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  1. #1
    Eric Faber's Avatar
    Eric Faber Guest

    Default Home Inspections

    The house was inspected and several things were addressed and taken care of because of that inspection.

    I am now finding that I am having issues with the toilets on the first floor not flushing correctly. I have gone in my crawspace and took a look at all the drain lines under the house. I know there should be a 1/8-1/4 slope per foot depending on size of pipe. Well, half way across my house (from the highest point) there is a low spot and one of the branches goes down slope from there. I do believe that this is causing a trap of some sort in this area. Just not sure if this would cause the toilet not to flush properly (have to flush twice with just 8 squares of toilet paper in the bowl.)

    My problem is, should I adjust the plastic hangers that support the drain line (which would be easy) or should this be the responsibility of the Home Inspector for not seeing this and getting it corrected. I know it isn't something that he/she did on purpose, but would like to know the legatees of this issue.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC

    Default Re: Home Inspections

    You should first take the cover off the toilet tanks and observe the flapper during a flush. If drops back down too soon it will affect the flushing performance.

    If you can see a low spot in the drain it also needs adjusting.
    Would you have noticed the low area without already knowing the toilets had flushing issues? It sounds fairly minor and should not require a plumber.

    Bruce King, B.A. King Home Inspections, LLC
    Certified Master Inspector, Independent

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Chicago IL

    Default Re: Home Inspections

    - Check the flapper in the tank and adjust
    - Does an air bubble pop up in the bowl when flushing? Check the vent might be clogged with a birds nest, etc.
    - The pipe/hanger situation you mention sounds too far down the line to affect the flushing of the toilet.
    - anyone been putting feminine products down the toilet?
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    No. San Diego Co., CA

    Default Re: Home Inspections

    Is the tank and toilet a matching set or was just the toilet or tank replaced independently at some time? It may be you have 'low flow' flush tanks (1.6 gal per flush) but the throat in the toilet is sized (manufactured) to accommodate a larger volume of water, thus reducing the effectivness of the lower water volume. Also, newer toilets tend to require a smaller volume of water to flush adequately. It's supposed to be water saving but obviously not so if you have to flush two or three times to achieve complete evacuation.

    I don't think any inspection is going to fully determine the complete efficiency of a single flush unless the toilet doesn't (flush). The Inspector will /should inspect the toilet and tank (for foreign objects, leaks, cracks and defects), flush the toilet to make sure it is flushing, observe the volume to see if it affects water flow from other faucets/shower etc. and test the rigidity of the toilet to the floor. It may be that the fill valve is old, coroded or restricted. Installing new valves - both angle stop and riser from the wall to the tank and the fill valve assembly inside the tank (if they look old worn etc) may solve the problem. If you look under the rim of the toilet (careful not to get your hair wet!) you should see a few holes which allow the water from the tank to swirl into the bowl - these holes may be blocked with crud - thus restricting water flow into the bowl. Not pleasant job but they can be cleaned out with CLR and elbow grease.

    If the waste line below the toilet has a decent fall -(1/8"-1/4" pf for 6'-8') then I doubt any branch line further on from that is going to be an issue from a flushing perspective. It could be a hang-up and cause a blockage from time to time but until that happens, shouldn't affect the toilet flush itself. The toilet venting may also be an issue and will likely require a lic. plumber to identify the vent line and 'snake' it for possible obstructions.

    Last edited by Ian Page; 01-30-2011 at 01:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI

    Default Re: Home Inspections

    Some toilets have a 2-stage flush, requiring holding down the flush lever or button for an extra second or two for a "full flush" when having anything containing other than liquid waste in the bowl to be evaculated. Water level is essential, a not fully seated "flapper" in the tank can leak water into the bowl, not enough water, especially in the water saving toilet design, can prevent full evacuation of the "slug" past the s-trap.

    Identify toilet make & model and acquire the instructions from the manufacturer, and review.

    Next anything caught in the neck or integral trap of the toilet can prevent full evacuation, especially of paper or solids. Something as simple as a q-tip wedged in the trap can affect.

    You can find all sorts of information on the net regarding proper operation of toilets of various designs water usage and "flushing problems".

    As mentioned in earlier post, an obstruction or frozen plumbing vent can also effect proper "flush" evacuation; as can an obstruction in the waste or soil lines.

    If the home has a private sanitary system, and it has been overloaded, this too can effect drainage, as can a clog or obstruction in the sewer if connected to a public supply.

    A home inspection is an inspection on the conditions observed at the time of the inspection.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Charlotte NC

    Default Re: Home Inspections

    As a means of determining toilet or drain line problem, through a bucket of water into the bowl. If it drains quickly, leaving only a small amount of water in the bowl, the problem is slow or restricted water flow from the tank. If it drains slowly, the problem is blockage in the toilet trap or drain line.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.


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