The short version is that I have a high-pressure toilet that hasn't been flushed in more than three years. According to my previous tenant, there is a leak in the rubber gasket between the tank area and the seat area. However when I told my tenant to get it fixed and send me the bill, she apparently just decided to not use the toilet in this bathroom and use a different one in the apartment. I would like to verify that the problem actually exists before I go out and replace the toilet. (It's a discontinued model, so I'd rather have something new that I can easily find parts for.)

If this had been a normal toilet I wouldn't be concerned about flushing it because I can just open the reservoir, make sure there's sufficient water, and just do it. But high pressure toilets are kind of scary and I have no idea how they work. As far as I know, the only potential issue is the leaky gasket.

Is there any danger to just flushing the toilet? Is there something I should do first? (I opened the reservoir area and it looks alien with a plastic self-contained canister or something, so I wouldn't know where to start.)

  • Wait, if you don't flush it, how are you keeping the sewer line seal (aka trap) full of water? That's what the trap does, keep sewer gases from coming up and filling your house with methane. Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 18:53
  • 1
    Apparently she would pour water into the bowl periodically. I find this whole thing somewhat beyond belief. >_< Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 18:55
  • Maybe the tenant was doing something contrary to the lease (either truly illegal or had more people or animals than the lease allowed) and therefore didn't want to let a plumber in who might report back to the landlord. Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


All the ones I've work on have a canister with a diaphragm that compresses the canister when it's filled with water. Just flush it. If nothing happens, which is probably the case since the diaphragm has probably lost pressure, try it again and see if it recycles. When these unit would go bad, there weren't part to replace, just buying a new canister. What should you do first?? Have a towel handy. good luck and stay safe out there.

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    And be ready to turn the shutoff valve if there is a bad leak.
    – BMitch
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 19:26
  • And be ready if the shutoff fails... Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 21:06
  • OK now y'all are scaring me in the comments. >_< Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 21:10
  • I agree with jack even though it has not been used the system has been under pressure once the tank is empty then there is only the small 3/8 line to the tank. I would have a towel handy but not panic. The shutoff is normally right behind the toilet.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 20:01

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