The low flow toilet got a bad reputation when it was introduced to the market. As with any new technology, problems that were not anticipated had to be fixed. Mainly, it was necessary to pull the low-flow toilets two, three or even four times to completely get rid of the waste, which eliminated any water savings that was promised by the low-flow feature.
However, almost all low flow toilets that are manufactured today have remedied those problems. Unfortunately, homeowners who have a first generation low flow toilet in their homes still have problems with them. If you are asked to help them repair a low-flow toilet that does not work effectively, here are some things you can try.
To repair a low flow toilet manufactured before 1998, you must uninstall it and replace it with a new model. The first low-flow toilets did not have elongated siphons or wide discharge valves. They also did not have expulsion assistance mechanisms that make new models more effective at removing larger debris with less water. To determine the date of manufacture of a toilet, pull the toilet and look for the seal on the bottom of the tank before the toilet fills up again.
If you are purchasing a new low flow toilet, check the waste disposal rate to make sure the new toilet will work properly.
To repair a low flow toilet
There are some cheap and quick ways to repair a low flow toilet that has begun to lose its effectiveness. The first thing to do is check the chain tension of the discharge valve. If it is too loose, the discharge valve will not fully open when the toilet is pulled and the tank will not empty as quickly or completely. There should not be more than 1 inch of loosening before the chain raises the discharge valve.
There could be a partial blockage or accumulation of sediment in the trap. If a pipe opener does not produce immediate results, run a toilet drain pipe down the toilet and into the pipes to clean up any accumulated waste.
The air vent could also have a partial or total blockage, preventing air from entering the debris line and causing slow drainage throughout the home. Most of the vents on the main line are located on the roof and can be blocked by leaves, debris or even animal nests. You can unlock it with your hands or by running a garden hose or drain snake through the ventline.
Reconfigure the lines
Old toilets used a lot of water, but it did a good job of cleaning the main line and releasing the small accumulations of sediment before it became a problem. The most efficient toilets installed today do not clean the drainage lines that were designed to handle much larger volumes.
The best way to combat this problem and repair a low-flow toilet is to the discharge of the washing machine clothes, which generates the larger output flow than any other appliance, so it can contribute to cleaning the drainage lines. In the case of houses that are connected to the drainage of the city, locate the unloading of the washing machine as close as possible to the drain outlet of the house. This will more efficiently clean the line from the house to the street, which often has a lower slope than the drainage line inside the house.