years ago I had a bird caught in the pipe. It eventually turned up inside a toilet!!! My first experience with a clogged vent! Could a blocked vent be the cause of this problem again?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Water in the bowl is based on the height of the bend of the trapway.
    Water will drain over the "dam" until it's even with the top.

    If the water is lower than that, it could indicate a leak or crack in the bowl.

  3. #3

    Question Follow-up question...

    Thank you for replying to me! If you don't mind me asking a couple more questions...do you have any insight as to where the leak could be? I don't have any water around the bowl on the floor. Is there a test I can perform to be certain it's a leak? I'm pretty sure the bowl filled higher and kept the water height years ago before I encountered this problem. Thank you!

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default Toilet

    Make sure that the small refill tube is connected to the overflow pipe by using the metel clip. That keeps the refill tube above the top of the overflow pipe and by the time the toilet shuts off, the bowl should be up to its overflow point. A partially plugged sewer may cause water to lower in the bowl. also I have seen a sand hole in the china casting let water drain down. The toilet was several years old. I found it when I turned the bowl upside down. Was able to fill hole with an epoxy. Again,check the refill tube..........

  5. #5

    Question Follow-up...

    Thanks for your help! I checked the small refill tube and it's definitely connected to the overflow pipe correctly - just above the top of the overflow pipe line. Water still seems to be dropping after the flush has completed though. Looks like I'm relegated to removing the toilet and checking for leaks, huh?

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    If you pull the toilet, turn it upside down and look for a pinhole like spot that might have a little rust streak near it. I've seen it twice. assumed that there was a thin spot in the china when it was cast because the toilet was a few years before this leak showed up.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by plumber1
    Make sure that the small refill tube is connected to the overflow pipe by using the metel clip. That keeps the refill tube above the top of the overflow pipe and by the time the toilet shuts off, the bowl should be up to its overflow point. A partially plugged sewer may cause water to lower in the bowl. also I have seen a sand hole in the china casting let water drain down. The toilet was several years old. I found it when I turned the bowl upside down. Was able to fill hole with an epoxy. Again,check the refill tube..........

    "Make sure that the small refill tube is connected to the overflow pipe by using the metel clip. That keeps the refill tube above the top of the overflow pipe and.........."

    could you clarify.....in the above excerpt, do you mean the clip holds the refill tube in place so that, when the toilet is flushing, water from the refill tube is directed into the overflow tube? I'm clueless as to what purpose the refill tube serves. Would you explain using the good image from post #2
    thanks slicey

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slicey
    "Make sure that the small refill tube is connected to the overflow pipe by using the metel clip. That keeps the refill tube above the top of the overflow pipe and.........."

    could you clarify.....in the above excerpt, do you mean the clip holds the refill tube in place so that, when the toilet is flushing, water from the refill tube is directed into the overflow tube? I'm clueless as to what purpose the refill tube serves. Would you explain using the good image from post #2
    thanks slicey

    I'll jump in here. The purpose of the refill tube is to "refill" the bowl after a flush. Without it, the water level in the bowl would be a bit lower than the maximum it could be (refer to Terry's graphic above) due to siphoning action during the flush. The fill valve directs most of its water into the tank, but a small part of it goes down the overflow tube and into the bowl to "top it off."

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member ToiletDrain's Avatar
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    Default Toilet Bown Drains Slowly After Flush My Story

    Thanks TerryLove for this forum...

    The water in my toilet bowl drops very slowly minutes after a flush has been completed.

    Here IS what happened to me and this is no theory. I wanted to mention this here because this is the first place that pops up for a search of "water drains from toilet bowl."


    So, last night no problem. This morning the bowl fills and just kind of slowly drains. Took maybe 30 seconds.

    The plunger wouldn't work because the water kept draining. The hosepipe I stuck up the old spout ran and ran and no help.

    I suspected right off that there was a clog, but I kept at it. Finally I went outside. There it was.

    What happened was that it was clogged. But, unbeknown to my humble self, all that water was flushing outside the bathroom wall through the vent pipe. (Which just happens to be a pipe sticking out which is connected to the flue thingy from time to time. This time it wasn't. So, when I'd flush, run water, whatever, it was just going outside. Dittos the water in the bowl. I don't know how it siphoned out, but it did.

    The fix was to get my handy plumber snake and do some shoving. Luckily it is a straight through shot from the vent pipe through the trap and on out to the sewer. I shoved awhile and then blessed resistance! YES!

    Back inside I flushed and it was perfect. I did it like 5 more times.

    The moral to this story is that if you own one of these new short flushing water saving miracle toilets like me, you MUST HOLD that handle down to MAKE SURE ALL the water moves the load on down the system and out. If you don't, and it hangs mid way, like happened to me, there is probably no help for it outside of the old roto rooter treatment.

    Of course, if the up pipe had been connected to the vent pipe, the bowl would have just filled up and maybe the plunger would have worked. But as happens sometimes it was the perfect poo poo storm.

    When your toilet is draining out like mine, consider a clog. Try the simple things first. There is always time to tear out your bathroom if need be.

    How'd you like my handle, btw???

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToiletDrain View Post
    Thanks TerryLove for this forum...

    The water in my toilet bowl drops very slowly minutes after a flush has been completed.

    Here IS what happened to me and this is no theory. I wanted to mention this here because this is the first place that pops up for a search of "water drains from toilet bowl."


    So, last night no problem. This morning the bowl fills and just kind of slowly drains. Took maybe 30 seconds.

    The plunger wouldn't work because the water kept draining. The hosepipe I stuck up the old spout ran and ran and no help.

    I suspected right off that there was a clog, but I kept at it. Finally I went outside. There it was.

    What happened was that it was clogged. But, unbeknown to my humble self, all that water was flushing outside the bathroom wall through the vent pipe. (Which just happens to be a pipe sticking out which is connected to the flue thingy from time to time. This time it wasn't. So, when I'd flush, run water, whatever, it was just going outside. Dittos the water in the bowl. I don't know how it siphoned out, but it did.

    The fix was to get my handy plumber snake and do some shoving. Luckily it is a straight through shot from the vent pipe through the trap and on out to the sewer. I shoved awhile and then blessed resistance! YES!

    Back inside I flushed and it was perfect. I did it like 5 more times.

    The moral to this story is that if you own one of these new short flushing water saving miracle toilets like me, you MUST HOLD that handle down to MAKE SURE ALL the water moves the load on down the system and out. If you don't, and it hangs mid way, like happened to me, there is probably no help for it outside of the old roto rooter treatment.

    Of course, if the up pipe had been connected to the vent pipe, the bowl would have just filled up and maybe the plunger would have worked. But as happens sometimes it was the perfect poo poo storm.

    When your toilet is draining out like mine, consider a clog. Try the simple things first. There is always time to tear out your bathroom if need be.

    How'd you like my handle, btw???
    Your handle is very unique and original
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Good story of how you fixed your clog. I have to say, though, that the consensus on here is that the waste does not and need not roll all the way to the street on one flush. It is generally not recommended that you turn your 1.6gpf toilet into a 3.5gpf toilet by holding the handle down until the toilet tank drains completely. Using the shower, washing dishes, flushing urine -- all of these will move the solids along any properly-functioning waste pipe.

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