I'm stumped! I have two IDENTICAL Kohler toilets; they're about 3 years
old. Let's call them "good toilet" and "bad toilet" since one is
working and the other is stopped up.
I tried plunging bad toilet, which didn't help. I tried liquid drain
unclogger (guaranteed to dissolve ANY organic material!--I guess we'll see).
So now I want to flush it, but I'm afraid! Why? Because the toilet
this one replaced overflowed once...and flooded nearly my entire house
before it could be stopped. So I'm a bit gun shy.
I turned off the water supply to the toilet--or at least I THOUGHT I
did--as I want to flush it with a controlled (i.e., LIMITED) amount of
water. Then I started emptying water from the tank, thinking I'd only
leave about 1/3 or so, again just to make SURE it can't overflow if
there's really something blocking the drain. But as the water level in
the tank got down to a certain point, it started filling up again.
Huh?! How can it do that if I've turned the valve off?
I went to good toilet and tried the exact same motions--turning the
valve all the way to my right. Then I flushed it, flushed it again, and
the tank emptied almost all the way. Period. It didn't start refilling
until I started turning the valve to the left. So WHY is bad toilet
refilling? There's nothing else I can do--I've turned the valve as far
to the right as I can.
Sounds like you need to replace the bad shut off valve. If you want to
control the amount of water flush just stick you hand in the tank and
manually lift or close the flapper. If the chemical, which I never use,
doesn't work try the closet auger:
Your shut off valve may be stuck.
Spray your shut off valve stem with WD40 and let it set for an hour or so.
You should check your valves several times a year to make certain the
handles turns easily and turns all the way on and off.
If you want a controlled flush all you have to do is fill a mop pail or five
gallon pail and pour it in the toilet bowl. Pour just a little, if it go's
down pour more. Closet valves are not the best or most reliable valves in
the world. I wouldn't be surprised if it's not closing.
As Bill noted, just pour a pail of water directly into the bowl. If the
toilet is still stopped up, come back with more information. Are you in
the USA? Is this a reduced water flush Kohler, or one of the old style?
Is the plumbing as new as the toilet, or was the toilet a replacement on
Right now, I am guessing you have a plugged trap. Something that you
didn't notice may have fallen into the toilet and gotten wedged in the
trap, which is located in the base of the toilet. Getting it out can be
tough. If you are lucky, the drain cleaner may dissolve it.
Thanks for the speedy reply. I didn't mention that I'd already done
that--with mixed results. At first, the water would go down--I don't
mean the toilet would flush by pouring water into the bowl, I mean that
after some time it would have drained nearly empty. But then when I
tried it again, the water didn't go down at all, even after a couple of
days it hadn't dropped a bit. (I manually emptied it. Yuck.) So right
now I have an empty bowl and, as I said earlier, I want to do a
Just a side note: My friend and neighbor, who happens to be a
contractor, just moved out of state. I relied on him to help whenever
something like this came up, and now I'm lost! When the toilet stopped
up and I realized I couldn't just pick up the phone and have him come
over, I nearly started crying. :-(
We had twice per year rotorooter visits because of roots until I
bought some Root Kill in the box store plumbing section. Now use it
in last flush of the evening twice per year and no more rotorooter.
1. "Bad" toilet - and nothing else - is clogged.
2. You didn't put anything in the toilet that could have clogged it.
3. You keep the lid down so nothing can accidentally GET into the toilet
(roll of TP, cat, etc.)
1. Something grew there, or, more likely,
2. A rat* came up through your system, found the lid down, and couldn't
Or, to be absolutely dead sure -
Turn off the water to the house, open a faucet on a floor below the bad
toilet (to drop the line pressure), then flush.
I'm with these guys - you have a bad shutoff.
Replace it with a Zurn 1/4 turn stop. Best damn shutoff in the world.
Most all other shutoff fall to peices after 1 use.
I thought I was clear that I had already done that (poured water into
the bowl) and it ultimately didn't go down, so I manually emptied it.
But for the sake of thoroughness I did it again last night--with the
same results. It hasn't gone down one iota.
