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We have two toilets that don't flush well. You have to hold the handle down for the entire flush, and even so they don't flush enough water.

Inside the tanks are plastic baffles that seem designed to limit the amount of water per flush. It looks like they were installed with the tanks; they're mounted between the tank floor and the inner drain flange:

enter image description here

I'm all for water conservation, but this is a really poor design; the water flowing in from the top (instead of from all around) keeps knocking the valves closed.

Is there any reason (except for water usage) that I shouldn't just cut these out with a Dremel, leaving an inch or two in place? I would prefer not to take the tanks off.

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No, the plastic sub tanks are not necessary. They are an after market modification to an older toilet design used to supposedly conserve water usage.

From looking at the picture of the inside of your toilet tank I would think it would not be a bad job at all to temporarily de-mount the tank so as to fully remove the baffle unit. You could also replace that antique float ball filling valve with a newer style that has the float integrated into the fill valve itself. This would leave room inside the tank if you wanted to try the idea of placing one or two large plastic soda bottles filled with water into the tank as a displacement to save on amount of water per flush.

  • Thanks! I've replaced toilets before, but never have tried taking the tank off of an old toilet and reinstalling it. My concern is that the seal between the tank and bowl might not work so well if I mess with it. Is this a valid concern? Or, is a new seal easy to get a hold of? – bitsmack Dec 16 '14 at 17:50
  • New seal is easy to find, though it helps if you have more than one toilet (sounds like you do) so you can take it apart, and take the old seal with you so you get the right new seal as there are several styles of seal. I did a 40 year old toilet in the spring to repair a tank bolt seal, and replaced the tank to bowl seal at the same time because it was apart, and 40 years was a good long run for it. Mind, I suspect that if you don't replace the flapper valve you'll find the same problem - the "water saving thingy" doesn't really change the mechanics that much. Do the works. – Ecnerwal Dec 16 '14 at 22:23
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    If you still want to conserve water, just put a brick in the tank. No need for a small reservoir. – JohnFx Dec 17 '14 at 1:00
  • Bricks work too but not all toilet tanks can host a pile of bricks in the tank. One and maybe even two liter plastic jugs are a very convenient height to place inside the tank to displace some of the active flush water volume. – Michael Karas Dec 17 '14 at 1:35

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