3 clogged toilets

Discussion in 'Drain Cleaning' started by planechc, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. planechc

    planechc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City
    The plumber came out with an auger to unclog the toilet on the main floor. It backed up again a few day later and overflowed. Then the renter called the next day and said the toilet upstairs backed up and overflowed. I called the plumber and he said it was too small of hole in the toilet and it would just happen. He said he would not guarantee the work any longer because of the small toilet holes.
    The next day, today, they called again and the 3rd toilet upstairs ran over as well. They claim they did not stuff the toilets at all. I lived there for 10 years and they never ran over, thought they did get clogged sometimes.
    The other drains (tubs, sinks, etc. ) are fine, so the plumber says it's not a clog to the main drain to the sewer. I have a call into the plumber again, so I want to be a little prepared when he calls.
  2. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    If all the other drains are working fine, the problem is in the water closets themselves. And since it is happening in more than one water closet, someone in that household is clogging them period.
  3. planechc

    planechc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Thank you. That's sounds reasonable. But is there a reason that they are overflowing now as opposed to filling almost to the rim and stopping like they used to?
  4. Jay Mpls

    Jay Mpls Master plumber

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Details...Brands of toilets...people using them...dietary habits! Something *is* up just need to wrap a brain around it.
    1 toilet..ok.
    3?!
  5. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    If they adjusted the water level causing the water closets to use more water per flush it will make it overflow.
  6. planechc

    planechc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City
    The plumber said something about some possible air in the pipes?
    What do you think about that?
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Air in pipes causing toilets to overflow?

    No.

    Some people are just good at plugging toilets.
    My cousin came over one day, and tried to show me how to flush a potato down my toilet.
    She plugged it.

    The she saw the new grid screen on my tub drain, pulled it out, bent it, and said,

    "What I hate about these, is that once they are bent, they don't stay in."

    Well, she was right about that. Once she bent my days old new tub drain screen, it wouldn't''t stay in the hole.
    Dooh!

    Not every toilet will stand up to a renter.
    Renters are not home owners.
    Renters tend to not be able to even change light bulbs when they go out.
    And when they flood a home, well, it's just not their problem.


  8. ROFL!


    That's a plumber that wants nothing more to do with that job and its renters.


    I had just this same scenario two weeks ago in a bad neighborhood and idiots for renters.

    There is just no hope for them and the situation, and someone mixed messages with someone saying that they needed a new toilet. ????


    They didn't need a new toilet; they needed to remove that upstairs tenant. Bad situation and I'm glad they hired someone else, per my request. I don't want to deal with that nonsense as those people will purposely create problems.


    I caught and ratted the tenant out for dumping a small waste can of cigarrette butts in the toilet. Then he plunges the toilet, blows the ring, then it leaks again less than 10 hours after I flushed that toilet 10 times in a row, right after setting that toilet and no leaks?

    A joke. That's what that situation was.
  9. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    If we use a heavy two-ply toilet paper, like Charmin etc, our toilet will back up. Maybe you could suggest to the renters to use only a Scotts single-ply. A two-ply especially with kids, will do it every time. Maybe, it is something as simple as that. Can't hurt to ask.
  10. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    another thought

    Are You sure the MAIN LINE is clear? Other fixtures drain OK ????? Hope the 2 li'll red head twins arn't playing flush what ever, in the toilets! It happens !
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  11. planechc

    planechc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Thanks for all the replies. Since then, my Dad went down to the house to the toilet that has been augered twice and still backed up, and as he said "plunged the hell out of the toilet" and it sucked it right down. He did the one right above it upstairs that was clogged did the same thing and it went right down. The 3rd toilet upstairs after plunging was still slow.
    So augering the one downstairs twice did not get whatever was clogged. So I guess I need to get a different plumber to auger the one upstairs.
    I do agree about the toilet paper issue. Some are so thick now, it must be pretty hard to get down.
  12. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Some toilets just don't flush well.

    MaP is one rating system.
    The old 1.6 gallon Gerber builder grade toilet was rated at 150 grams.


    I like to see 500 grams.
  13. planechc

    planechc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City
    This is getting ridiculous. The renters said again this morning that all 3 toilets are clogged up again. Come on.... Could it be anything else? I talked to the plumber again and he's adamant about nothing else be wrong except possible air in a pipe. I spoke to another plumber and said it had to be the renters.

    They really claim to not be stuffing the toilets at all. I could see 1 possible toilet having and issue, but not all 3. Any other ideas please? I am at a loss. Thanks.
  14. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Mail your renters a box of chocolates (laxatives).
  15. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    You mentioned in the post when your dad was plunging them that the third floor one went down slow, I would consider maybe, something is wrong either with that toilet, or all the toilets, or a backed up drain somewhere; and maybe, you need to have another plumber come out. A registered master plumber.

    Have these tenants been renting from your dad a long enough period of time to gain a good track record and never, caused anyother problems? If so, I would think, the plumbing needs fixed, or toilets need replaced. Things do age and need replaced or cleaned out, or fixed.

    What kind of shape is the rest of the building in? And, does your dad keep on top of things? I can understand one tenant stuffing up a toilet, but all 3, and at the same time?


    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  16. planechc

    planechc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Thank you for the reply. It's my house, 2 story, and they are new renters. The previous renter had stopped up the downstairs toilet I thought maybe with a toy. That's the one that's been augered twice. The plumber said he's never had to auger something twice as long as he's been a plumber. He said the upstairs toilets flushed fine when he was there. There is no other drain problems in the house besides the 3 toilets. This is a master plumber that's been working on them. It just doesn't make any sense to me why they work once then not the next time, unless toilet paper is gathering around an obstructed object.
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,413
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Things in trapways
    Unless you have a Caroma toilet with a 3" or larger trapway, you can't flush down potatoes, bars of soap, toy cars, toilet paper holders, shampoo bottles, doggies throwing balls, army men, cell phones, playing cards, carpet strands, coffee cups, construction waste, tile grout,

    Heck, even the Caroma has a hard time with tile grout.

    Carpet adhesive, measuring cups, pencils, car keys, I can think of lot's of things that kids and dogs drop in.
    And construction workers.

    One job I was one, the tile setter used the toilet drain to dispose of his broken tiles.

    [​IMG]

    We use a closet auger with the large 1-3/8" end on it.
    Smaller cables can go right by the obstruction and not move it.

    [​IMG]
    We had a similar job we went out to, the first plumber told the homeowner that they had a defective bowl.
    Jamie went out with his auger, and decided to pull the bowl.
    This is what he found.
    The first plumber had run his auger through, but it went right by Mr GI Joe.
    __________________
  18. SewerRatz

    SewerRatz Illinois Licensed Plumber

    Messages:
    1,705
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
  19. planechc

    planechc New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Thanks again everyone. The plumber said all 3 toilets in the house are not connected by 1 pipe. He said the downstairs toilet is a separate pipe than the other 2. I think he's wrong. I looked in the attic and can see the pipes.

    I went on the roof and put a snake down the vent pipe. That was a little tough to accomplish. I plunged the toilet downstairs, and it worked, then the 1 right above it flushed fine without plunging, and the other one upstairs I had to plunge then went down also. So, I'll see if that does anything. I didn't come across anything blocking the air pipe that I could tell.
    Otherwise I will have to call a different plumber on Monday. I'll update after tomorrow.
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,242
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilets

    One thing you can be sure of, is that if the upstairs toilets do nof flush it is VERY, VERY, VERY unlikely to be a main sewer stoppage unless the entire lower level of the house is flooded right up to the ceiling.
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