Large bowel movements + low-flow toilet = problems.
March 4, 2009 8:27 PM   Subscribe

Large bowel movements + low-flow toilet = problems.

So, all the units in my building have low-flow toilets (1.6 gpf). Ordinarily they work pretty well, but since I've made some changes to my diet I've been having monster-sized feces. 10-12", and dense. Pretty much every time I go, the toilet gets clogged and I have to plunge it to get things moving.

I've resorted to opening up the tank and depressing the floaty thing to add a bit more water, but even that doesn't always help.

Any advice?
posted by anonymous to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Flush as you go.
posted by heathergirl at 8:28 PM on March 4, 2009

Keep a jug in the bathroom. Fill it with water and use that to fill the tank when needed, prior to flush.
posted by Mizu at 8:29 PM on March 4, 2009

You can also just pour extra water from a bucket or pitcher into the bowl as you flush.
posted by gnutron at 8:31 PM on March 4, 2009

Whut heathergirl sed.

Dump a little. Flush. Dump a little bit more. Flush. Finish dump. Flush. Go have a glass of water. Flush again to get the last little bit down.

Make a game out of bowel control.
posted by porpoise at 8:33 PM on March 4, 2009

Stool softeners should enable the feces to break up more easily, making them easier to flush.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:34 PM on March 4, 2009

Perhaps you should reconsider your diet? More fibre perhaps?
posted by madman at 8:57 PM on March 4, 2009

I take it you tried and failed to use your sphincter to pinch off smaller pieces as you go?
posted by pmbuko at 9:02 PM on March 4, 2009

Yeah, I'm not ashamed to admit I've clogged a few drains in my day, and since I watch what I can eat I know that they occurred during high protein low fiber periods. Add some psyllium husks to your diet somewhere (shakes/drinks work well). Also the courtesy flush isn't just for people in the next stall, it's for you too. "Flush as you go".
posted by Science! at 9:03 PM on March 4, 2009

Inch it and pinch it.
posted by jayder at 9:38 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think it was here on Metafilter that I heard of someone keeping a spatula (a toy-sized shovel?) in the bathroom to break things into flushable-sized pieces.
posted by jschu at 10:07 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'll nth the people that are thinking that your dietry changes don't involve much fibre. This can be remedied easily and is a good idea regardless of the plumbing system in question.
posted by ob at 10:12 PM on March 4, 2009

Maybe you could somehow change your...schedule. So that you will go at work or school, instead of home.
posted by sixcolors at 10:37 PM on March 4, 2009

Ugh, I had a low-flow toilet in my last apartment. Though pretty gross, my solution was to keep a tool in the closet (it was originally used to pry the nail out of a door hinge - a foot long piece of metal, more or less) to break things up. I don't care how much fiber I ate, nothing went down that toilet on the first flush.
Unfortunately, I don't think there's a once-and-for-all sort of solution.
posted by queseyo at 10:55 PM on March 4, 2009

Bucket. Pour quickly.
Fiber: I don't know about the results of a protein diet, I will say, oat bran has this effect. Substitute (or add) wheat bran. Psyllium can also cause excessively hard stool, depending on water intake.
posted by Goofyy at 12:54 AM on March 5, 2009

not all low-flow toilets are created equal. Make sure it has the correct flapper.
posted by patnok at 6:22 AM on March 5, 2009

Drink coffee mid-day.

And perhaps your plunger technique needs work. Plunge up and down energetically; it's about agitation not force. And the plunger head can be used to break up the poo as well.
posted by fleacircus at 7:02 AM on March 5, 2009

Toilet-clogger here. My mom always said to poo a little, flush, poo a little, flush, repeat. Of course, I never listen to her and end up cloggin the toilet anyways.

But yeah, that's the best way to go (pun not intended).
posted by curagea at 12:06 PM on March 5, 2009

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