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Need help with toilet troubles

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by SquackDaddy, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. SquackDaddy

    SquackDaddy Marion County Member

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    I'll try to keep this brief. About a week ago we noticed that at times, the toilet wasn't flushing like it usually does. About every third flush or so the bowl would fill up and we'd have to plunge it down. (city sewer, NOT septic tank) I have a 3 yr. old and a 5 yr old, so I figured they had flushed something they shouldn't have...

    So Yesterday I removed the toilet and took it outside to check it out. Nothing came out of it that I saw while 'flushing' it out. I set it up on some milk crates and filled the tank 20 times and then flushed...... everything was working as it should.

    I re-installed it with a new wax ring, and for the first 5-6 flushes everything was great! Now we are back to plunging it again...... Could I have a vent problem or something? We are tiring of plunging, and can't afford to have a plumber take a look at this time..
     
  2. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    Could be something deep inside. Did you turn the toilet upside-down and back-flush through the hole with your garden hose?

    You might have to buy or borrow an actual toilet snake (the one with the long handle) and run it though quite a few times.
     
  3. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    How old is your house and do you have any big trees near your sewer line? I lived in a house in Kansas that was in an older neighborhood and had similar issues. I finally rented a power snake and unscrewed the main sewer plug in the basement and came out with a HUGE wad of roots that was catching everything. The old cast sewer line had rusted and tree roots had grown thru it in places.

    I know a lot of newer housing in Portland doesn't have basements, but if yours does, there is probably a main input line to the sewer system that has a big plug that can be removed and a snake can be run thru it.

    I have done it and it is not a pleasant job, but it can possibly solv your immediate problem and possibly alert you to a much bigger problem. Sorry, not much good news there, just my experience.
     
  4. Sawz

    Sawz Aurora OR. Member

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    I Agree with MutoMan. Most of the time it is something lodged in the s shaped trap on the back of the bowl. A reverse flush is good idea. Also run the garden hose in the sewer pipe when the bowl is off to see if it fills up. It should run without filling otherwise it has an obstruction. If so, snake it. Hope this helps
     
  5. SquackDaddy

    SquackDaddy Marion County Member

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    I did turn the toilet upside down and used one of those rubber doohickey's that expands under pressure to flush back thru the toilet..then I put it into the bowl and flushed it that way.........nothing came out that I saw.

    When I had the toilet off, I used a larger rubber doohickey to pressurize the line below the toilet.........everything seems to be running just fine, that's what has me scratching my head (after washing my hands, first! ) :bluelaugh:

    I guess something COULD be stuck in the S curve of the toilet, but with the way I flushed it out, I felt that it seemed fine........ The search for the problem continues...........
     
  6. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    When I had the toilet off, I used a larger rubber doohickey to pressurize the line below the toilet

    When all else fails, use the doohickey!!! :laugh:
     
  7. theLEMband

    theLEMband Southeast WA Member

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    I feel your pain. It seems like I was pulling a toilet once a month when my kids were toddlers. The fact that it took 5-6 flushes to start having troubles, makes me think the trouble is down the line. As a check, if you pull it again, you might try running a hose (without the expanding bulb) to see if it backs up . If the line is clear, it should flow freely.
     
  8. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    I worked maintenance for a public housing authority for seven years. I've pulled a lot of toilets. You could have a comb or a fingernail file up in there. It will work for a while and then the item gets in a position that grabs debris as it comes through. You really have to get a toilet snake, like one of these:

    http://www.homedepot.com/Building-M...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    Unless you are having draining issues in the rest of the house, I wouldn't be tearing up the front yard just yet.
     
  9. isher

    isher Clallam County Member

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    Use the method of elimination,

    No pun intended.

    With toilet pulled, put a 5 gal bucket of water down the mainline,

    Or if you can get a hose into the bathroom run the hose into the mainline.

    5 gallon buckets can get messy.

    If it backflows, most likely you have a prob which will require a snake.

    If not, then likely blockage in toilet.

    One of the best ones I ever had was one of those cardboard fingernail

    Files absolutely locked up in the toilet's trap..........

    You wouldn't believe the amount of evil stuff it had gathered around it.

    isher
     
  10. ajf1

    ajf1 beaverton Member

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    do you have isues with drainage from the shower or kitchen sink? Does everything do down the kitchen sink though the disposal? IE like the the grease and other sewer line clogging crap.. If no then I would go with moto man. I had a kid flush a toy down and it got stuck in the the s trap, everything flowed until the deed was done. Then it was clogged to the point of pliunging.
    If yes to the upper then there is a clog down the line. INstead of a snake there is something like it at homedepot that can be rented. Snakes wil not clear tree roots but this thing has a cutting wheel that can cut the roots. If i could only remember the name of it.
     
  11. SquackDaddy

    SquackDaddy Marion County Member

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    Everything drains as it should. I am very particular about what gets run down the disposal etc. The shower and bathroom sinks drain very well. The only issue is the toilet over the last week or so. I may be removing it again and doing another check to make absolutely positively sure there is nothing in the "S" trap.
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Flushing with just water may not show a problem. It's when you get paper and "other" things in there that an obstruction can show up.

    When my kids were little one of them put a plastic army tank in a toilet. I couldn't see it from either side after pulling the toilet. A snake would slip right by it. I could see it with a small flexible mechanic's mirror.

    My last resort was to run heat in there with a heat gun and melt the sucker until it fell out. This was out in the yard of course.

    Good luck.
     
  13. Had the same problem, ended up being a foam letter A from a toddler set of bath toys. to get it out I ended up pulling a piece of rope through with a snake and then tying a full size bath towel to the rope and "flossing" the toilet to get the letter out. hope this helps!
    Kyle
     
  14. Sawz

    Sawz Aurora OR. Member

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    If the water runs freely down the mainline and you get tired of the toilet, you could always get a new one and floss the old one with a 12 gauge to find out what's in the trap. I recommend some distance for this procedure.
     
  15. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    A 12 ga will damage the porcelain. Use a 20 ga. :D
     
  16. wolfwistle

    wolfwistle lebanon Member

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    You need to go down to your local tool rental place and rent a power snake. If there is anything in the pipe this will take care of it...wear gloves it's messy.
     
  17. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    He's short on cash. He doesn't need a snake if the obstruction is in the toilet and the sewer line runs freely. There's going to be a way to clear the trap in that toilet using what he has handy - coat hanger, rope with a weight on it followed by something larger tied to it... One wad of rags followed by another and another being pushed or pulled... Something...
     
  18. SquackDaddy

    SquackDaddy Marion County Member

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    Thanks, Sawz. This made me laugh out loud! :laugh:


    I'm almost positive there is something in the "S" trap of the toilet itself. I'm going to go buy a new wax seal and pull the toilet again and "floss" it. Hopefully something will come out.

    Update: my 5 year old told me that her and her little sister flushed some balloons down the toilet. Whether or not this is true, it might help explain the problems we are experiencing!
     
  19. Sawz

    Sawz Aurora OR. Member

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    Your Welcome SquackDaddy. I've been there myself. Good Luck
     
  20. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    :needpics: