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3.5 gpf toilets

kcopp
kcopp Member Posts: 3,667
I have building that was plumbed in the mid 80's and originally had 3.5 gpf toilets and all the bathrooms.
A few years back they swapped them out from 1.6 gpf units.
Since then they have had numerous issue w/ clogging on one of the main lines....
Anyone know where I can get these?
Even if I have to go to Canada?
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Comments

  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,841
    Maybe you just need a different brand/style of 1.6 toilet. I have one toilet in my house that clogs too easily, the others are just fine. I think it's just too tight of a bend.
    steve
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    What about the commercial toilets. They have some kind of pressure tank inside the tank
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,191
    I have changed out 2 of my 3.5 GPF to 1.6. (elongated bowl BTH)The 1.6 actually flush better than the old 3.5 which were just OK.
    The 1.6 are American Standard. The slightly older one "burbs" up a bubble of air as it flushes. The newer one does not and almost flushes like the air assist ones.

    But if you have a main line problem and not WC issue then it could be not so good drain line or lack of venting.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,530
    edited January 2018
    I have often wondered how older sewer lines say cast iron would put up with the lesser gallons per flush to carry things down the line. Especially Long runs. 1/2the water.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,530
    edited January 2018
    ..
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,667
    Toilets flush perfectly fine!

    It DOWN the sewer line that the problem develops. They need more water to move things through.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,191
    Simple, just flush twice. I instructed my boys to flush before and then again after the paperwork is done! :)
    kcoppRomanGK_26986764589
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    These new toilets you have to hold the hande for a full flush too
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    My aunt's house has a toilet on the landing for the basement stairs. The tank is on the wall connected with a 3 or 4 foot pipe.

    That has some flushing force. Can't leave the seat up lol
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    @kcopp

    Not trying to be a smartass, but what happens if you put 3.5 gpf toilets back in, and line still clogs? Generally, what doesn't make it to the end of the pipe, is later moved along by hand washing and flushing the toilet without solids. If there isn't a problem with the pipe itself.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,344
    Some of the early 1.6 toilets were pretty bad. Which ones are in this building?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,667
    These are only 2 years old... Kohler Cimmarons. Pretty decent.
    If the problem still happens that's "fine". The building management wants me to do this.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    I remember hearing that people were buying up the 3.5 gpf toilets from Mexico, a long time ago. The requirement for 1.6 gpf , here, is now 26 years old.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,419
    Generally the low flow toilets flush just fine -- out of sight, out of mind. As has been said, though, the problem is down the line. It depends a lot on the size and slope of the line -- oddly smaller lines are less prone -- and the amount of solid (by which I mean paper or other things of that sort, stop snickering) which is in the flush. Some folks seem to use half a roll of paper, and some put other things down.

    Years ago I was responsible for a municipal sewer system which had some low-slope lines which would build up solids. We had flush tanks at the upper ends of those lines (200 gallon tanks with fast opening valves!) to move things along...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    kcoppSolid_Fuel_Man
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,561
    Could be a low spot in the line somewhere that causes the problem. Low flush toilets should work on any system with proper pitch in the lines.

    Might be wise to send a camera down the line and look for a problem in the Piping

    The larger the diameter of the sewer piping the less water area to carry solids

    There was talk about 2-1/2” Piping for low flush back when they were first mandated.

    We have a dual flush Am STD in our office, sometimes it requires a double flush, trip the low flush and full flush together to empty the flush tank and get a high gallon flush, based on operators discretion
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,530
    Hmmm I think sewer line slope, and length are the killers. Especially length. To easy for the water to disperse under, or around the solids leaving the solids behind. If your lucky baths, showers, dishwasher, laundry sends non solid containing water to move things along between the solids flush.

    Maybe the smaller dia sewer pipe concept was to keep the water behind the solids more to keep them moving.
    BobZmuda
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,561
    Actually a steep pitch can cause the waters to run away from the solids also

    The smaller diameter pipe would allow a deeper water I suppose so the solids stay in the “stream” better

    I suppose a clear definition of solids would be in order.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    kcopp
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,419
    hot rod said:

    ...
    I suppose a clear definition of solids would be in order.

    This is a family friendly forum, Bob...

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ratiokcoppCanucker
  • gschallert
    gschallert Member Posts: 170
    Even if you could source them, isn't it against code in every state now to install anything less than 1.6?
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,667
    Considering that they were there in the 1st place. The place has a private well and septic system and only has toilets and a couple break room sinks.... I don't think replacing a few toilets will be a problem.
    Its just this one section/ branch that has an issue.
    Most of them will still be the 1.6.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,252
    That's interesting, the Cimmeron is actually one of my fav WC's. Sends water down with seemingly equivalent force as a power flush toilet. 80s so I'd assume PVC/ABS, is the piping accessible where the problem persists?
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,667
    Yes pvc.. 4". Just not a lot of pitch. It runs through a basement that is finished off.
    The toilets are not plugging....they are fine.
    Just not enough water being used to clean out the building drain.
    No showers here.
    Only lavs and toilets.

  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,516
    They make grinding toilets with a waste pump for installations below the waste pipe. Seems like you should be able to find a waste grinder that can be added to the sewer line, before it leaves the building. Just a thought.
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,201
    How many toilets on the 4" line? You will have transport problems with a 1.6 g/f on a 4" soil pipe. It is not so much a problem of pitch as it is the water running around the solids. That's why San Francisco was talking about 2 1/2" lines. Roto Rooter is making a bundle on these 1.6 and 1.28 g/f toilets.

