Original toilet in a 50 year old house has developed about a five inch
horizontal hairline crack on the side which is leaking even though it
is visible on the only on the outside, not inside. I'm assuming that
a crack can not be effectively sealed and I will have to replace the
toilet. However, someone suggested that the lower amounts of water
used in the new toilets may be insufficient to carry waste through the
pipes which may have narrowed with corrosion over the years.
IF this is true, what options are available to ensure that problems
don't arise when a new toilet is installed?
You have two options: a) remove the toilet, test the flow down the
pipe by quickly dumping about 3 gallons of water from a bucket into
the opening through the biggest funnel you can find. If it disappears
rapidly, install new toilet. Or: b) install the new toilet and if
it works properly go on about your business <G>.
Pick one. FWIW, drainage usually doesn't corrode closed. Even 50 years
ago, (1960) cast iron had lost most of the drainage market to PVC, so
odds are option b) will be just fine and option a) will give you
peace of mind.
I think I'll go with option B. I'm skipping option A having gotten
the peace of mind here instead. Thanks.
And thanks for the heads-up on the potential for catastrophic
failure. That helps to heighten my sense of urgency, while only
slightly diminishing my newly obtained peace of mind.
I didn't think PVC drain became common until early 70s. In the 1960s, my
old man put copper waste lines in all the places he built. Vertical
stacks were sometimes cast iron due to sound issues. They all ran into
iron as they went through basement wall. This 1960 cookie cutter here
has copper waste lines.
Coulda been a regional thing, I guess- my back-then experience was all
south-central Indiana. But all the basements I have seen here in MI and
in a few other states, that are of similar vintage, seem about the same.
(It's a little game I play to keep the brain cells working- at a real
estate open house, or when visiting somebody, I spend a few minutes
glancing at the fittings before I ask when house was built. Between the
plumbing fixtures, interior trim, doorknobs, windows, and visible HVAC
fittings, you can usually nail it within 5 years. If the basement
ceiling is open and you can see that, you can get even closer.)
You have the potential for catastrophic failure with porcelain. I'd replace
it as soon as possible,
The new toilets themselves work very well now. Can't answer your question
about the pipes though. Worst case scenario is a double flush for solids.
If you've had problems in the past, get the roto guy out to ream the pipes.
First thing is don't buy a cheap toilet. Good ones can be bought in the
$250 - $300 range and much higher if you want to get fancy. I got a
champion 4 from american standard to replace a cheap toilet, now a year
or 2 later it has never clogged. Maybe 3 or 4 times it took a 2nd flush
to get rid of a floater but never needed a plunger.
re: "However, someone suggested that the lower amounts of water used
in the new toilets may be insufficient to carry waste through the
pipes which may have narrowed with corrosion over the years."
I was a "someone" who questioned whether the 1.28 GPF models would
have enough water to move the solid waste through my drains, given the
fact that I get partial blockages due to roots every couple of years.
So far, I haven't had any problems with my American Standard Cadet 3.
The 3 in. flush valve and 2 1/8 in. siphon outlet seem to offset the
low GPF rate.
It's too soon to tell for sure since it's not "root season" yet, but I
plan to dance the "rock salt tango" a couple of times a year to
hopefully keep the roots at bay. The first infusion will take place
tomorrow just before we all leave for work.
I replaced the toilet in my 1954 house with a 1.2 G/Flush
Toto Drake, and haven't had anything less than a perfect
flush in the two years since.
If there's a problem with the waste pipes, I'd think it more
likely to show up when flushing an old gussler, than a new
I recently got two Toto toilets with the G-Max system, one of the
being a Drake. Both toilets have clogged once with very little
provocation. I am quite surprised and disappointed that this has
actually old sewer lines were often cast iron, and sometimes lacked
then add 50 years of cast iron rusting. this somewhat restricts the
older toiets work better in these applications.
and newer water savers are often noisey so everyone knows when you
flushed. which may not matter if you live alone. but can be a big
issue in a multi family home or one with a baby...
and before anyone says replace the cast iron with PVC they obviously
havent experienced how well PVC conducts the noise of moving water in
a sewer line.....
cast iron is far quieter.......
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