If water pressure in your toilet seems lower than it used to be, there might be nothing wrong at all. Federally mandated toilet water conservation standards went into effect in the 1990s, and now all toilets manufactured in the U.S. must meet a new standard. Prior to the new guidelines, a single toilet flush required 3.5 to 7.0 gallons of water. The new designs have reduced that to around 1.6 gallons. Still, extremely low water pressure in a toilet could be traced to other issues.
Houses built before the 1990s probably have a plumbing system designed for that time period's higher flow flush toilets, which could use as much as 7 gallons per flush. When a new "low flow" toilet design is installed on a "high flow" plumbing system, as occurs when houses are remodeled, water pressure problems are common. The old style and new style systems do not mesh perfectly, and the end result is low water pressure.
Over time, mineral deposits can build up in the jets underneath the rim of the toilet bowl, which cause it to fill more slowly and with less pressure. Other parts of the toilet's inner workings are susceptible to this same problem, as are the pipes throughout the house if they are metal. Your local plumbing or hardware store carries products to place into the system to help break down and carry away the buildup. Another common obstruction in older systems is outside the house, where tree roots can literally grow through the main drain, causing the whole system to run slower.
One favorite toilet design works on the principle of gravity. When the handle is pushed, a valve releases, allowing the water in the tank to fill the bowl. If the water pressure feeding the bowl seems too low, sometimes the flush mechanism inside the tank can be adjusted upward to allow more water to be stored in preparation of the next flush, which has the effect of increasing flow for the flush itself.
Unfortunately, the new low-flow toilet design means that your toilet and plumbing system might be operating at peak efficiency yet the pressure still may seem inadequate. Unless you want to go to the time and effort of locating an older, high-flow toilet and replace your low-flow version, a feeble flush might be something you have to live with.
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