Improving the performance of flush has a lot to do with evaluating and maintaining it. But the question remains: do you really need to improve the performance of your toilet flush?
Well, that is a hard yes. If you think of a family of 5, each using the flush once a day, it will sum up to about 750 flushes every month. You can imagine what that number will be in a year.
We have all noticed that after using the toilet for a few months, the flush does not work as it used to. It starts to flush slow or late flushes, makes unfamiliar sounds, or flushes partially, but it is normal to happen. Machines lose effectiveness with time. So eventually, you will need to check up on the performance of your flushing toilet.
Precautions: Let’s not forget to maintain hygiene. So, you must put on a face mask and rubber gloves before you start evaluating. These precautions will protect you from germs and other harmful substances.
Tools: There are a few tools you may need while working on the toilet flush. They are a sponge, adjustable wrench, screwdriver and pliers.
Improving Toilet Flus Performance Guide
Step 01: Let’s Get Started
First of all, you require to take the lid off the tank. The tank lids are usually heavy. Regular lever flush lids will come right off. If it is a cistern cover, carefully lift it slightly, disconnect the chain hook from the flush button, then you can take it off.
Make sure the tank water supply is off while you are working. It will help avoid water wastage and any other inconvenience.
Step 02: Inspect the Lever
The lever can be located in three usual places. Either it can be found on the left-hand side or the right-hand side of the tank or on the top of the tank lid (cistern cover). The lever is supposed to be tightly attached to the tank. It should not be loose at all.
If it is loose, then you need to tighten up the lock-nut located inside the tank. You can use the wrench to do it. But if the lever is very old and creates troubles flushing, then it is better to replace it with a new one to avoid further difficulties.
Step 03: Check for Silent Leaks
At the first stage, tank fluid leaks are often completely undetectable visually. There is an easy way to detect leaks. Add a few drops of food coloring to the tank water and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
If there is a leak, you will mark colored liquid in the bowl. The leak is usually caused by worn out parts (flapper or flush valve) in the tank. You will need to evaluate the inner mechanism thoroughly to fix it.
Step 04: Empty the Tank
To evaluate the flapper valve and the flush valve, you need to empty the tank first. You can flush and dump the water in the bowl. You may use a sponge to soak up extra moisture in the tank.
Step 05: Validate the Inner Mechanism of the Tank
Before starting this step, you need to make sure you are wearing rubber or latex gloves and the water supply is off. The flush is built of two mechanisms: the flapper valve and the flush valve.
The flapper valve type depends on the type of flush valve you have. It is usually flapper, seat disc, tank ball and seals to choose from. There is a cap under the flapper that sits on the rim, seals it and controls water flow to the bowl. With time it sometimes gets disfigured, which makes it hard to fit on the rim. It is a possible cause of leaks.
So, you need to check for the deformity of the plapper valve. If the flapper valve is compromised, then it will cause an uncontrollable leak, partial flushing etc.
The flush valve is the next mechanism you need to evaluate. The flush valve moves the water into the bowl when the lever is pulled. The rim at the end of the flush valve should be smooth. Otherwise, it needs to be repaired. Any sign of rough spots can be the reason for an unnoticeable leak.
Step 06: Check the Chain Length
You need to check if the chain attached to the flapper is too tight or too loose. The too-tight strap would make it hard to sit and fit on the flush valve rim. It will allow water to escape to the bowl without even flushing.
But if the strap is too loose, then the flapper may not be lifted high enough to stay open or held up long enough, causing the bowl to only partially flush. Once you are sure the flapper is functioning appropriately, cut off any excess chain or strap. Excess chains or straps can interfere with the flapper valve function.
Step 07: A Final follow-up
It is time to turn on the water supply for final flush testing. You can check whether water is leaking from other parts of the fill valve after the tank is full. In such a scenario, the internal components of the fill valve need to be replaced. Sometimes it is just dirt that causes the fill valve to act unusually.
If you clean it up thoroughly, the fill valve will be fitting as new. You may need to adjust the float valve to a correct waterline to ensure efficient water use for flushing.
Now, flush a few times to check if it works better or not. There are three signs to look for. They are: i) If the flush work is weak, ii) whether it is always running water in the bowl without flushing or iii) if it takes too much time to refill the tank.
If any of these are detected, then you need to replace the flush valve. If not, your toilet flush is now in great shape.
In excellent, we can say that we barely check our toilet working capability regularly before we start facing flushing troubles. But prevention is always better than cure. So, it is better to improve the toilet flush performance before it breaks down, creating inconvenience in daily life and financial drain.
Note: You should check for toilet clogs and under rim clogs. Clogs cause slow flushing many times. It is recommended that you should also remove any excessive objects like bricks, pebbles, or sand if there any. They are often added to save water.