When I went into the bathroom, there was a sign on the wall above the toilet that read something to the effect: “Be very careful when using the toilet not to put huge amounts of tissue or other items into the toilet and make sure you hold the handle down until fully flushed.”
Testing the toilet, it was obvious that the flush was a bit “sluggish.” It was like the toilet just wasn’t hungry. Hungry toilets make a lot of noise when they flush as air is pulled into the drain from the vent that goes through the roof. They do the characteristic glug, glug, glug if they are operating properly. If they are starved of vent air, they simply will not flush properly.
Opening a closet near the bathroom I found where the vent for the toilet was terminated.
The picture is not very good, but the vent pipe is the black thing with the green extension cord on top. It had never been run through the roof and had been covered over with a piece of plastic. I had my client flush the toilet while I watched the vent and witnessed the plastic being sucked downward as it attempted to feed the toilet the air it so desperately needed.
It is time to get the plumber back to complete the job.
It made me wonder how long the owner had been putting up with an issue that had such a simple solution.
No more starved toilet.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board