Tips for Troubleshooting Commercial Flush Valve Problems

Flush valves are essential in ensuring your toilets run properly and effectively. These valuable plumbing components control the flushing mechanism by allowing/blocking water into the sewer system. Located in the toilet's cistern tank, flush valves are also commonly subject to various plumbing problems and performance issues. And while we at Air Delights are always happy to find replacement parts for defective equipment, you can fix many flush valve complications on your own! With some background knowledge of the causes of these complications, you can easily (and affordably) maintain your building's restroom facilities. Read on to learn tips for troubleshooting commercial flush valve problems.

An Insufficient/Minimal Flush

A common problem that impacts many commercial and residential toilets is an insufficient, minimal flush. Aside from being inconvenient, this subpar performance leads to more severe clogs and related plumbing issues. Plus, it creates a less sanitary environment for your restroom patrons and may even require more labor/maintenance from the custodial staff.

Sometimes the cause of insufficient flushing is as simple as a low-consumption valve installed into a non-saving toilet bowl. Low-consumption valves are common in commercial and residential toilets today as they reduce the energy required for proper flushing, limiting your overall carbon footprint and lowering your monthly utility bills. However, when attached to an outdated toilet, these valves cause more trouble than good. Instead of investing in expensive, compatible toilets, consider installing the correct valve parts into your existing hardware. This should rectify the problem without breaking the bank or causing disruptions to your commercial restroom.

If this quick fix is unsuccessful, chances are your toilet's supply pressure is too low. You can measure the volume of water (at the valve) with a gauge tool or by removing the diaphragm completely and opening the control stop. For the latter method, try removing the restriction ring for additional flow or replacing the refill head with a low-flow alternative part. If all else fails, contact a professional plumbing business for help in increasing your toilet's supply pressure.

Pro Tip: An insufficient flush is different from an inconsistent flush. For example, the latter often indicates a problem with the plumbing system's pressure overall. To rectify this issue, adjust the system's pressure and flow capacity or seek expert help.

A Splashing Bowl

Another inconvenient and unsanitary problem common with flush valves is an overactive bowl that splashes water. As you can imagine, this uncontrolled spilling of water makes surfaces slippery and hazardous, and the water can potentially spread bacteria and disease throughout the bathroom. Furthermore, this issue is quite uninviting for patrons and lessens their commercial restroom experience, potentially impacting your business. Often the cause of a splashing bowl is a controlled stop that opens too wide. You can fix this problem by simply installing the properly-sized part instead. The other reason for a splashing bowl is similar to that which causes an insufficient flush - low-consumption components attached to incompatible toilets. Once again, replace the low-consumption components with the appropriate parts.

Non-Stop Flushing

If your toilet continuously runs for long periods after use, there could be a variety of causes. One of the most common culprits for non-stop flushing is a blocked bypass. In this situation, the best solution is to clean the bypass component and remove any debris/foreign objects impeding proper function. Drops in supply pressure are also common and contribute to many flushing complications. If you notice a decrease in pressure, check your facility's line pressure and consult a professional for further steps. A broken/compromised diaphragm assembly sometimes causes a non-stop flow of flushing water - this requires a complete replacement with a suitable gallons per flush (GPF) kit. Additionally, piston-type toilets can fall victim to a worn relief valve that demands new components.

Flush Length Problems

Sometimes, the most infuriating problem associated with flush valves is a consistently short or long flush length. Both situations reduce the effectiveness of your toilets, waste energy consumption, and create a less sanitary bathroom environment. Short flush lengths are often due to a broken/worn diaphragm or damaged handle assembly. Replace the affected assembly with newer parts to rectify this problem.

For toilets that suffer from an elongated flushing period, chances are there is a clog inside the diaphragm. Specifically, debris and other foreign objects have filled/blocked the bypass orifice. Take apart the assembly and thoroughly clean the filter rings and other parts of the orifice. Take care not to damage the bypass, as this will permanently impact the equipment. Once cleaned, you can re-install the diaphragm assembly and resume normal functions.

Unfortunately, short and elongated flush lengths are natural occurrences for many toilets and will happen over their lifespan. Preventative care and regular maintenance of your toilet components can help delay the degradation and everyday wear, saving you on repair and labor costs. When you notice any significant toilet or plumbing problems, it's best to seek immediate and expert repair services.

No Flush

Lastly, if your commercial toilet doesn't flush at all, chances are there is an issue with the handle assembly. When damaged, the handle cannot provide the proper functions for the flushing mechanism. As such, it's best to replace this component if you notice significant wear and tear. Other causes of a non-existent flush include a compromised relief valve or untightened parts/covers. In some situations, the culprit is low pressure in your facility's supply lines - this issue requires professional assistance to ensure successful solutions.

Follow these helpful tips for troubleshooting the most common commercial flush valve problems to ensure your facility remains functional, inviting, and clean! When issues become too significant and you need a little extra assistance, we at Air Delights are here to help. Browse our selection of quality Sloan valve parts to resolve any toilet challenges. Additionally, you can contact our friendly team today to learn more about Sloan products, flush valves, and related commercial bathroom supplies/equipment. We're eager to help guide you through the ins and outs of your purchases and help you find the very best solutions.