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Toilet bowl rising (over and over) after a clog. Ideas re diagnosis?
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If you decide to remove the toilets, one trick is to flush the toilet several times, turn off the angle stop, flush one more time and then use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the rest of the water from the tank and trap.

Saves a lot of mess.


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Posts: 32334 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yea, the plumber could definitely try removing the toilet without decoupling the tank and bowl, especially if the toilet is really old. Might be tricky to get that rubber gasket between the tank and bowl to seat properly.

I was figuring based on what Amanda said that space was limited and it might not come out without being disassembled. But definitely worth a try.


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Posts: 33223 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My rendering of the sitch:


You can see why no amount of plunging would fix the problem. Any air and water that you are pushing or pulling with the plunger will just go to the sink. You can try to seal off the sink, but you have to seal both the drain poppet and the overfill hole (in the rim of the sink, but usually tucked out of view). Still, air is very compressible, so it's going to be hard to put enough pressure or suction in the pipe to dislodge the clog unless you get the whole thing full of water (water is not compressible). Filling the sink and the toilet outlet may be doable, but it also risks making a bigger mess since the sink outlet is several inches higher than the top of the toilet bowl.

My guess is that the clog is lodged just below the Y where the sink and toilet outlets come together. Most of the pipe is smooth, but there are ridges and indentations at the joints, so there's something for your clog to catch on.


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Posts: 29189 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They got the toilet in there, and they can get it out again.

Replacing the tank on a toilet is not normally much of a problem. The trick is to get the gasket set from the manufacturer of the toilet, not one of the "universal" kits (which don't fit any toilet all that well.)


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 32334 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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I apologize for vanishing - also for accidentally neglecting several investigative queries.

It's very hairy right now what with all the Hannukah Zooms, lining up snow removers and dental emergency. Cardiac issue is also interfering with sleep greatly too - hence this hour of writing. (Note, I wouldn't know about the heart issue except for the cardiac and sleep apps on my fancy apple watch which is showing hours of extreme tacchycardia/abnormal rhythm coinciding with insomnia).

Many thanks too for PJ for contributing his considerable talents to this mystery! (I really liked your drawing which makes sense to me).

With the improvised hold-in-place deal holding the float up, I SEEM to have greatly slowed the bowl filling which for the time being is the main problem. That will hopefully allow me to focus on the last night of Hannukah (several hours scheduled on Zoom for two candle-light ceremonies to participate in congregational grand finale, followed by family one). Preceded by snow removal arranging. Like, how to get somebody to clear part of the front paths? After all, the needed part - front door to mailboxes - is completely blanketed by snow. (That's largely to protect nice mailman and UPS/Fedex guys - boxes are piling up. Sons, especially, really spoiled me).

Also have desperate need to finalize change of dentists - four kinds of specialists, largely precipitated by fractures occurring in previous Covid/dental lockdown (much escalation of problems and cost created by inability to get treatment. For example, the first fracture turned into two, finally necessitating root canals and much costlier type crowns - and more on the other side. (Root canals were Monday. FWIW DID not find them a big deal - except for the bills associated. Don't know why they have such a drastic reputation)

Consulting with somewhat knowledgable handy-persons about plumbing issues since first writing. Seeing the situation helps understand it. (Which reminds me to reply to Steve re my doubts about removing the toilet ; I wouldn't be surprised if the house - upstairs anyhow - hadn't been built AROUND that toilet! Eeker Don't forget it WAS patched together for those 7 year old twins! Around 1965-70 I estimate. (Did I mention the architect of that 1/4 bath was their mother , who reportedly won a prize in a woman's magazine for cheapest DIY mini bathroom? Really!)

My hope is to stabilize the bowl filling (apart from shutting off all valves) by keeping the tank itself from filling through my improvisation until I can take care of other immediate concerns. (One thing I'll do is investigate cost/benefit of building the mini bath out to a full one via a dormer.)

If it proves to be structurally feasible and worth the outlay, then I won't have to remain invested in a (probably) expensive fix for a temporary plumbing issue. After all, I can use the other two bathrooms complete with loos though I may have to forego sleeping in the most comfortable bedroom. (Climbing up and down stairs is NOT my thing these days! Frowner)).

Thanks again for letting me pick your brains so generously! So many talents!

TBC - but hopefully well after the New Year so I can meet numerous deadlines and plan order of Operations for dental stuff (need to see orthodontist, maxillofacial guy, endondontist, periodontist and new (improved) general dentist. (The old one - once honest and responsible, is now long burnt out, inconsiderate and the cusp of retiring. He's cost me thousands of unnecessary $$ by his poor planning and not fitting me into his admittedly reduced hours. Mad

(Don't want to hear any "karma' s a bitch remarks! ! Mad)


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Posts: 13707 | Location: PA | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ahhh... holding the float up to keep the tank from filling... wish I'd thought of that.

