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Old 05-05-2003, 07:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Location: Toronto
Plumbing Advice needed - Toilet that lacks power

If there are any plumbers out there, your advice would be welcome.

I have a Kohler toilet that was purchased new in 97. It is installed in an older home, but with all new ABS drains (installed by me)

I ran the sanitary stack up from the basement to the 2'nd floor in a straight line, but then had to off-set the vent by about 3' rather than continuing straight up through the roof.

The problem is that the toilet doesn't seem to have enough power. Yes, it's a low flow, BUT, and this is important, it is not performing like it did when it was new. Originally it worked pretty good, but now, not so good. Just a small amount of TP is enough to stop it up. It drives me crazy.

It used to work just fine.

I emailed Kohler and they suggested using a lime away like CLR to clean out the holes under the rim. I followed their instructions to the T. First I reamed out the holes with a paper clip, then I used wet paper towel and plumber's putty to stop up holes and poured the CLR down the orafice in the tank and let it sit 24 hours.

No difference.

One odd thing i have noticed.

When i remove the tank lid and flush the thing, water shoots out the overflow pipe by about an inch initially until the water drains about 3" down in the the tank. This leads me to believe there is some sort of back pressure or something.

But the toilet in the basement (which isn't vented, rather hooked right to the stack) functions perfectly. The rest of the drains in the house work perfectly.

I have also noticed that water does not seem to shoot out of the jet at the bottom of the bowl the way it used to.

The other odd thing is that sometimes it is worse than other times. Sometimes it works OK, other times poorly, but never the way it used to.

I am almost thinking there is something trapped inside the bowl that is blocking the flow of water to the bowl jet. What i don't know.

Very weird.

Any advice?????

Last edited by james t kirk; 05-05-2003 at 07:20 PM..
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Old 05-05-2003, 10:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds more to me like you have a partial blockage between the toilet and the junction where it hooks into your main sewer out.

Unless you have really REALLY hard water, I can't imagine that you have a lime problem.

I would try reaming out the line to the main. If that doesn't work, you can think about replacing the guts on the toilet. Only as a last solution would I even consider replacing the toilet.
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Old 05-06-2003, 05:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto
I actually removed the toilet from it's mount and the pipe appears OK.

I also did a test where I took a plunger and blocked the exit to the bowl and allowed the bowl to fill to the rim and then pulled away the plunger and the water ran out of there like a freight train.

It's very strange, when i flush it normally, with nothing in the bowl, the water drains, then comes back a bit, then drains.

It's driving me nuts.

The old toilet in the basement is an old american standard and it could swallow a brick. This one, a kohler, is an expensive P.O.S.

I didn't buy the hard water line either, it's city water from lake ontario. Mind you, after a winter, my furnace de-humidifier (! must shut off that thing) usually has a 1/4" of lime in the bottom of the pan.
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Old 05-06-2003, 07:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by james t kirk
I actually removed the toilet from it's mount and the pipe appears OK.

I also did a test where I took a plunger and blocked the exit to the bowl and allowed the bowl to fill to the rim and then pulled away the plunger and the water ran out of there like a freight train.

It's very strange, when i flush it normally, with nothing in the bowl, the water drains, then comes back a bit, then drains.

It's driving me nuts.

The old toilet in the basement is an old american standard and it could swallow a brick. This one, a kohler, is an expensive P.O.S.

I didn't buy the hard water line either, it's city water from lake ontario. Mind you, after a winter, my furnace de-humidifier (! must shut off that thing) usually has a 1/4" of lime in the bottom of the pan.
We have an extreme mineral problem too! You can leave a hell of a leak and it will heal itself in a day or two. When you took the toilet loose from the floor did you check the bottom of the toilet? I finally gave up and went and bought a new one a while back for our bathroom - When I took it loose it was criss-crossed by hundreds of q-tips (women! ya' gotta' love em! right?).
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Old 05-07-2003, 01:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Add a sticker.... it gives ricers more power!



LOL! J/K
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Old 05-07-2003, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto
That is one gross looking bathroom.

Looks like a mold growers paradise
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah ashton mix in a mop on that one....sheesh!
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Very Funny, I have neither a Type R toilet or a Ricer....

http://www.phathonda.com/rice/
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Old 05-14-2003, 12:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: North Carolina
Perhaps it is not your toilet or it's connection to the sewer that is causing the problems, but the offset vent. Could the vent be blocked by a birds nest or something?
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Old 05-14-2003, 04:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto
Quote:
Originally posted by Greg700
Perhaps it is not your toilet or it's connection to the sewer that is causing the problems, but the offset vent. Could the vent be blocked by a birds nest or something?
I thought about that.

I have been meaning to get up on the roof and take a flashlight down it.

Now i just need a ladder long enough.

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Old 05-14-2003, 09:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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mmm, odd.

I was just wondering if you ever got this problem fixed.

Let us know, I'm curious too.
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Old 05-18-2003, 08:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto
Not yet,

I am in the throws of a complete kitchen tear out - down to the brick, ripping out the living room ceiling (1 layer of original wood lathe and plaster plus another layer of metal lath, concrete like material, and stucco) and dining room re-do. In short the entire first floor of my place is a war zone.

I am doing this all myself and the kitchen is No. 1 on my priority list.

One nice day i am going to haul the can off its mounts and take it out back and back wash and route it to see if there is anything stuck in there. Need to check the vent too.

The vent is offset, but it is actually a T into the drain from the sink, so there is flow that would clear any debris that might sit at the bottom of the T.

I am leaning to the idea of a partial blockage as well.
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Old 05-20-2003, 07:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Vancouver Island BC
Burrs and snags can be created on pipes ends when they are cut. If these are not removed during installation, toilet paper can hang up on these and cause temporary blockages and reduced flow. A powered sewer pipe snake will remove the blockage and may help with burrs. Remove a cleanout cover and look for burrs or snags at that fitting.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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all the holes you plugged up with putty are set on angles,take a wire hangar and bend it strait with pliers ,you only need about 12" and ten bend a angle about 3" and slide into each hole around bowl flush and repeat ,also if you have a small shop vac suck the water out of the bowl and take dentist type of angle mirror and shine a flash light into bottom as your looking into mirror to see if there is anything trapped ,you might not see it if is farther down you must remove toilet ,also remove your water supply to the toilet assuming it is a flex supply and turn on water to see if you have a good pressure feeding into the toilet also i would replace your ball cock with a cheap consumer freindley type that tells you how to put it together usually 5min suck out water from tank with wet vac first and replace the water supply line if you change it,
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crad68
all the holes you plugged up with putty are set on angles,take a wire hangar and bend it strait with pliers ,you only need about 12" and ten bend a angle about 3" and slide into each hole around bowl flush and repeat ,also if you have a small shop vac suck the water out of the bowl and take dentist type of angle mirror and shine a flash light into bottom as your looking into mirror to see if there is anything trapped ,you might not see it if is farther down you must remove toilet ,also remove your water supply to the toilet assuming it is a flex supply and turn on water to see if you have a good pressure feeding into the toilet also i would replace your ball cock with a cheap consumer freindley type that tells you how to put it together usually 5min suck out water from tank with wet vac first and replace the water supply line if you change it,
Check thread dates before replying to them...the toilet is just shy of five years older now than when he had the original problem.


Although, this still gets the award for best thread title ever
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Are you on a septic system or city sewer?
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: Toronto
Okay, the suspense is killing me. Did you ever solve the problem JTK?
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