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Tired of Double Flushing

From the TOH Online Editor Inbox, Dianna P. asks:

"My husband and I purchased a split ranch style house as a work in progress. One of the problems we have found are the toilets. The house was built in 1985. It has a well and its own septic system. The issue is that when you flush the toilet, you have to flush it 2 to 3 times. Both toilets are on the main floor and the baths are back to back with each other. Different people have said it may be different minerals built up in the systems, not allowing the water to flow into the tank. Others say it could be the size of the piping the water flows out of. The pipes downstairs say they are 3". I have been told they should be 4". Would that cause the problem?"

Bob H
Re: Tired of Double Flushing

Did you have the septic system inspected befor you purchased the ranch? Not knowing where you live -- but in MA you are required to get a statement of septic tank ceritifctaion befor the house can be sold -- it could be the septic system -- not good news if that is the problem -- replacement is a major expense. Is it just the toilet? do the other drains empty OK?

Re: Tired of Double Flushing

Yes, this was required for us to purchase the house. The inspector told us this was fine. We have also had the system pumped out. The drains also work fine.

Re: Tired of Double Flushing

1. Try putting a tablespoon of diswashing soap in the toilet on a regular basis (or at least before yur husband takes a morning constitutional:)
2. Regardless of septic "inspection", is there any trees nearby whose roots have invaded your sewage lines?
3. I wonder too about what code says is best for sewage pipes? 3" or 4" ?

Re: Tired of Double Flushing

up to two wcs can discharge into a 3" line after that it must become 4"
but if you are on septic the choice is made for you because the opening at the septic in a domestic installation is a minimum 4".
you don't mention what vintage the wc is, but if it is of the 6.25 liter variety then you may want to take a look under the hood and make an adjustment or two.

Re: Tired of Double Flushing

The next time you flush, hold the flush handle down and empty the tank. If it flushes that way it could be the toilet is a poorly designed low flush toilet or the jet in the bottom of the bowl may be partially blocked. If it doesn't you may have a clogged, improperly installed or none existent vent system. The 3"pipe should be adequate.

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