I am a Plumbing Idiot

Don’t tell my wife, please.
Her toilet as been acting up for years. It just wouldn’t flush things down as well as mine does. My son’s toilet developed the same problem. It didn’t even do a good job with piss. The water would just swirl around in the bowl, Keeping about the same height, not being siphoned down. So I’ve run two containers of drain clearing chemical down those toilets. One pure-D chemicals, the other a biological product full of bacteria. Didn’t do squat. I was on the roof yesterday, making sure the vents were clear, I ran a snake down both to make sure.

(I can hear all you out there chuckling to yourselves…Of course you know what’s going on.)

Anyway, I went and bought (up to $50 so far) a toilet bowl auger thing to clean out the drain. I also picked up a beeswax gasket in case I decided to pull the toilet and have a look. Anyway, I’m covered with pee-stinking water yesterday trying to get that damned snake over the bends in my son’s toilet. The snake turned around and came back out, nicking me. Flustered, I cut the water and flushed, holding the handle down to drain as much as pissible. I empty the rest of the tank and plunged most of the water in to bowl away. I remove the toilet, peeling up a few floor tiles in the process, and discover it’s perfectly clear. The drain pipe look great too. I poured a five gallon bucket of water down it and noted no slow down. So I glued the tiles back down, put the toilet back and recaulked it to the floor.

It didn’t fully fill the bowl when I turned the water on.

(quit that chortling, please)

It suddenly becomes blindingly fucking obvious, what’s wrong. I take the lid of the toilet, note the reservoir is only about a third full, turn the little knob and adjusted it so the water fills to the fill line.

Works like a champ. My wife’s toilet? Same thing.

There’s more.

I replaced a freeze-proof faucet(hose bibb, to others) that froze last winter, and apparently chose just the right length(down to the freaking millimeter no doubt) of copper pipe to form a unbelievable resonance circuit between that faucet and my toilet’s feed line. When you crack that faucet , There’s a terrific BANG BANG BANG BANG. Frequency of about 2 BPS (bangs per second). The noise is my toilet’s feed tap being thrust in and out of the wall as if it were getting buggered on the backside.

I have not attemped anything with this yet. I image I’ll buy a water hammer arrester, a copper union (because I’m sure I’ll fuck something up), a bunch of wrong-sized copper fittings, etc.; Crawl under my house over the A/C ducts; forget the flux, go back and get it. Forget my pipe cutter, cut the pipe, forget about taking along some bread, screw up sweat soldering, go to the hardware store to buy more fittings, and eventual discover that I’ve only changed the frequency of the hammering.

Not a project I’m looking forward to.

Yep, I’ve been where you are. I had a toilet that wouldn’t flush.
It was in a house that was about 30 years old.
Checked the drain just like you did. Snaked it. Chemical bombs. Plunger.

Then I checked the reservoir and it too was high enough.

Finally called the plumber.

He took one look, pulled out a pocket knife, thrust his hand into the bowl, stuck the knife blade into the little hole in the bottom of the toilet (you know, the one that shoots water towards the exit hole) and scrapes off a bunch of calcium deposit.

Flushed the toilet and it worked like a champ. I guess over the years that calcium just slowly built up and kept the water from coming out fast enough to puch the waste into the drain.

Took the guy all of about 15 seconds and only cost me $45 :smack:

Does this mean that you drained as much as you could, or you drained the amount contained in an ISO-approved standard micturation event?


Don’t worry about it. Once, my dad had clogged the garbage disposal and its drainpipe. He tried to snake it, but to no avail. He tried to chem it out, to no avail. I crawl under the sink, remove the l-joint from under it and knock out the wad of shrip shells and hand it to him. You just overthought the problem. :slight_smile:

Sounds to me like you’re just plumb dumb.

[Picky]Hose bibbs[/Picky] are not inherently frost/freeze proof. At least where I’m from, the freeze resistant variety is referred to as a wall hydrant or frost-proof sillcock. That said, I’ve performed repairs on them owing to improper pitch, as they must drain to the exterior of the building envelope to be effective.

I believe that the banging is resultant from air in the water lines which was introduced during your recent repairs which has yet to escape. IMHO, the resonance theory would give a math and science teacher headaches apeice for proof. Water hammer takes place when a fluid (water) is in motion and is abruptly stopped. Given that water is noncompressible, the kinetic energy must be dissipated. Water hammer never occurs when the shutoff is gentle.

Wise old fellows who did household plumbing used to take a horizontal run within a bathroom wall, install a vertically facing tee, add a stub of a foot or so, and cap it. This vertical stub would be filled with air, and function as a shock arrestor, eliminating water hammer without any fancy additions.

Don’t sweat it.

I just rebuilt the front end of my plow truck because the hubs where getting hot. Guess what. Still hot.

Took me a couple of weeks to figure out that the motorcycle I bought had a rebuilt engine in it that was 180 degrees off. Everything was spot on perfect. Switched the left coil to the right plug and right coil to the left and verrrrooom.

The first time you get experiance and TOOLS. The second time won’t cost as much.

“The first time you get experiance and TOOLS. The second time won’t cost as much.”

Thanks, enipla. Oh so true, and I know it all to well. There is nothing better than practical application to lean a lesson. Sometimes it happens to the best.

Hey, it could be worse. I once tried to work on the toilet without cutting off the water first.

Now I know how to turn off the water at the curb AND how to clean up an inch of water in the bathroom!

Feel better?

The 3 things you need to know to be a plumber: