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Thread: “Constipated Feces” Problem

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Stranger9's Avatar
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    Default “Constipated Feces” Problem

    2-19-11, 10:39 PM CST: “Constipated Feces” Problem:
    My builder has given up on solving the problem of “constipated feces”. I bought a new house in August 2010 with 2 Eclipse toilets. Both get blocked every time my wife uses them due to “constipated feces” without fail! Incurable disease of FTD is the reason for these feces. Builder put in St Thomas Creations Quattro toilets but the problem continues. He has scoped the 4” drain line and says that there is no problem with it. The flange-hole is 4”. The plug seems to be in the toilet-trap every time! I don’t see the MaP rating of this toilet on your site. Perhaps I need a toilet with higher MaP rating! I have been using Charmin’s ultra strong toilet paper so that I don’t get my hands wet when cleaning my wife. Obviously, I should stop using this paper based on info on your website. Any constructive comments for toilets and MaP rating on mine?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The problem is your builder installed a cheap-o builder grade toilet. It is pretty standard procedure with builders to use the cheapest toilet and other appliances in order to keep the selling price down and their profit margin up. There is nothing wrong with the drain, it is the toilet that is at fault. MaP ratings are over emphasized. Any thing above 500 is considered just fine, but the problem lies in the internal design of the toilet. You are right about getting rid of the Charmin paper. It has a high cotton content and does not flush well. I have found the house brand paper in supermarkets to be just fine. Safeway calls theirs Softly, but I'm sure other chains have a similar paper under their house label. I and many of the regulars on this forum feel the Toto toilets are superior both in flushing performance and in quality workmanship. These are not found in discount stores, but they are competitively prices with American Standard, but AS and Kohler are not generally advised for reasons you can research elsewhere on this forum. I'm sure you can find Toto toilets in many plumbing shops in Houston. Toto is the world's largest manufacturer of toilets and they are very well respected in the industry.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You need a toilet with the most direct passage possible. IF anyone in your area sells Vitra, it has almost no bends other than the inverted "U" to create the trap. If the stool gets caught in the top of the inverted "U" because of its size or length, then there is almost no cure other than vigorous plunging to keep it moving.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I haven't looked at hj's Vitra yet, but other ones I've seen work are

    Caroma Dual flush, these have 3" trapways
    Kohler Highline Pressure Assist with Flushmate.
    Try one of these two. Or perhaps the Vitra, but I can't confirm that one yet.

    The St Thomas Quattro has a 2-1/8" trapway, which doesn't work in this situation, as you know.
    It would have worked for the other 99%

    MaP rating will be no help on this.
    MaP test with 3/4" x 4" plastic wrapped torpedoes.
    We aren't talking 3/4" by 4" are we.

    Last edited by Terry; 04-28-2013 at 03:56 PM.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I wonder if the problem might not be the toilet but rather the wax ring being deformed. Have you seen the toilet removed? Some people say not to use the wax rings with the inner plastic insert but I find they provide a smooth path. I replaced one of my toilets with an AS H2Option and was so impressed with how well it flushes that I bought a second one for the other bathroom. The wife put away the plunger since we don't need it any more.

    Something that may help is to pinch and flush half way through the job if it's a big one.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    There are medical conditions that require more then the 2" trapway that most toilets have. The toilet they have in place is similar in performance to the AS bowl.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-20-2011 at 02:17 PM.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Yes, I downloaded and compared the design and specs of both. The Quattro claims a 2 - 1/8" trapway where the AS spec is 2". Both claim to be glazed but then just how smooth they are is unknown. The jet and siphon action on them may vary as well.

  8. #8
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    A rough trap works better then a smooth trap.

    Try throwing a baby wipe at your mirror, and one at your textured wall and see which one drops first.
    The baby wipe on the mirror going to be there for a while. And engineers that build these things know that.

