toilet water high in bowl

dan1554July 5, 2011

I am asking this for an 81 year old relative. When her toilet is flushed the water enters toilet from the tank normally, but it fills really high while swirling around, coming within about a half inch of the very top. It swirls around, and will eventually drain out, no gurgling noises, just a slow draining, but the bowl has always emptied with no problem. The bowl stays at a normal water level. It has done this for at least a few years that I have witnessed it, but she says it has been that way for years, and has had a plumber check it years ago, and he said that is how it's supposed to flush. Just this week, she said not everything is going down when flushing, prompting a second flush. Is this a vent problem, or a drain line problem?

Other info... This is a ranch house and was built in 1955, she has owned it since 1984. She is 81, and the only occupant of the house. It has always been on city water and sewage and it is the original pink toilet that has the problem. It is on the main floor. All other drains (bathroom sink, tub, and kitchen sink, which are all original piping) in the house run normally, and there is a toilet in the basement that flushes normally. The basement toilet was added about 20 years ago.

Any ideas are appreciated.

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Judging from your description that is an older 3.5gal/flush toilet.

Try an experiment. Instead of flushing in the normal manner put 3.5gal of water in a bucket and pour it directly in the bowl and see if it flushes normally?

If it flushes normally when you pour water directly in the bowl both the vent and drain lines are ok.

The problem most likely is that the water from the tank is entering the bowl too slowly, which is a very common problem as the bowls age.

Under the rim of the bowl there is a row of small holes where the water from the tank enters the bowl. As the bowl ages those holes become partially obstructed from mineral buildup or waste material from the bowl.

You can don a pair of latex gloves, then take a small diameter drill bit, just slightly smaller than the holes and go around opening those holes so the water can flow out quicker and that should resolve the problem.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:27PM
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Thanks Lazypup, that does appear to be the problem, it flushed normally from pouring a bucket of water in. I never realized a toilet could get clogged there, although it does make sense. Of course, I have never dealt with a 56 year old toilet either. We are going to attempt to clean it, as she is of the mindset that nothing should ever need to be fixed or replaced, hence why the bathroom with its pink toilet sink, and tub are original, along with almost everything else in the house..... You have been a big help, again, thank you.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:55PM
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