Yes, I'm in the USA, yes it's a reduced water flush Kohler, no the
plumbing isn't new, yes the toilet was replaced on old plumbing.
I also didn't mention that this house has been PLAGUED by plumbing
problems since I bought it. There's a recurring issue with roots in the
pipes--but I DON'T believe that's the problem this time. My reasoning
is this: The root problem ALWAYS manifests itself in one specific
location, which affects the OTHER bathroom. Everything else, in BOTH
bathrooms, is working fine--sinks, bathtubs, and the other toilet. If
the roots were back, they'd ALL be showing signs of it (and I know this
from lots of experience!).
Honestly, I just don't see how that could've happened. I'm the only one
who uses that bathroom and I am 100% sure that nothing other than toilet
paper has gone down it. I ALWAYS keep the lids down on both toilets,
plus there's NOTHING anywhere near that could fall into it even if the
lid was up.
I appreciate your help. Thanks. :-)
I've actually done that. After the old toilet (that this one replaced)
overflowed and flooded my house because the valve was IMPOSSIBLE to
turn, I had it replaced. So the valves on both toilets are new (3 years
old) and they turn freely and easily, which I check periodically.
But...since turning this one all the way to the right is NOT shutting
off the water, I guess there *is* a problem with it. I just don't know
what. And my friend/contractor who installed them is gone so I can't
ask him to look at it. :-(
I'm not sure about doing this, as I had very bad luck the last time I
tried (again, that was with the old toilet that overflowed).
I know this isn't a binaries group, but I have a picture of the inside
of the tank and would like to have someone point out exactly what to do
or not do. Is there a binaries group I can post that to? Or would it be
okay to post it here? (It's a small picture.)
If the water you pour in from a bucket doesn't go down then water from
the tank isn't going to go down. The only difference between the two
methods is that water from the tank will swirl around and help to give
you a cleaner flush.
Have your tried a plunger?
-> I'm stumped! I have two IDENTICAL Kohler toilets; they're about 3 years -> old. Let's call them "good toilet" and "bad toilet" since one is -> working and the other is stopped up.-> -> I tried plunging bad toilet, which didn't help. I tried liquid drain -> unclogger (guaranteed to dissolve ANY organic material!--I guess we'll see).-> -> So now I want to flush it, but I'm afraid! Why? Because the toilet -> this one replaced overflowed once...and flooded nearly my entire house -> before it could be stopped. So I'm a bit gun shy.
To stop an overflowing toilet before it's too late,
just remove the tank lid and manually push down the flapper.
So, all you have to do is take of the tank lid and be
prepared to put the flapper down when you flush the
OK, then, your next step is either to snake it yourself or call Roto
Rooter. If you want to try snaking it yourself, either rent or buy a
power snake, either pull the pot or climb on the roof with a snake and
garden hose and snake through the roof vent. If the roof is not too
steep, snaking through the vent will maybe save the mess of pulling the
pot. Snake first, then run a hose down the vent after it starts to
drain to flush the lines while you snake some more. If you are very
fortunate, there will be a sewer cleanout just outside the foundation
line. If you unscrew the cap on the cleanout, that may tell you a lot
about the condition of the line. If it's dry, snake back toward the
house. If it's wet, snake toward the sewer. Sometimes the cleanout is
under the house.
Since one toilet is working fine, the blockage is probably somewhere in
the house plumbing rather than the outside sewer lines, but your old
plumbing may join up outside somewhere, and roots could be the problem.
If you have had perennial problems with roots, Roto Rooter is probably
your best bet. In the future, fix your landscaping, use root killer, or
do laundry with Boraxo to keep roots out of the lines.
Before you do anything, plunge it again, since you have tried drain
cleaner. The drain cleaner may have loosened the blockage but not
cleared it. Be sure to use eye protection, you don't want lye in your
eyes. Be as violent as you can manage. The up stroke on the plunger
often does as much as the down stroke. Unfortunately, if the line is
completely blocked, the drain cleaner may not be getting to the
blockage. If the blockage is past the vent, plunging won't do anything,
since the vent will relieve the pressure.
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