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Posted: 4/9/2006 3:13:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2006 3:15:02 PM EDT by GoGop]
We bought this house last June/July, and it has one of those low-flow toilets, 1.6 gallons per flush. Quite often I have to plung it after flushing, even if it wasn't a honey-get-the-camera event. It just stops up.
I've talked to others who have this type of toilet, and they've had no such troubles. I went downstairs to look at the plumbing and check for clean-outs, but I noticed that the main stack leans to the right, causing the next section to lean left, and the feed from the toilet clearly goes uphill.
Is my problem the toilet, the incorrect plumbing, or a combination of the two?



EDIT--fer spelin
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:16:55 PM EDT
I helped my dad with similar issues in our house a few years ago. Before it was over, he had reciprocating-sawed all the cast iron out and replaced with PVC, as well as re-done two bathrooms.

I hope you find better advice...
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:19:13 PM EDT
You need a pre-ban toilet.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:19:13 PM EDT
Replace it all. Fow a couple of hundred dollars you can save yourself a lot of misery. BTDT. Those Frankensystems are a pain in the ass. Use all PVC.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:24:18 PM EDT
It is most likely a combination of the two. The 1.6 gal per flush toilets are mostly worthless unless you have one with a 1-7/8" or 2" trap. The 1-1/2" models are too easy to plug up. Another thing to consider is whether or not the smooth glaze in the toilet is also in the trap. The unglazed trap will slow down the turd.

Whoever did the plumbing work in there needs to learn how to read a tape measure.

Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:29:25 PM EDT
We've found several things that were done the easiest/cheapest/dumbest way.
I'm just looking for advice so that I don't continue along the previous owner's line.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:32:11 PM EDT
A healthier diet may help

Just kidding, I wish we had the 'Al-Bundy Ferguison' whoosh toiltet here...
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:36:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2006 3:37:20 PM EDT by 1shott]
Well IIRC water does not flow "UPHILL" very well at all....

Now I could be wrong, BUT I would think that if you replace the plumbing stack with new pipes that all flow in the DOWNWARDS direction, I bet alot of your problems would be solved....just a hunch....
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:40:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1shott:
Well IIRC water does not flow "UPHILL" very well at all....

Now I could be wrong, BUT I would think that if you replace the plumbing stack with new pipes that all flow in the DOWNWARDS direction, I bet alot of your problems would be solved....just a hunch....



That right there is good and true information, but is it complete information? I don't want to do all that, only to find out the problem was primarily the toilet and still stops up.
My plumbing-fu is weak, hence the question I asked.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:43:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:

Originally Posted By 1shott:
Well IIRC water does not flow "UPHILL" very well at all....

Now I could be wrong, BUT I would think that if you replace the plumbing stack with new pipes that all flow in the DOWNWARDS direction, I bet alot of your problems would be solved....just a hunch....



That right there is good and true information, but is it complete information? I don't want to do all that, only to find out the problem was primarily the toilet and still stops up.
My plumbing-fu is weak, hence the question I asked.




I would start with the plumbing stack, seriously.....

Also all of those damn low flows are junk..if you want one that works great, you need to get one of the pressurized ones, they cost a bunch but from what I hear will flush your waste to the next county.

Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:46:21 PM EDT
i say fix the pipes and your problems will be cured.

i am not a plumber,but watering flowing up hill with a turd and paper,ain't going to be easy.plus it takes care of the eyesore of that mess.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:49:29 PM EDT
Don't forget to check your vent stack. A blocked vent can cause the problem that you have. All it takes is a bird or other small animal going down to plug it. Run a snake down it from the roof.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:55:45 PM EDT
O.K., if I check the vent stack and find it clear, then the next step would be to replace the pipes downstairs. Would I be good to go if I replace down to that head with the clean-out plug, rather than getting down into the floor?
After doing all of that, would it matter what type of toilet I switched to? Someone mentioned a pressurized toilet. Would that take a different setup downstairs? Do they all still use those wax rings, or can I get one that hooks directly to the drain pipes?
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:58:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:
O.K., if I check the vent stack and find it clear, then the next step would be to replace the pipes downstairs. Would I be good to go if I replace down to that head with the clean-out plug, rather than getting down into the floor?
After doing all of that, would it matter what type of toilet I switched to? Someone mentioned a pressurized toilet. Would that take a different setup downstairs? Do they all still use those wax rings, or can I get one that hooks directly to the drain pipes?




Yes, if you vent pipe is clear, then I would replace the plumbing stack in the pic.

After all of that, you should be good to go, with your toilet, UNLESS you are full of shit, then it dont matter what you do, you will have problems.

The pressurized toilet is a great wonder, I want 2 of them, one for each bathroom.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:03:00 PM EDT
I'll get a friend up on the roof to check the vent stack, probably Tuesday, then go from there.

Thanks for the help everyone.

Any other ideas or help welcomed too.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:04:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2006 4:09:04 PM EDT by themistocles3]
Never mind I'm an idiot.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:05:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:
I'll get a friend up on the roof to check the vent stack, probably Tuesday, then go from there.

Thanks for the help everyone.

Any other ideas or help welcomed too.




