Published on February 3rd, 2016 | by Henri


Toilet needs flushing three times

Q. We have an American Standard stool which is 35 years old. Sometimes, it takes three flushes before it goes down. Dumping a pail of water in it will flush good. Can this be fixed or do I need a new one? The septic tank has been pumped. All other drains in the house work good. I have hard water. I look forward to your answer.

A. It is possible that the toilet does not flush well because the jet hole may be encrusted with some of the hard-water lime. At the bottom of the bowl, there is a hole through which a jet of water shoots when someone flushes the toilet. This jet, in conjunction with the holes in the rim, starts the vortex – the whirlpool – that flushes the bowl. If there are calcium deposits in the jet hole and the holes in the rim, the jet of water and the water from the rim are weak and the flushing vortex is sluggish or non-existent.

To try to remove the deposits, shut the water to the toilet off (that’s where the Gordon Wrench – — is very useful if you have one of the old-fashioned, fragile pot metal valves), or hold the float up with a piece of wire. Flush the toilet. When the bowl is nearly empty, carefully pour a cup’s worth of muriatic acid in it and close the lid (warning: muriatic acid, available in hardware stores, is very corrosive, so wear skin and eye protection and use great care in handling. Do not transfer it to metal containers, use only glass or plastic).

Wait a few hours or overnight if practical. Refill the tank and flush the toilet. Once the acid has been flushed away, use a short wood stick or a dull screwdriver to dislodge any accumulation of calcium from the jet hole. You can also follow this by pouring a pint of Clorox bleach in the tank and flushing again to clean the holes in the rim.

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