Oh No! Help- My Commercial Toilet Won’t Stop Flushing
My commercial toilet won't stop flushing!
Commercial toilets are quite different from the ones in your home. Bathrooms meant for public use typically use a tankless type of flushing system called a flushometer. These types tend to prevent a toilet overflow more effectively than toilets with a tank, but there are also some disadvantages.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The flushometer has some benefits compared to the tank type:
- The high pressure of the water cleans the bowl better.
- No time is required to fill a tank.
- The force of the water dislodges all but the worst clogs.
One disadvantage is that it requires a larger than normal water supply line to function. Another is that it can spread germs more easily due to a phenomenon called a toilet plume. However, if they break and cause an overflow, you need a licensed commercial plumber to inspect the damage, fix the valve, and clean up any sewer water that spilled out.
How a Flushometer Works
In a typical toilet, when you depress the handle, gravity causes the tank to empty, pulling the water in the bowl down through suction. This works very well in most cases, but it does tend to clog if there is a lot of bulk in the bowl, potentially causing a toilet flood.
The flushometer system has no tank, helping to prevent toilet overflow. When the handle is depressed, it lifts a gasket that’s keeping the water pressure balanced inside the mechanism, creating a sudden, large pressure differential. This causes a blast of clean water to create the siphon necessary to flush the bowl.
How To Fix a Flushometer
If the flushometer won’t shut off, you’ll need to manually close the valve to the toilet. There will either be a slot for a flat-blade screwdriver or a hexagonal head that requires a wrench.
However, there’s also a hexagonal head on top of the mechanism. Don’t open this while trying to stop a toilet from running! The shut-off valve will always face horizontal, not vertical. Once this is turned off, you have time to call a professional who can fix the mechanism.
The flushometer system is very low maintenance and helps prevent a toilet overflow. Once you’ve learned how to shut off the water flow in an emergency, it should give you many years of trouble-free use.