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Thread: Downstairs toilet flushing, but not correctly

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Downstairs toilet flushing, but not correctly

    Hello. I have a 2 story colonial house- 8 years old.

    Recently, we've noticed that the downstairs toilet is indeed flushing the waste away, but it sometimes takes 2 flushes to ensure that all the waste is removed from the bowl.

    Also, the flushing process itself sounds different, because the action is not the same as it used to be. Often, the water in the bowl will not all flush out and make that typical 'fully emptying' noise before refilling with fresh water. Rather, the water leaving and then entering will perform more of a blending exchange.

    THERE IS NO DETECT OF SEWAGE ODOR in the house. My health department sanitarian friends say that it could be a possible partially blocked roof vent pipe, causing the vacuum effect to not function properly.

    Any ideas? THANK YOU!!!

  2. #2
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Could be a partial blockage in the trap. Have kids?

    Here's a link to Terry's GI Joe picture...... http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...68&postcount=2
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  3. #3
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    No, actually- there are only 2 adults in the house.

  4. #4
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    A clogged vent could be problemsome but usually there would be symptoms elsewhere, unless that vent is dedicated to the toilet.

    I would look at the trap first, the line next (maybe have it augered).
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    It still could be that something got into the toilet that has lodged in the trap.

  6. #6
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    What is the "trap" that you guys speak of? Also, there is a shower in the same bathroom that is virtually NEVER used. Thanks, guys!

  7. #7
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Toilets have an internal trap. Look at the side/rear of most toilets and it's quite apparent. All plumbing fixtures have water sealed traps to keep sewer gasses out.

    Having an unused shower doesn't really pertain to your problem.....unless you use it and discover that it doesn't drain well.
    Last edited by FloridaOrange; 11-20-2009 at 09:17 AM.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    take a look under the sink, if you toilet doesn't have an exposed trap, to see what one looks like. It's the U or P-shaped section that obviously would 'trap' some water. This is what provides the seal from sewer gasses reentering the house. There's one of those in your toilet. If there's anything caught in there (a tampon, toothbrush, comb, hairpin, etc.) it can catch paper and crud and prevent it from flushing properly. The opening isn't fully clogged, or repeated flushing would overflow the bowl, but enough to slow the flush action down. The water needs enough velocity to suck the bowl out once it starts...anything that slows it down will affect the flush.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Thanks, everyone. I suppose that the only way to check the trap is to completely drain and remove the toilet from its base, huh? Also, the wax seal would need to be replaced if we do that, right?

  10. #10
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Yes. It's a straightforward process. Turn water off, drain tank, take off bolts at the base and lift off. When you replace the wax seal, set it on the flange and lower the toilet down onto it in one motion. Use your body weight to set the toilet down firmly on the seal.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you have or can borrow a toilet auger, you might pull something out if it's there. It doesn't always work. You probably don't want to buy one, and it's cheaper to just pull the toilet - a wax ring is a lot cheaper than a toilet auger (at least one that works!).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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