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Thread: Toliets clogging due to level pipes

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Marndog's Avatar
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    Default Toliets clogging due to level pipes

    Today we had to have a plumber out for the second time in less than 2 months to unclog our main drain to the street. This time he turned off all the water and with his camera, determined that the problem is that our pipes have leveled and our low flow toilets do not flush enough water to push solids to the street. So, it just sits there and builds up.

    He suggested we install Mansfield toilets which he could then convert so they would flush 3 gallons.

    I have been searching the web for any information on conversion kits but have only found converting 3gpf to 1.6gpf which is not what we need.

    Researching Mansfield toilets led me here and I am VERY discouraged by all the negative posts I have read about these toilets.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice you could over as the second opinion we got involves jack hammering out the concrete around our toilets and running new pipe to the street.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    There has been lots of discussion on this kind of issue over the years. Bottom line: it's a bogus diagnosis. Nobody expects all the stuff to go all the way to the street on a single flush. Do you bathe? Do you wash dishes? Do you do laundry? All these things put water in the line, and gradually move what is in there towards the street.

    The sad part about this forum sometimes is that it highlights the immense differences in quality of licensed professionals out there. The guilds would like you to believe that all plumbers are knowledgeable professionals. The reality, based on so many "my plumber told me" posts on here, seems to be that there are a lot of licensed morons out there. The great thing is that this forum seems to lure wisdom out of the professionals at the pinnacle of their field, like Terry, HJ, Jimbo and others, for which I am so grateful.

    Not to mention that what your plumber is proposing to do is illegal, at least in spirit.

  3. #3
    Brand New Plumber GoKohlerGo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marndog View Post
    Today we had to have a plumber out for the second time in less than 2 months to unclog our main drain to the street. This time he turned off all the water and with his camera, determined that the problem is that our pipes have leveled and our low flow toilets do not flush enough water to push solids to the street. So, it just sits there and builds up.

    He suggested we install Mansfield toilets which he could then convert so they would flush 3 gallons.

    I have been searching the web for any information on conversion kits but have only found converting 3gpf to 1.6gpf which is not what we need.

    Researching Mansfield toilets led me here and I am VERY discouraged by all the negative posts I have read about these toilets.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice you could over as the second opinion we got involves jack hammering out the concrete around our toilets and running new pipe to the street.
    I would not go for the Mansfield Alto if you want a Mansfield, but the Maverick, Summit 3, Quantum, and a lot of the other ones are OK. I'm not sure that you could do anything to convert the Quantum to a 3.5 GPF toilet, since it is pressure assisted. But the other ones are pretty good.
    Hope I helped!
    Am now a plumber! GoKohlerGo!

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Nearly any toilet out there will flush more if you simply hold the handle down until the tank is empty. On some, you could likely change the flapper valve to one of those that is adjustable, and adjust it to give more water per flush than design. NO toilet typically pushes the waste to the street on one flush unless you happen to live on a hill. 1/4" per foot will move it, but it may very well need more water from some other activity to finish the task. Do your pipes have level or even worse, uphill sections? This is more likely the cause than the toilet you use for your problem.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Do your pipes have level or even worse, uphill sections?
    I had the impression from several of HJ's posts that dips will simply retain water in them and the solid waste will flow across the top of that "pond", assuming a sufficient pipe dimension. The poster says that his "plumber" says that there are some flat sections due to settling, but I didn't see anything in there about uphill.

    Marndog: The "conversion" he is talking about is a 30-second job on virtually any 1.6gpf gravity toilet. You raise the water level in the tank by adjusting the fill valve, and you put in a flapper that doesn't close as fast as they do in modern 1.6gpf toilets. On the Toto Drake, for example, you replace the red (Gmax) flapper with the blue (Power Gravity) flapper, a truly 30-second job, and Voila, you have a 2.5+ gpf toilet. Or you put in the Korky adjustable 3" flapper and set it to stay open as long as possible. But there's no point in doing so because the toilet works fine as it is.

    I'm wondering whether there aren't alternatives like switching toilet paper to a more-readily-dissolvable brand, and not using the garbage disposal, if you have one.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 03-08-2013 at 05:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Any toilet that uses a 3" flush valve should work. Just hold the handle down, and it's more like three gallons and fast.
    The late 80's bowls had a very slow flush and 3.2 to 3.5
    Any of the newer high performance bowls would be better. I install a few TOTO Drakes when this happens.

    A pressure assist using 1.6 gallons will scoot it down the line though, a bit better then gravity will.
    Kohler Highline with pressure assist (not the gravity model)
    Gerber Ultraflush

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