Toilet won't flush -- kinda

Greetings, all. I have a problem here I can't figure out (obviously; else, why the post?).
I've got a toilet here that "sort of" won't flush. Press the handle and it goes through motions: the water swirls 'round and 'round, but doesn't really empty out; some exchange of dirty for clean is occuring, but there's no complete empty-out with then-obvious replacement from the tank. It takes several flushes to get to fresh-bowl.
The mechanisms inside the tank are working they way they're supposed to, to all appearances. The plumbing beyond the bowl is not backed up (the water in the bowl appears clear and clean). The fill holes in the bowl don't appear to be clogged.
For whatever reason, there's not enough "oomph" to cause the bowl to drain completely when flushed.
Anyone got any ideas?
Shane
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The toilet sits on a wax ring or some type of ring in order to seal the toilet to the plumbing. If there is an air leak at this joint the thing just won't flush. The tolit needs to be unbolted and removed to repair it.
John
On Sat, 08 Oct 2005 17:53:15 GMT, "Shane Glaseman"

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Its the wax ring letting in air and breaking the siphon action of the flush. I have to change my wax seal every three years or so. My toilet is right over the utility room where warm air from the furnace and the clothes dryer wafts up to make the wax seal soft and therefore ooze slowly.
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That describes what mine was doing when a pill vial got jammed in. I had to pull the toilet out and get the vial out from the bottom.
Your problem might be completely different though.
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Had the same problem recently. Everything "looked" as if it was working correctly. The flush, the swirl, but as you say... no ooomph. Several flushes to get refuse to go away. I got a new flapper, that's the rubber thing that lets the water from the tank into the bowl. The flapper that was there was garbage, and wouldn't stay up long enough for enough water to pass through, fast enough for a decent flush. To verify that the flapper is the problem or the lack of volume...fill a bucket of water and pour into the toilet bowl, if that produces a decent "flush" then I would guess it's the flapper. I wish I could remember the name of the flapper, it was red. Easy to install. And definitely fixed the problem 100%. Perry

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Another way to verify the flapper problem is to press AND HOLD the flush lever until the entire bowl drains.
-Tim
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I suspect the flush handle is not lifting the flapper high enough. It's usually a very simple adjustment of the chain on the metal strip that's on the inside half of the handle. There are variations but most toilets work this way. ds

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How old is your toilet. I have the same problem on a house that is 55 years old. I thought it was the inside of the toilet clogged with deposits. Now after reading this thread, I think it may be the wax ring. Will check it out and let you know.

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I'd say it's on the order of 10-15 years old. The previous suggestions referencing the flapper valve and the handle-chain assembly are not right in this case; the handle-chain pulls the valve up sufficiently to empty the tank before it flops back; the flapper valve makes a good seal, and I've held it in the up position to force the tank to empty fully. That's not it.
Since the bowl empties through force of gravity once the lever is pushed, I have to now believe that there's something down past the trap that's allowing the water to empty, but not quickly enough. Since I have two toddlers running around, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that someone has flushed a rubby ducky, or something.
Great. Now I have to take the whole dang thing out.
Shane
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had one doing that and a 3 year old had flushed a new pencil that got jammed in the turn of the commode.
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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