    It's obvious that you have no idea of what this person is going through. With some medications, stools can be enormous.
    It's a medical condition, not a plumbing problem.
    Toilets are designed to work for anyone without medical problems. I get these calls all week. Telling this person that 99% of the toilets will work isn't any help. Their toilet is just as good as your toilet. That's not the answer here.
    Caroma has a huge trapway, that has "proved" to work in this instance.
    The Kohler with Flushmate has "proved" to work here.
    Having him go through all of the other toilets on the market is going to be a huge waste of time, and his money.
    Be happy that you are in the 99 percentile; this person isn't.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-20-2011 at 02:16 PM.

  9. #9

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    For the person whose loved one has the medical problem, this just might be partly, a solution. If you check with devices sold for childern with special needs, you will find a "catch basin" pan, which will clip onto the inside of the rim of the toilet. Thus, it is collected in it, and in this case, it is for lab work, to analyze; but, in your case, might aide you in being able to resize it, then, flushing.

    Perhaps, try looking if interested, in a medical supply store.
    Last edited by Cookie; 02-20-2011 at 11:52 AM.

  10. #10
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I didn't intend this to turn into a "my toilet is better than his toilet" debate, nor did I suggest mine is the best on the market. I just think there may be more to it than the size of the trapway. I was considering one with a pressurized tank. I'm also not suggesting he try every toilet on the market but if you know of one you can stake your reputation on, by all means suggest it.

    As for medical conditions, you don't know mine so you cannot say I am in the 99 percentile. I was having to plunge with hot water frequently with my old toilet. I plug commercial toilets at work frequently and have to plunge.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you say your trapway is 2" and it works with gravity for you, then you "are" in the 99 percentile.

    There is less then 1% out there that I talk to all the time.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There is little difference between a commercial toilet and one designed for a home other than many commerical toilets are wallhung, may have a locked tank, and a hard to remove seat that often doesn't have a cover. It is the size of the trapway that is the issue, and most are in the 2" range. The Caroma is 3", and that makes all the difference. Now, the thing splashes a bit, but other than that, it will take those 'logs' some people produce that few others can, regardless of their MAP score - it is a trapway diameter issue and the fact that they are usually quite hard...a hard stick won't bend around the trapway on most toilets...they expect the stuff to be somewhat flexible.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    At the Univerisity of Washington Hospital, some of their commerical bowls using a flushometer won't even flush down a single baby wipe.
    I have to pull it out and throw it in the trash. Not cool.

  14. #14
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    There is little difference between a commercial toilet and one designed for a home...
    There are so many brands and so many models... all I know is the commercial toilet at work is not a modern "water saving" model and has much more ferocity in the flush. A lot is said about how modern water saving toilets don't flush well but manufacturers are making improvements.

    Back to the OP, obviously the Quattro is not cutting it. Short of spending money on yet another toilet, some suggestions like flushing twice, using different paper or switching to a bidet seat, etc. may have merit. He may try to encourage her to use the toilet more frequently rather than wait until the stool has impacted. A change of diet may help too. Easier said than done, I know but these are some of what I do for my situation. Haven't tried the paperless route with a bidet seat yet though but have been tempted. Reminds me of the joke about the constipated mathematician.... worked it out with a pencil.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    And yet, if someone is in the less then one percent that "has" constipation, then telling them not to have it is kind of funny, sort of like "Quit having cancer, will ya!.
    Wishing someone a good day is nice, but it doesn't put food in the pantry, or heat the home.
    The issue is that there is an issue.

    Here is the problem
    Incurable disease of FTD is the reason for these feces.
    We know what toilets work for that. I help several people a week on that.
    If they can be like LLigetfa and the other 99 percent, then there isn't even a problem. They have a good toilet, and they are plugging that bowl,
    Then again, let's do this by the numbers.
    Caroma, this has a larger trapway and comes from Australia
    Kohler with Flushmate pressure assist
    Vitra, according to hj.
    These would help, and would be worth doing.

    Using a bidet seat on larger then normal movements isn't going to help.
    It would help if the problem were diarrhea and it was paper that was doing the plugging.
    That's not the case here.
    Last edited by Terry; 02-20-2011 at 02:15 PM.

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