blocking material fell into toilet rough opening

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jjre, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. jjre

    jjre New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    virginia
    Started a bathroom upgrade some time ago:
    I had tub, sink, toilet removed, vinyl floor, and shower tile removed but had personal problems that force me to stop the work.

    Finally able to get back to it. Plumber just installed tub but it drains very slowly. It takes over 5 minutes to drain 5 inches. The tub in my other bathroom only takes 2 1/2 minutes to drain 5 inches (none of the fixtures changed locations, just replacing).

    Here is what I am afraid happened, and where I need advice (please).
    When the toilet was removed, it left the hole in the floor. It was blocked for a long time with a fistful of plastic bags (like the kind you bring home groceries from the supermarket) and an upside bucket. I am afraid that some if this has fallen down the hole.

    If this happened how bad it this?

    Plumber suggested running water to try to push anything that is in there downstream toward larger pipes.

    I am thinking I would rather have someone put a tool down there that has a claw of some kind and pull it back up. Do any plumbers have such a tool? (mine doesn't).

    I am also seeing online that there are snakes with cameras. Should I find someone with one of these?

    Thanks all.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    A toilet auger might be long enough to catch something, but a real snake would likely either cut what's there up, or catch, and you could pull it back out. Even an inexpensive 'homeowner's snake is likely to catch on plastic bags.
  3. jjre

    jjre New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    virginia
    jadnashua,

    Thanks for the quick reply. So if plumber offers to do normal snaking that should be ok? (I can't do this stuff myself, even if it is inexpensive). My worry was that I would need to get someone out with some specialized equipment since this is not the the normal sort of crud that goes down toilet.

    jj
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,614
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A good snake will get rid of anything in the line, as long as it is not something like a piece of 2x4, or similar. But your diagnosis may be faulty, because if that is the problem, when you drain the tub, the water should come back and overflow out of the toilet's opening.
  5. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    NC
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  6. jjre

    jjre New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    virginia
    Thanks for the responses folks.

    Smooky, I don't have any of those metal pipes with linkages inside (that is what I had before and I hated it). The plumber installed just pvc pipe for everything and I have a twist and close stopper inside the tub. For my tests I am unscrewing the stopper and removing it completely.


    hj, I went back up and filled tub again (5 inches) and pulled stopper. This time I stuck my hand into the toilet hole (about 7-8 inches, my entire wrist plus about another inch). I could feel lots of water swirling around. Would this be normal if the downstream was flowing smoothly? It is definitely not backing up onto the floor.

    It is possible that something got into the tub pipe but I didn't think this as likely.

    Something else I notice: the tub in my other bathroom (old tub, drains fine) produces a very noticeable gurgling sound while it is draining.
    This new tub it totally silent.

    Is it possible that toilet and sink drain pipes not installed could cause this?

    Thanks folks for helping me!
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,614
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If the stoppage is after the connection between the tub and the toilet, the water would come up in the toilet pipe as high as it is in the tub, or overflow onto the floor if the toilet was not attached. A tub "gurgling" while draining usually indicates it is flowing as fast as possible. The new tub is silent because it has a lousy flow. It had nothing to do with the sink and toilet not being installed.
  8. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    411
    Location:
    California
    Why continue guessing and assuming?
    Get a camera in there.
  9. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Arizona
    Do you have a wet vac? Perhaps the stoppage could just be sucked out. You may not have much to loose. Then again an open vent on the roof might make this a waste of time. If it were possible to stuff wet rags in the vents then it might just work. It just amazes me how many people that never think of unstopping a drain by sucking out the stoppage.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,614
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; It just amazes me how many people that never think of unstopping a drain by sucking out the stoppage.

    Probably because it works so few times that it is an "exercise in futility".
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