PDA

View Full Version : Wht's wrong with my toilet?


solkoe
04-28-2006, 12:59 PM
A few weeks ago, our main floor toilet backed up. I didn't think much of it. We have small children and who knows what gets flushed. I plunged it out and things seemed good. A week later, our upstairs toilet did the same thing. A day later the main floor toilet backed up again.
The plumber says that he would have to take our toilets apart to find out the problem. It seems to me that the problem is not with the toilets but that the main sewage line needs to be snaked out.
What's going on?
Are there any toilet experts out there?

Crotalus
04-28-2006, 01:03 PM
I think that you are correct. When two toilets act up, the sewer line is usually the culprit. A plumber's snake will often take care of it.

Finagle
04-28-2006, 01:07 PM
Well, if it were the main sewer line, then you'd likely be seeing problems when using the shower/washer/dishwasher too. Have you noticed any gurgling or ominous noises when using these? Do you have any sinks or toilets in the basement that might be overflowing without you noticing?

It's possible that the problem is in your vent pipe. It's not inconceivable that it's blocked with leaves or a bird's nest. Because a toilet drains using a siphon effect, pressure on the drain side can cause weak flushes.


Or...the plumber could be right, the kids have been experimenting and you've got most of Barbie's wardrobe and a GI Joe lodged in the pipes.

Voyager
04-28-2006, 01:10 PM
Yup, it's almost certainly the sewer line. Some other things might back up soon, and you don't want that.

A Roto-Rooter type of company might be able to handle it. For us, we found the access port at the side of our house, and we can rent a snake from the hardware supply store, go in there, and do the job for a lot less money than we have to pay the Rooter guys.

Annie-Xmas
04-28-2006, 01:12 PM
We recently had a problem like this at work. After our utility sink backed up and overflowed for the SIXTH time, the plumber went in and took out a bunch of pipes that had corroded and were catching all the toilet paper being flushed. A messy, stinky, all day, expensive job.

We also had to have a lot of carpeting replaced.

Cheesesteak
04-28-2006, 01:14 PM
Two different toilets on two different floors both get backed up? Nothing else is backed up? That doesn't sound like a drain line issue to me, sounds like somebody is stuffing junk in your toilet.

Voyager
04-28-2006, 01:24 PM
Two different toilets on two different floors both get backed up? Nothing else is backed up? That doesn't sound like a drain line issue to me, sounds like somebody is stuffing junk in your toilet.
We found that the other things took a while to back up if we ignored the toilet problem.

I assume the OP has tried to snake out the toilet. I've taken one apart when something really was stuck inside, but that doesn't happen all that often. It's a bit easier to snake when the toilet is off its base.

Maybe I'm an optimist, but I'd think that most kids would stop after clogging up one toilet.

A lot depends on where the toilets are relative to the sewer. In our house the master bedroom toilet is furthest away, so we got hit first. The dishwasher was quite close, and never had a problem. We also had two stems into the main line, so the washer and drier, on the unclogged stem, never got affected.

Buck Rogers
04-28-2006, 07:11 PM
The proper method to snake a water closet, is to purchase a closet augor. You can get them from Home Depot for about $40. Rigid makes a nice one.

The fact that both units are backing up sounds like a sewer line issue. Could be roots in the main sewer line causing obstructions. You can rent a power snake with various size cutting heads for about $40 for 4 hours.

When you remove the water closet, I recomend placing it on wood blocks in the bath tub or outside. You will need another wax ring when replacing the water closet back in place. When you have the water closet out, drop a golf ball in it and push it through with something and observe it come out the bottom to ensure the bottom of closet is not plugged with something. Some people wad up paper to turd size and push them through the it.

To snake the sewer:
Start off with a smaller cutting head running it through the line, and work up to the same size ID of the sewer pipe.