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    coblas's Avatar
    coblas Posts: 137, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Aug 21, 2017, 01:15 PM
    When does a toilet need to be replaced?
    One of the toilets in my house seems to need plunging more than it should. It's been suggested that I replace it, but I'd like to know if that's necessary. The toilet sits on vinyl flooring on a wood subfloor on sleepers over a concrete slab. It connects to a septic tank and was installed over 40 years ago but wasn't used much until about 20 years ago. Nothing is going into the toilet that shouldn't be. Two other toilets installed at the same time in upstairs bathrooms are used more and there have been no problems. I'm reluctant to replace the toilet with a newer low water usage type since I think it would have to be flushed more often so water wouldn't be saved anyway and the problem might not even be solved. I tried using an auger once, but the bathroom wall is configured in a way that creates a corner that interferes with the position the auger can be used in. The septic guy says the toilet is releasing waste into the septic tank just fine. Any thoughts?
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,318, Reputation: 10854

    Aug 21, 2017, 03:49 PM
    Maybe have the septic guy or another plumber check your toilet. It could have a clog/blockage in the toilet itself. It might just need cleaning or the holes under the rim of the bowl, could be blocked with mineral deposits, slowing or preventing the swirling action of the water when flushed. Check the tank and everything in it, like the fill valve, and the floats, make sure they are working correctly.

    Routine toilet bowl and tank maintenance should solve your problem. Let us know if it doesn't and we go from there.
    coblas's Avatar
    coblas Posts: 137, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Aug 22, 2017, 06:26 AM
    Toilet runs fine except for occasional need for plunging. Septic guy wouldn't pursue the plumbing aspect further--will only do outdoor stuff. Have yet to find a trustworthy plumber, which is why I'd like to solve this myself if I can. I may need to remove the toilet in the near future to install new flooring and this seems like a good time to figure this out.
    CravenMorhead's Avatar
    CravenMorhead Posts: 4,532, Reputation: 1065
    Adult Sexuality Expert

    Aug 22, 2017, 06:57 AM
    I Am not a plumber.

    In our house we replaced a 20yo toilet with a new model. Both need plunging at about the same rate. It could be the plumbing beyond the toilet and to the septic system rather then specifically the toilet itself. I know that certain pipe configurations seem to cause blockages more readily then others. IE, the flow gets interrupted or damped which mutes the flushing action and causes stuff to get stuck instead of passing through.
    coblas's Avatar
    coblas Posts: 137, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Aug 22, 2017, 07:44 AM
    Yes, that's what I'm trying to figure out.
    Milo Dolezal's Avatar
    Milo Dolezal Posts: 7,192, Reputation: 523
    Plumbing Expert

    Aug 22, 2017, 07:27 PM
    If your toilet needs occasional "plunging", that may indicate user's problem. Also, problem is most-likely local, within the bowl itself, not down the pipe.

    Make sure only toilet paper goes down the toilet. Remove any toiletry above toilet to different location as small caps etc may fall inside the toilet, get flushed, then get stuck inside the toilet trap.

    I would use 6' auger and run it few times through the trap. Also, raise water level in the tank to its maximum, about 1/4" below overflow tube. Make sure flopper releases enough water with each flush and that there is swirling action in the bowl during flush. If not, adjust.

    When you remove toilet to install new flooring, make sure wax ring is not compressed the way that it obstructs water entering pipe after flush.

    Hope that helps

    Mike45plus's Avatar
    Mike45plus Posts: 230, Reputation: 27
    Full Member

    Aug 26, 2017, 04:06 AM
    I would start this diagnostic sequence by pouring a bucket of water directly into the toilet bowl - use about 1.5 gallons. You can add paper & bits of a banana to the bowl; If the water flushes down the bowl in a manner equal to other working toilets in your home, you may have a problem with the bowls siphon or rim jets. I would also check for a proper & working plumbing vent; I like to remove the trap from a nearby sink. With the trap removed, try flushing the toilet - the removed trap will help equalize atmospheric pressure which will promote drainage when you flush the toilet; if the toilet flushes better with the trap removed you may have a plumbing vent issue...

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