Learning About Plumbing For Residential Dwellings

How To Troubleshoot A Flushometer Toilet

Flushometer toilets are common in stadiums, offices, and other commercial establishments. Flushometers are either diaphragm types or piston types with along pipe protruding from the back of the toilet..

Unlike standard toilets, the tank doesn't have to be refilled, but you still may notice problems. However, you don't always have to call a plumber. Troubleshoot and fix the flushing issues yourself by using this guide. 

Toilet Won't Flush

Check to see if the main water supply has been accidentally shut off, and inspect toilet handles for damage. Look for a slot on either side of the toilet, insert the blade of a flat screwdriver in it, and rotate the screwdriver to shut off the water.

Remove the outer lid using a socket wrench. You may prefer to cover the area below the lid with paper, so you won't scratch the surface, or use a smooth-jaw wrench. You should now see an inner lid on the diaphragm type, or a gasket an inner cover on piston types. On piston types, use the screwdriver to detach the screws on the plate. 

Check the diaphragm (washer) and valves for damage and debris. Run warm water over the diaphragm, and clean it with a scrub brush. Use mild dish soap to clean debris, and avoid abrasive cleaners. 

Replace damaged diaphragms, seat valves, and relief valves. You commonly only have to replace the cup on piston type flush meters.

Toilet Keeps Flushing or Short Flushes

Remove the covers, as instructed above, and inspect the weep holes on the front of the toilet for debris. Clean the weep holes with something small like a toothpick. Reinstall the part, and try the unit again. On piston types, inspect the gasket for damage and debris.

To fix an automatic piston type flushometer, push the chrome button, and listen for two clicks. If you don't hear two clicks, replace the diaphragm. Damaged diaphragms can also cause a short flush.

Check the handle assembly for looseness or damage, which could cause short flushing. Handles should come off by detaching the screws with a screwdriver.

Check the Vacuum Breaker

If there are backflow problems, the vacuum breaker likely needs replacing. Look under the flushometer valve for the vacuum breaker, and turn the nut to the left until it slides to the bottom of the pipe. 

Rotate the loose valve to reveal the vacuum breaker, and pull the vacuum breaker and gasket from the housing. Install a new gasket and vacuum breaker, then pivot the flush meter valve to align with the new vacuum breaker. Tighten the nut, but not too tight. Contact a service, like Ben Franklin Plumbing Services, for more help.