Replace a Low Flow Toilet
LESLIE: No doubt Lily in Tennessee faced those moments of fear – please flush, please flush, please flush – because you’re calling with a toilet issue. What’s going on?
LILY: I’ve got a problem where sometimes I can flush the toilet (INAUDIBLE) the toilet five or six times. We only use the paper for number one; we don’t use it for number two. And I don’t know what’s the problem. We rent this house and there was a plumber coming in; he got frustrated and he left. He said he couldn’t do anything. (laughter) And this is his second time.
TOM: How old is this toilet, Lily? Do you know how old it is?
LILY: I’m not sure. We just rent the house.
TOM: It sounds to me like it’s one of the newer low-flow toilets. And some of the inexpensive low-flow toilets just plain don’t work very well. Generally, the reason for that is because of the design of the toilet. The trap, which is under the bowl, has too many hard angles in it. It’s used the same size trap that used to work fine when you had five or six gallons of water in a toilet but now that there’s only 1.6, there’s just plain not the same amount of water. I mean if you think about it, when we had five gallon toilet tanks – water weighs eight pounds per gallon – that was 40 pounds of water pressure just pushing down that trap, that pipe, pushing everything out of the way. Now you go to 1.6 …
LESLIE: Now it’s maybe 20 pounds.
TOM: Yeah, yeah. Well, even … yeah, even less. And so it’s just not going to perform like it did. So this is probably an issue for you to take up with your landlord because I don’t think it’s anything that you guys are doing. It’s a common occurrence with 1.6 gallon toilets that they just don’t flush very well; especially the older models. The newer ones, by the way, are much better because they’ve redesigned the bowls and the traps to be much wider and not have so many restrictions; so many twists and turns and hard angles. They’ve engineered all of that out of it so now it works a lot better. So, in your case, Lily, it’s time for you guys to buy a new toilet or convince your landlord to do just that.
Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.