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Question DetailsAsked on 2/13/2015

Toilet has no pressure. Tank will drain slowly but not refill.

We're in a high rise condo, 10th floor. When flushed, water in bowl rises rapidly (like it might overflow) & then very slowly drains completely out. (I don't think it would flush anything.) Little "gurgle" sound & it refills only to top of the hole. There is virtually no water in bowl. I've tried dumping hot water into bowl & plunging. Any suggestions?

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Because of the slow outflow (which is causing the bowl to come near overflowing also and the failure to refill too), I would say there is a partial blockage somewhere. If the hot water and plunging did not do it (assuming you were plunging on the upstroke rather than the downstroke - i.e. using plunger to cause a partial vacuum in the toilet rather than pushing down to try to clear it (because that just packs many blockages tighter), then sound like a time for snaking it with a toilet snake - the protected type tht does not leave marks in the bowl. Also called a toilet auger. DIY or plumber or sewer and drain cleanear for typically about $60-150 except more in a few very high priced urban areas.

Clarification on what I said above - partial blockage of outflow (either in the toilet or in drain pipe) is causing the water to rise higher than usual in the bowl, then that much slower than usual outflow of all that water means the toilet is still draining out AFTER the fill valve stops putting bowl refill water into the bowl through the refill tube. This trickle of water from the refill passageways (typically under the rim) normally refills the bowl an inch or two after flushing. Because of the partial blockage the bowl it is draining slowly so the toilet is doing a complete but slow flush, the end of which is that gurgle when the water column over the gooseneck in the toilet base is broken at the top. But, because the flushing lasted till after the refill water was done running into the bowl (almost always just as long as it takes to refill the tank), the only water left in the bowl is the bit from the gooseneck that stayed on the toilet side instead of going down the drain. It is posswible to finagle that, but no use because you need the blockage cleared anyway, which will also solve that issue.

BTW - I don't think which floor you are on has any bearing on this case.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Just before the plumber was to arrive, the blockage cleared by itself (after about 3 days.) But I noticed that during the period it was blocked, the fill on the tank seemed to be delayed. After the flush, water left the tank, but it took a few seconds before the water "turned on" to fill the tank back up. It almost sounded like a shut off valve was turned back on.

Now that it flushes OK, the flush and water fill are almost simultaneous. Would that delay have any bearing on the original problem?

Answered 5 years ago by cpc


No - probably coincidence, assuming you are talking a normal gravity-flush tank-type toilet - not a power-assisted one with electric or air pressure lines leading to it.

Fill water goes into the tank, not direct to the toilet (with tank type toilets), so had your fill started a bit earlier all it would have done is put a little bit more water into the bowl - enough to cause it to overflow maybe ? Remember, your bowl was already full to well above its normal high point during flushing - more water would not have changed the situation.

Certainly no conceivable link with the blockage that I can see, because the amount of additional water that comes into the toilet between start of flush and the flapper closing is minimal - would not significantly improve flushing. Basically, all the fill valve does is refill the bowl and fill the tank.

All I can think of is the tank slimed up a touch with no use for several days, which lubricated the float so it moves easier, hence no more delay in the filling. Could be an indication that your fill valve is heading south sometime - or that you need to wipe down the shaft or column the float slides up and down on if vertical-travel type float (as opposed to a ball on an arm).

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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