I'm glad my artwork was helpful.

One thing that's got me curious: normal TP is pretty flimsy stuff. It starts to fall apart on contact with water. I'm surprised it hasn't unclogged itself after a couple days of a constant trickle coming in from above. On the other hand, maybe getting wet let it fuse more tightly since it was going nowhere already.

I'm wondering if it wouldn't be worth it to try putting a jug of liquid drain cleaner down the toilet. I wouldn't put it in the sink since that could come back up through the bowl. The old-fashioned stuff was just strong sodium hypochlorite -- the same as laundry bleach. Not sure if there's some new stuff with more magic in it. It would certainly be cheaper than having a plumber back out and if it can dissolve the clump, well, there you go.

Steve or WTG? Opinion on this?


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Posts: 29189 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
czarina
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I haven't read the whole thread, but seems to me that if PJ's drawing is the situation, it's time to use a snake. Why are people suggesting removing the toilet?

There are drain cleaner guys that aren't plumbers and charge a flat rate to clear a clog. We had one in Missoula. Maybe such a handy person is in your area?


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Posts: 20372 | Registered: 18 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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She already had a plumber out to try that and he couldn't get past the clog. As Steve pointed out, you can get a much larger auger into the drain directly than you can through the toilet.


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Posts: 33223 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh... I may have made an invalid assumption.

Amanda.... Did you flush anything other than standard good ol' American TP and human waste down the loo?

If you used anything marketed as a "wipe", even if it claims to be flushable, you have a whole 'nother level of trouble than what I was thinking.


I have a 15-foot long narrow snake (so it's very flexible) with a spiral hook on the end. The whole trick to using it is to keep turning it as you feed it in and when you hit the blockage keep turning and turning and turning, then pull and push many times and turn some more. The idea is to sink the hook into the blockage and pull it back up rather than to just scrape it off the sides of the pipe and keep it moving down. Of course, this only works with soft materials, not Matchbox Cars, metal spoons and forks, billiard balls, ball-point pens, pill bottles, wooden blocks or things like that.

I have seen one of these that has a manual crank. I have seen one that you attach to a power drill (not sure if that only turns from the very end). And I have seen a motorized one in a small housing (about 1/4 the size of a sewing machine) that's like a miniature sewer auger. I hired a guy off craiglist that had this last one and had him snake out the drain line from the floor drain in my laundry room. I think I paid him like $40.

This is the RIDGID PowerSpin Plus which costs about $40.


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mod-in-training.

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All types of erorrs fixed while you wait.

 
Posts: 29189 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Miller
2. The second problem is there is water getting to that toilet somehow, possibly a bad ballcick combined with a bad angle stop.

Have you taken the top off of the toilet tank to see if there is water running?


Typically, you would hear that with water running into the water closet?

Jf


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Posts: 17470 | Location: Maine | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don't have a lot of experience with clogged drains; we're pretty careful so we've basically never had them happen, so I'm speaking as a theorist....

I'm a little leery about using chemical products because you have deal with them being in the drain if they end up not clearing the clog.

And I thought about one of those gizmos that shoots a blast of air into the drain pipe. But if the drain pipe is really old and decrepit, I'd be a little worried about blasting it apart.

I wonder if using the snake in the sink drain would yield more productive results.


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Outrage is warranted. But outrage unaccompanied by analysis is a danger in itself.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 33223 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I didn't think about holding the float up either.

The rubber flapper is shot.


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Outrage is warranted. But outrage unaccompanied by analysis is a danger in itself.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 33223 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Do not do this unless one of our friends here confirms with an ok

What about bleach?

I have one of those new toilets. It vacuums / sucks the flush. Hardly any water. I hate it.

When I had a problem we bought one of those 50$ snake things. Made a mess but it worked.

Then someone suggested that the TP, I like the thick kind, could be shredded with bleach.

It has worked twice. I let it 'sit' for 24 hrs.

Just a thought since no one has suggested it previously.


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Posts: 16320 | Location: north of boston | Registered: 16 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BTW! I laughed at your pretty colored toilet. My previous on was 1940s / 50s lavender, with a matching sink, in a small half lavatory room!


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Posts: 16320 | Location: north of boston | Registered: 16 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I’ve had some luck using a can of compressed air to free a clog that did not respond to drains or snake. There is a product designed just for this. Looking at the sketch, you would hold a plunger in the bowl to block any pressure release there, fill sink halfway, block sink overflow with wet washcloth, remove grate or drain closure from sink, then release contents of pressurized can down sink drain.

Jf


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Be calm, be brave, it'll be okay.

 
Posts: 17470 | Location: Maine | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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