Dont post pics of what you find, please.....
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:15:05 PM EDT
Don't worry, I won't stick the camera in the poop-pipes and post pictures.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:18:29 PM EDT
have your wife drive to canada and buy some real toilets !!! They sell the old school 3.5 gallon flush jobbers !!! Thats what I did
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:24:55 PM EDT
I'm a carpenter and shadetree plumber. It seems to me that your plumbing is your problem, not necessarily the toilet. It further seems to me that the cast pipe is too tall, forcing all the 90's, sweeps etc to be crammed (thus forcing turds to flow uphill). You may have enough room to redo all the PVC and leave the cast in place, but not by much. I recomend replacing the 4 foot section of cast so you don't have to worry about all the tight tollerances associated with not replacing it. You can have it shortened or replace it with a piece long enough to fit into the bell below and accept a rubber coupler.

Whatever you do, fasten it to the wall!
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:25:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HABU:
I'm a carpenter and shadetree plumber. It seems to me that your plumbing is your problem, not necessarily the toilet. It further seems to me that the cast pipe is too tall, forcing all the 90's, sweeps etc to be crammed (thus forcing turds to flow uphill). You may have enough room to redo all the PVC and leave the cast in place, but not by much. I recomend replacing the 4 foot section of cast so you don't have to worry about all the tight tollerances associated with not replacing it. You can have it shortened or replace it with a piece long enough to fit into the bell below and accept a rubber coupler.

Whatever you do, fasten it to the wall!





I still think he is full of shit......
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:45:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2006 4:46:06 PM EDT by The_Reaper]
Two words: TOTO DRAKE

I lived in an appartment where the landlord, in his infinite wisdome, replaced the original
pre-ban toilet with a low flow model. Damn thing plugged up every time.

Luckily for me, it was an old design with simply a plastic baffel inside that limited the
volume of water that would empty into the bowl. Nothing some cutters wouldn't fix.

Then 8 months ago, wife and I bought a home.

While remodeling the bathroom, I managed to plug the toilet.

Screw that. I did some online investigating, and found that professionals seem to
all agree on one brand. Toto.

Specifically, the Toto Drake.

Toto is pretty much the world's best manufacturer of toilets.

The Drake is a USA legal, post ban 1.6 gallons per flush model.

It has a huge 3" trap.

It uses a standard design flapper valve, although it is twice a big as your toilets'.

My parents have the American Standard Champion, which is similar except for a different
type of tank valve. The Toto, in my opinion, is much better.

I have not seen the Toto Drake in any stores.
I had to buy mine from a place that cators to plumbers/pipefitters.

If I remember, Toto has a distributer locator service.

I installed it myself.
Advice: Toss the supplied tank/bowl attaching hardware,
and pick up the same type of kit available at Menards.
The factory supplied washers are rubber, and squeeze out of place.

Menard's kit has fiber reinforced rubber washers which don't squeeze out of place.

OR, pay a plumber to do it for you so they are liable if your basement floods.

Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:06:38 PM EDT
DO NOT go on the roof to check the vent stack,DO NOT buy a new toilet.

Read my IM to you and we will fix your problem.


20 year plumber and 8 year shop owner.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:12:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Two words: TOTO DRAKE

I lived in an appartment where the landlord, in his infinite wisdome, replaced the original
pre-ban toilet with a low flow model. Damn thing plugged up every time.

Luckily for me, it was an old design with simply a plastic baffel inside that limited the
volume of water that would empty into the bowl. Nothing some cutters wouldn't fix.

Then 8 months ago, wife and I bought a home.

While remodeling the bathroom, I managed to plug the toilet.

Screw that. I did some online investigating, and found that professionals seem to
all agree on one brand. Toto.

Specifically, the Toto Drake.

Toto is pretty much the world's best manufacturer of toilets.

The Drake is a USA legal, post ban 1.6 gallons per flush model.

It has a huge 3" trap.

It uses a standard design flapper valve, although it is twice a big as your toilets'.

My parents have the American Standard Champion, which is similar except for a different
type of tank valve. The Toto, in my opinion, is much better.

I have not seen the Toto Drake in any stores.
I had to buy mine from a place that cators to plumbers/pipefitters.

If I remember, Toto has a distributer locator service.

I installed it myself.
Advice: Toss the supplied tank/bowl attaching hardware,
and pick up the same type of kit available at Menards.
The factory supplied washers are rubber, and squeeze out of place.

Menard's kit has fiber reinforced rubber washers which don't squeeze out of place.

OR, pay a plumber to do it for you so they are liable if your basement floods.




+ Eleventy BILLION!!!!

When we get in the new house.. ALL toilets will be TOTO!
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:35:09 PM EDT
More good info.

Thanks guys.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:49:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2006 5:51:04 PM EDT by offctr]
It is a combination of the two. Get the stack fixed --or fix it yourself --not a real hard fix, and eliminate the backfall where that branch ties in. And get a better toilet the first gen lo-flos sucked but now they are getting better like the TOTO you want the biggest continous trapway you can find and a fully glazed trapway, nonglazed/smaller trapways have stuff stick inside and well --you know the result. as far a toilets go you do get what you pay for. $69 discount hardware store special? get a toilet auger and a box of plungers with it --you'll need them.
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