One member of our household tends to do infrequent but high-volume dumps
which often cause the toilet to overflow when it is flushed. The
toilet seems very difficult to snake as well.
Is there a modern (and presumably water-saving) toilet that might be
particularly suitable for this situation?
The better ones come in two types. There are power flush models that
use electric or water pressure to provide extra force to the water during
the flush. The others just use good design. Since there seems to be more
and better models with good design now, we seem to hear less about the power
flush types that can require more maintenance.
Any well designed model will have at least a 2 inch trap. Larger is
better. It will also have a fully glazed trap. There are other factors,
but there are no recognized standards for those factors as far as I know.
In the US the American Standard Cadets (there are several models) seems
to be the model of choice and is generally easy to find and available at a
good price. Note: some of their models are fancy and expensive, but the
base models are reasonable.
The contractor's special that they put in new homes are not good, but
they are cheap. Not all expensive models are any better, but they look
That can help, but often it's merely a diameter problem. Sometimes it can
help to start the flush just before it totally drops. But other solutions
are better. A trap that's bigger than 2" (and glazed of course) would help.
The more powerful flush solutions would also help.
Don't spring for a new toilet until you make sure there's not something
simple wrong with the one that's there now.
I presume you already tried cleaning out the holes around the bottom of
the bowl rim with a piece of coat hanger wire in case they were clogged
with lime. A pocket mirror will show you those. If you haven't, do so.
There's a fair chance some non-disolvable object was dropped down that
toilet some time in the past and is stuck in the "trap" portion of the
The surest way to check that is to disconnect the water supply line,
unbolt the toilet from the floor, and tip it over so you can see if
anything is lodged in the trap that you couldn't see from the bowl side
of the drain passage.
With the toilet removed you'll also be able to more easily run a *long*
snake down the drain line to try and clean it fully out.
Oh, and get a replacement wax ring first. You'll need it to reseal the
toilet to it's flange on replacing it.
Don't leave the drain hole open for hours on end if you can't put the
toilet back in place right away. Sewer gas can be dangerous in addition
to being smelly. You can stuff a wet towel into the drain opening to
temporarily seal it off.
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"If you can smile when things are going wrong, you've thought of someone
to blame it on."
Minnie Bannister wrote:
The link doesn't seem to work. Try going to:
and do a search for "toilets" then click on an article titled "inefficient
toilets", scroll down to the report and you will find it. I am sure that
other sites also have links to this report, it seems to be relatively wide
spread in its distribution.
My wife watches a child who has BMs that can choke a normal toilet. This
one has been recommended, but I've been waiting for some more reviews.
TOilets made with SLoan pressure flush valve work well. Available from
Kohler and Gerber and others. Kohler and Gerber work well but Kohler is
noisy and gerber has very high water level so you might want to get tall
version. Neither can overflow because they have a back pressure valve which
stops a flush if it cannot finish properly. Great valve technology that is
underrated in my opinion.
Get Toto toilets. That's all we use and have NEVER stopped one up. They have a
3" bowl and trap opening.
They are somewhat expensive, though.
On Sat, 03 Jul 2004 09:42:25 -0400, Minnie Bannister
One trick is to keep a bucket around, and when
it looks like flushing might cause the toilet
to stop-up, then fill up the bucket, and *at the
same instant as you hit the flush-lever*, pour
in the water at the *back* of the toilet.
With luck, all the, uh, crap sitting at the bottom,
over the exit hole, will be blasted (dispersed) out into the
rest of the toilet-bowl (water), and can then
, with luck, go down "one at a time".
Give it a try -- sure a lot cheaper than buying
a new toilet!
Here are some links to reports about water-saving toilet comparative
performance (forgive me, I can't figure out how to insert a functional
link, so you'll have to copy and paste the URL to your browser):
Dual Flush Toilets Compared
Toilet Shopping Pointers
Short Summary of 6L Toilet Comparison Tests
34 Page Comparison of 6L Toilets
Seth's Rant on Crappy Crappers
Jon Eakes' article asserts that the only water-saving toilet
technology that works well in old house plumbing is what's called
"Wash Down" technology. Most modern toilets use siphon technology
that uses most of the 6L of water to suck the crap out of the toilet
bowl, then the waste has no water to wash it down the drain -- leading
to blocked drains. "Wash Down" toilets dump the same amount of water
on top of the waste, so it is washed down the drain -- no blocked
For more go to http://www.joneakes.com/ca/ls/cgi-bin/getdetailscals.cgi?id 29
Mr. Fixit eh
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.