The slow-filling toilet blues

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg_S_H, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I timed it, and this old-and-busted toilet takes three minutes and fifteen seconds from flush to refill. This isn't even one of those newfangled low flow toilets, neither. This thing's at least 22 years old.

    The water valve is open all the way, so that shouldn't be a problem. Will replacing most of the internal parts help? Right now, I have a Fluidmaster 400A (not sure how old it is), and I bought a replacement kit (which included everything except the overflow tube) from Fluidmaster that is either the same stuff or the latest version. I know it wouldn't hurt to have new parts back there anyway, but I'd like to know that I might actually see results before I begin the process. I'm reading web pages stating that the refill ought to take around 30 seconds, which is mind-blowing compared to what I've been living with.

    Oh, one last thing: water pressure is low right now, what with people watering their lawns, lack of rain, etc. I know all that, but it's been a slow filler for a long time, regardless of season.
     
  2. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    The slow-filling toilet is probably my second biggest pet peeve in the world, second only to (of course) movies being shown in non-OAR. I've got three words for your my friend: pressure assisted valve.
     
  3. Rob Tenniswood

    Rob Tenniswood Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey - you're not getting off too bad, Greg. My toilet flushed, fills...then keeps on going. It'll run all night if I let it. I justify it this way: A toilet running all night is better than having to run out to an outhouse in the middle of the night after a long night of drinking. So praise indoor plumbing, however flawed it is.

    Bringing in the silver lining,
    Rob.
     
  4. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Greg,

    Need more info.
    What is the source of your water? Well? City? How old is the house?
    I'd do cartwheels if my commodes refilled in 3 minutes! Mine's more like 10. I have a very old house and well water. Well water with lots of minerals. There's plenty of pressure out at the well but the pipes between there and the house have mucho buildup in them.
     
  5. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Update! I went to Fluidmaster's site, and they had a couple of suggestions for a slow fill rate. I know it's incredibly bad troubleshooting, but I went ahead and followed through on both suggestions at the same time. Basically, the top of the fill valve has a seal that can become swollen, which causes a slow fill. So, I replaced that. Also, it was suggested that I "swab" out the line with a hanger, and then run the water with the top open (with a cup to catch the water!). I did that. I am now down from 3 minutes, 15 seconds to 53 seconds! If you start counting when it starts filling (and not from flush), it's 40 seconds! An amazing improvement! As easy as this was, I'm kicking myself I didn't do it sooner!
    So, now I should really be doing cartwheels, Jim! And, I am. :p) Just to answer your questions for completion's sake, I'm in the city and the house is about 25 years old.
    Rob, I'm finding these commode problems are not too terribly hard to solve. I don't know what kind of hardware you have, but take a look at this page and see if it might help. It may be something as simple as the refill tube being too far below the water line. Check it out:
    http://www.fluidmaster.com/usa.html
    Andrew, even though it looks like I'm all set now, I may look at a pressure assisted valve anyway. If it's what I'm thinking (where the water just JETS out of the bowl when you flush), that appeals to the Tim Taylor in me. [​IMG]
    Anyway, thanks guys.
     
  6. Ken Garrison

    Ken Garrison Supporting Actor

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  7. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Ouch. That's tough, Ken. I hope you find a solution soon. [​IMG]
     
  8. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    [​IMG] I'm sorry, I just find your topic header to be incredibly funny! I picture someone standing over a toilet with a solemn expression on his face and a single tear running down his cheek like that indian in those old "Don't Litter" commercials. [​IMG]
    I sympathize, my biggest problem is a frequently filling toilet, and it's a real problem when you take a shower, I have to turn the valve off on the toilet before taking a shower to keep the water at one tepm for the duration of the shower, and then back on again afterwards.
     
  9. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    something similar happened to me about a year ago, the toilet had always been a bit slow in filling, but it had gotten positively snail-like (never timed it though).

    when I looked at the mechanism, I noted that it worked by having the floating ball attached to a lever arm, which as the water level rose would gradually press down against a thick, round rubber pad (contained inside the mechanism) to completely seal off the incoming water flow when the floating ball had risen to the appropriate level. I found that said rubber pad had deformed, and was always impeding water flow even when the cistern was empty (and therefore floating ball was way down and lever arm wasn't touching the rubber pad at all). a simple replacement of the rubber pad, costing all of 80 cents (thats US$0.46 to you lot) did the trick...

    (not sure if you guys can visualise what I'm trying to describe above...)
     
  10. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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    I don't mind slow filling toilets I hate these damn "water saving" toilets because they're so easy to "stop up" if you know what I mean then I end up using twice as much water trying to unstop the thing[​IMG]
     
  11. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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  12. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    If it continues to be a hardship, you may need to try this as a last resort.
     
  13. Rob Tenniswood

    Rob Tenniswood Stunt Coordinator

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    lol Jim.
     
  14. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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