    You could look for a plumbing bone yard.

    Tell the tenants that the only thing that goes down the toilet is what passes thru them. Disposable diapers and toilet cleaning sponges were the worst.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,585
    just a simple electrician, gasfitter, pipefitter and oil burner technician.

    never got my plumbing license.

    Right now I am happy about it!!!! :):):):):):)
    ratio
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,201
    Well EBEBRATT, you didn't miss much. There are only two thing you need to know to be a successful plumber--1) water flows downhill, 2) paydays on Friday.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    http://www.map-testing.com/assets/reports/HETs&Drainline blockages-2012-08-29.pdf

    Good REAL bathroom reading....

    And BTW Homer, Payday is on the 1st and the 15th and that is NEVER on Friday, and we have pumps that will pump sheit up any hill you got...

    It's not rocket science. It's harder than rocket science...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,732
    @HomerJSmith, you forgot "Don't bite your nails"!
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,252
    @Mark Eatherton that 28 feet is the key to what @kcopp Is speaking of the problem. Also the article notes in "other than residential type" of installations. Exactly the scenario....
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    kcopp
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,201
    Mark the last time I talked with you was over lunch many years ago at a conference. I was very impress with you and it doesn't surprise me that you became a leader in the industry.

    The reason that payday is never on Friday is because, if you pay them on Friday, your workers never show up on Monday.

    I hate old sewer work. Every bacteria and virus, you could possibly think of lives happily there.
    Mark Eatherton
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,191
    Kcopp : you need the WC's that our 1971 nursing home are replacing with power flushers. The china looks new yet. The tanks look like small upright pianos. The water will flow..5?gallons. Put one on the end of the problem line.
    There are still some installed, just drive here to NE, maybe 1200 miles. They would probably be glad to give them away.

    If you can find an institution with the same situation they may have some. Regular cleaning keeps the china looking good.

    On the bright side, low volume flushing WC's don't have enough water to overflow out of the bowl....for the first flush anyway. :)
    kcopp
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,183
    Do what Al Bundy did, install a Ferguson and the flow will be with you!




    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    JUGHNE
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,492
    I have 1.6 toilets on a 4" line from 1910 with no problems.

    However, I have them biased towards using more water rather than less.

    I don't know if it's true of all of them, but both my Kohler which is a POS, and my Gerber which is awesome both don't dump the entire tank in stock configuration. If you dump the entire tank on the Gerber it'll literally flush 3 times in a row.

    Point being, with that type of 1.6 you can change flappers and make it use more water if need be.

    If yours have the style with the foam on the chain of the flapper swap it out for an adjustable flapper or a full flush one and you'll dump the whole load every flush. It sucks and wastes water, but if it's a necessary evil go with it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,667
    edited January 2018
    "Point being, with that type of 1.6 you can change flappers and make it use more water if need be."

    I was hoping to do this but these have the Class 5 flush valves and are not "fixable" I will have to pull these out and install toilets that can be "Field Fixed"...
    Its not wasting water if that water needs to be used to get the job done.


  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,252
    I actually scrounged an old 5gal flusher which IMHO is more clog prone than the Kohler class5's. But I bet as suggested you can score any old pre 1985 toilet for more water/flush or get a power flush with a pressurised tank.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,087
    Hello, I suppose somebody has to ask the crazy question: Can the main line be replaced with a smaller, smoother chunk of pipe? :o
    Yours, Larry
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,667
    its PVC... That's as smooth as it gets. You cant reduce once it has been increased.
    The pipe runs through a finished area.... dry walled area. major disruption to get to.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,087
    Hi, What a chore! I looked around and as I'm on the West coast, looked up this recycling place, Urban Ore: http://urbanore.com/ecopark-store/shop/what-we-sell/ in the San Francisco area. Perhaps you have something like it? Anyway, it looks like they have lots of used toilets... probably you could find a few nice old seven gpf ones! :p

    Yours, Larry
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837

    Mark the last time I talked with you was over lunch many years ago at a conference. I was very impress with you and it doesn't surprise me that you became a leader in the industry.

    The reason that payday is never on Friday is because, if you pay them on Friday, your workers never show up on Monday.

    I hate old sewer work. Every bacteria and virus, you could possibly think of lives happily there.

    Thanks for the kudos Homer. I was just razzing you. There are days that the first and the 15th show up on Friday, just not very often. Always trying to boost our image with the industry.

    ME



    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    kcopp said:

    its PVC... That's as smooth as it gets. You cant reduce once it has been increased.
    The pipe runs through a finished area.... dry walled area. major disruption to get to.


    Kevin, what come back on the sewer snake when its cleared? If it's female sanitary products, maybe they need to post a note in the rest rooms telling the ladies that disposable means in the trash, not the toilet... I have a rule in all my houses, that the only thing allowed to go in the sewer are urine, feces and TP. PERIOD. Might need to institute the same program on this job.

    As for finding a 3.5 GPM toilet, I'm betting that you could modify the flapper so that it double flushes with each use. I've actually inadvertently done it during a service call. It is illegal after all, to install anything more.

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
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