“My toilet is clogged or has a weak flush, it doesn’t always empty the bowl when I flush it….”
The above quote is a very common symptom reported by many clients. Would it surprise you to know that about half of the time the toilet isn’t clogged at all! Take a look at the picture below:
Notice the spot marked “trap,” this is the place where water & waste travels on its way to the sewer drain pipe. Technically the toilet is only “clogged” when an obstruction exists inside the trap, preventing passage. Note the hollow area around the bowl. When a toilet is flushed, water sitting in the tank rushes into and around these hollow chambers and then enters the bowl via water jets. The main water jet (aka “siphon jet”) is usually at the bottom of the toilet bowl.
An older, poorly performing toilet can have clogged jets and/or obstructed jets preventing the water from entering the bowl as needed. This causes weak flushing toilets & toilet bowls that don’t empty all the way. Additionally, if the water level inside the tank is too low this results in an inadequate amount of water for a proper flush.
An old plumbing trick called “the bucket test” can narrow the possibilities. Simply fill a 5 gallon bucket of water and pour it into the toilet bowl expeditiously. If the toilet bowl revives the water with no problem or back up – it’s more than likely your toilet is in need of repair or replacement.
If this is the case, call (503) 719-4015 and speak with the pros at Sutherland Plumbing. We carry as regular stock: premium, high-efficiency 1.28 gallons per flush toilets on our trucks!
Toilet bowls require caulking at the base to provide a water-tight seal preventing liquid or moisture from getting underneath it and festering.
Often times an installer will skip this step, does it wrong, and/or the caulking simply fails, as seen in the image below:
The next image is the same toilet re-caulked properly. Caulking of any kind is only as good as the surface we give it to adhere to. It’s important to remove any & all loose debris and clean the surface with a good all-purpose kitchen & bath cleaner – preferably one with a degreasing agent.
A common complaint from our clients is a consistent “skunky” odor coming from the toilet area. Without a proper seal at the floor any liquid that gets on the floor near the toilet can run up to and underneath the toilet bowl including the occasional “miss” by little Johnny!
While you’re waiting for one of Sutherland Plumbing’s top-notch technicians to arrive and repair your leaky faucet – put a bucket under the faucet to catch the drip. There are more than a few things you can use the water for: flushing toilets or watering plants are just a couple. The possibilities are endless!
To flush a toilet with a bucket of water, expeditiously pour its contents straight into the bowl. Remember – you’ll roughly need as much water in the bucket as is in the tank. So if you have an older non-efficient toilet, it’s likely you’ll need around 3 gallons to empty the toilet bowl of its contents. A newer, more modern water-saver toilet only requires 1.6 gallons or less.
What are you doing with an old toilet that wastes water and money anyway? When the Sutherland Plumbing technician arrives, remember to tell him that you need an upgrade!
We carry as regular stock premium, high-efficiency 1.28 gallons per flush toilets on our trucks. Call Sutherland Plumbing today!
Q: I’ve recently read some articles which say that utility companies, municipal water companies and the treatment plants etc., are “freakin’-out” because folks have started to flush all kinds of pre-moistened towelettes down the toilet. This wasn’t so much of a problem in the past. Apparently these can cause havoc all the way down the plumbing system at the treatment plants. What’s the deal with this? Is it really that bad? Can it affect my plumbing lines or only the municipal systems? Is toilet paper the only thing I should ever flush down the toilet?
A: The short answer is YES the treatment plants are “freaking out!” Unfortunately, this translates into higher rates for everyone because they have to structure & modify their equipment to deal with all of these so-called “flushable” over-the-counter products like wipes, cat litter, female sanitary products etc. The main issue is this stuff does not macerate well like human waste and toilet paper. (Sorry for the visual!)
Eventually everything makes it to a pump system or means of mechanically moving, sorting & filtering (the raw sewer). Some of these “wipes” are just short of a cloth rag. “Flushable” in that it will flush and go down but it’s no good for any part of the system down the line. Plumbers joke around the water cooler about how great these products are for keeping us very busy!
The flushable cat litter is just as bad or worse because it absorbs a ton of water & swells up. This can cause havoc in the plumbing system!
When I walk down the aisle at the supermarket and see a new “flushable” product, I pause to thank the manufacturer for their patronage. This used to bother me more when I lived in a neighborhood forced to pay sewer rates, but now I have a private septic system!
Look inside your toilet tank. If there are bolts in the bottom that look like the picture below (corroded & rusty) – then it’s only a matter of time before they break off and water leaks and floods all over the bathroom floor!
Part 3 – “Your Whole Home Solution.”
Whether It’s Your kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry Room, Basement or Outdoor Plumbing – Sutherland Plumbing’s the One for the job!
Sutherland Plumbing’s Hard Work, Dedication & Quality Workmanship.
It’s Not Just Talk, It’s Who We Are.
Save Water AND Money!
The single best thing you can do to improve toilet efficiency is to replace an old inefficient toilet with a newer water-efficient model. Toilets are typically the largest indoor water user. Older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons per flush (gpf) – while new high-efficiency toilets (HETs) and dual flush toilets use 1.3 gpf or less. This is more than 50% to 75% savings in water per toilet!
Apply for a $75 per HET rebate when you:
Replace old water-wasting toilet(s) with an EPA WaterSense labeled HET. Limit: 3 HET rebates per household.
- The Alliance for Water Efficiency Website has “MaP” testing of popular toilet models and lists that will give you performance ratings for most toilets to help you make an informed decision!
Applicants must live in a single-family residence within the Tualatin Valley Water District; including a house, condominium, duplex/multiplex or manufactured home with a single or master meter.
NOTE: Customers in the Valley View Water District and apartment owners currently DO NOT qualify for these rebates.*
The applicant must have a current TVWD water account in good standing or be the owner of the master metered residence within the District as verified by TVWD.
Applications must include a copy of a proof of purchase receipt from a retailer or plumbing company that specifies the purchase date, purchase price, manufacturer and model number.
The application must be received by TVWD within 90 days of purchase date.
Prior to approval, an on-site inspection may be required by TVWD.
The total rebate per item will not exceed the receipt amount.
How To Apply For A Rebate
- After purchasing and installing your HET(s) per the eligibility requirements outlined above, complete the Residential Rebate Application Form (PDF) and attach a copy of the receipt.
- Choose the most convenient option to submit the application and receipt:
Mail: TVWD, Attn: Rebates, 1850 SW 170th Ave, Beaverton OR, 97003
Call or contact the TVWD Conservation Program at (503) 848-3056 for the rebate terms and conditions and with any questions. You can also download the Residential Rebate Brochure or visit the TVWD Residential Rebate Frequently Asked Questions Web page for more information.
Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing.
*Are you an apartment owner or business interested in a rebate or other conservation programs? Visit the TVWD Business, Industry and Government Conservation Web page.
While we at Sutherland Plumbing take pride in our daily hard work and ability to turn our customers’ unfortunate “problems” into “opportunities for solutions.” We also acknowledge that Plumbing can be beautiful, too…