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Thread: Sometimes it goes, sometimes it doesn't

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    DIY Junior Member CentralTXPreacher's Avatar
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    Question Sometimes it goes, sometimes it doesn't

    New to this forum and glad I found it. My wife and last month bought a 16 year old house. We had it inspected and everything passed. However, from almost day one, we've had a problem with the toilet in the master bath. With liquids it flushes with no problem, but with solids and toilet paper it might flush a couple days or a week fine then stop flushing. The bowl will fill with water and not go down or after a couple of hours it will "seep" down. When it is like this, I've tried a plunger and you can hear it "gurgleing" in the toilet, but nothing happens. We've had a plumber out three times now and this last time he pulled the toilet and checked it out and found nothing. He also has run the snake down the line and found nothing. As he told me...everything is running and draining like it is supposed to. He also said it was a "hybrid" toilet...between the old "swirl" toilts and the new "stream" toilets. That is does both. Not sure what that means, but thought I'd throw it in. Well it is three days later and this morning the same problem. I was able after about 45 minutes of plunging to get everything working. What could the problem be? Do toilets wear out? The other toilet and all the sinks and tubs drain very well...its just this one. I know the plumber is as tired of seeing me as I am of seeing him! Let me also say, when it does flush right it flushes! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Far too much money being spent on plumbers.

    Just pick up a Toto Drake and send the old one on it's way.

    There is something in the trapway that is hiding, and if the plumber can't find it, it's time to give up on it.

    I had an American Standard Cadet 1.6 gallon like that.
    Once it started having problems, it never stopped.

    I too, took it outside, and augured and augured.
    I never did find the problem.



    We use a closet auger with the large 1-3/8" end on it.
    Smaller cables can go right by the obstruction and not move it.

  3. #3
    Customer Service Manager Plumbing Wholesale Peanut9199's Avatar
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    I have seen partial blockages such as Toothbrushes, toys and even a bus pass that was stuck in the trapway of a toilet.
    The plumber would snake the toilet and the snake will pass right by the obstruction.

    What happens is the toilet paper would start to build around the object and start the toilet clogging, then you plunge it and it will clear the mess and then start back up again and of course it wouldn't happen with liquids.

    We would only find it when we break the bowl apart.

    I know some plumbers that would use a rag at the end of the snake and pull it through and hopefully that would dislodge the object.

    Not sure if this is happening with you but you may want to try if everything else has been tried.

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    DIY Junior Member CentralTXPreacher's Avatar
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    The plumber used that closet auger with the large end. Didn't come up with anything. Peanut...most of the time plunging won't do anything...you just hear gurgling back up in the toilet and nothing happens...nothing drains. The water still stands in the toilet. After a few hours it will seep down...took a whole day one time. I spent about an hour total plunging that time. When the plumber got out, the water had drained down and he snaked it and found nothing....flushed it and it flushed just fine! Guess it is time for a new one!

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    This is most likely the original toilet. Toilet designs have leaped light years in the past 16 years. Even if made to work properly, this is using at least twice as much water and perhaps as much as three or four times as much water per flush as the Toto Drake Terry mentioned. I would not spend another dime or another minute fussing with this old beast. Are you still patching up your old '92 automobile? Actually, toilets don't really wear out although the innards may need replacing sometimes, but ecology has changed the game. A well designed toilet can perform perfectly with as little as 1.28 gallons of water. Just understand that all toilets brands will not perform this way. Many of the old well known brands are now under foreign ownership, and their quality has not kept pace. Most of the pros that frequent this forum prefer the Toto brand, and the Drake model is the best seller of all the Toto models.

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    DIY Junior Member CentralTXPreacher's Avatar
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    I've looked and no one around me has the Toto toilets, but a couple carry Kohler. I've looked for the Kohler that Terry has on his consumer report and can't find it even listed on the net. Is there another Kohler model I should consider?

    Again, thanks to all of you for your help!

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Where to buy Toto

    This will get you showrooms, which tend to quote retail.
    Find out who they sell to, and you should be able to find some better pricing.
    For instance, I'm not listed, even though I sell thousands of Toto toilets.

    If you get Kohler, at least get something with Class Six
    Their trapways will get stuck more then the TOTO trapway, but may be better then what you have now.

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    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CentralTXPreacher View Post
    I've looked and no one around me has the Toto toilets, but a couple carry Kohler.
    You will have trouble finding Totos in local showrooms although you might find them from the dealer list on Toto's site. However, you can order them through local plumbing supply houses. Figure out exactly what configuration(s) you would like priced and ask for a quote from a couple of local supply houses. If you are flexible on time you can likely eliminate the freight charge by allowing them to get it via their weekly/monthly/quarterly/whatever distribution deliveries.

    My toilets were 1994 Gerbers. One of the three ran well, the other two were fussy. The early era big brand 1.6 gpf toilets were dismal.

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