A new toilet has been installed and functions effectively for many years.
However, as time goes on, you notice your toilet isn’t as efficient as it used to be. Why are you having such problems with your low-flow toilet?
If this illustration fits your situation, you’ll learn all there is to learn about low flow toilet problems and their solutions.
Brief Background Information on Low-Flow Toilets
Low-flow toilets also commonly known as low-flush toilets are a response to water wastage which was common with older toilets. Such older toilets consumed much water (about 3.5 to 7 gallons or 13.24 to 26.5 liters) per flush.
The improvement in technology that led to the emergence of low-flow toilets all started in the late 20th century. A law was passed in 1992 that required new toilets sold be low-flow. This improvement resulted in lesser use of water (not exceeding 1.5 gallons or about 6 liters per flush).
Why was this necessary? It’s obvious! Water is a valuable commodity and too much of it going into flushing toilets doesn’t make sense. According to a study done by Alliance for Water Efficiency, it found out that toilets gulped the second-highest volume of water after outdoor irrigation.
It also found out that toilets take up about 14 percent of the water used indoors and outdoors of homes. This is quite substantial and makes the advent of low-flow toilets a welcome development. Despite its many advantages, low-flow toilets do have a problem.
Gravity is an important aspect of its functioning. When low-flow toilets are flushed, they push waste away which then pulled out off by gravity.
Common Problems With Low-Flow Toilets
Having provided a brief background of low-flow toilets, it’s necessary to bring back our focus to low-flow toilet problems.
We’ve seen that these toilets have been designed mainly to help with water conservation.
Repeated Flushing Defeats the Purpose of Its Creation
Low-flow toilets help cut down on water wastage. While this is true, some problems have developed or been created.
The basis of limiting water flow creates a sluggish movement of waste during flushing.
In other words, not all the waste is pushed away when flushing the toilet. As such, you’ll need to flush the toilet again to ensure it clears out such waste. This repeated flushing defeats the aim of trying to conserve water.
Backed Up Sewage
One of the common problems with low-flow toilets is that they create a situation where sewage is backed up, thus complicating the problem. Sewage is meant to flow in one direction; therefore having backed up sewage creates a serious challenge.
Stench or horrific odors are characteristic of this situation. This creates an even bigger problem with a higher number of low-flow toilets within a community.
In such situations, less water is provided by these toilets to push waste to the central sewage treatment facility.
Clogged pipes are among the common problems faced with low-flow toilets. The reasons are similar to those given above. Less water is involved when flushing low-flow toilets. Not every waste goes away due to less water pressure.
What results is a clogged pipe that may require intervention before it gets resolved. However, there are ways to avoid this problem altogether. Toilets shouldn’t be used as dump holes for items such as paper towels, feminine products, and wipes among other things.
These should be disposed of in the garbage bin while only waste (human) and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. That way, there are fewer things to push when flushing the toilet and your pipes are less clogged in the process.
Not all low-flow toilet problems are caused by human action. Some may be due to technical problems or issues.
So what does this actually mean? Certain low flow toilets may develop faults leading to weak flush. The causes for this may be due to the flapper closing too soon or insufficient water level.
Flapper Closing Too Soon
The water tank above your toilet holds the mechanism which holds and releases water that flushes your toilet when pressed. The flapper opens up to let water flow out.
Now, when this flapper closes too soon or quickly, sufficient water isn’t let out to complete a flush.
For this to qualify as a low-flow toilet problem, the water level in the tank needs to be sufficient enough. When there’s insufficient water, the problem may not be due to the flapper closing too soon. It may be a result of insufficient water.
Insufficient Water Level
Another low-flow toilet problem you’re likely to have is insufficient water in the tank or toilet reservoir.
This problem isn’t complex at all and can be fixed by simply doing the following; when the water level isn’t more than an inch of the top of the overflow pipe, then you may be having an insufficient water problem.
To resolve this, some adjustment will be necessary. The height of the fill valve should be adjusted by turning the water level adjustment screw. This should be done until the water level is raised within an inch of the top of the overflow pipe.
Use of Chemical In-Tank Cleaners
Several types of in-tank cleaners contain harsh chemicals that may act negatively on your low-flow toilets. This results in a situation where low-flow toilet hardware steadily deteriorates.
What more? These harsh chemicals may also change the water composition, thus limiting flushing power and velocity.
Fixing Low Flow Toilet Issues
Most of our discussion has been gloomy and focused largely on common problems with low-flow toilets. However, it’s also important that we proffer solutions as most readers are after finding solutions to their toilet problems.
Luckily, there are several solutions. The most effective ones include going for upgrades. What does this mean? There has been lots of improvement in low-flow toilet technology which has greatly increased its efficiency. As such, you should go for the newer models.
These have even better water efficiency and are also very effective. You’re unlikely to experience most of the problems listed above. However, even with the best technology, you still need to be careful with what goes down into your toilet.
These are common low flow toilet problems as well as possible solutions to adopt. Your toilet issues shouldn’t overwhelm you. Simply seek professional help. The information made available here plus the professional assistance provided puts you in a better position to overcome low-flow toilet problems.
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