Fragments of ceramic bowl went down toilet, now what?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by SugarHollow, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    So, my son's toilet backed up. While trying to unclog it by conventional means, I heard a rattle that sounded like ceramic or metal rattling inside the toilet pathway. Asked my son if he dropped anything in there. He said he dropped a ceramic cereal bowl on the adjacent vanity, which shattered. So I pulled the toilet and found three large fragments of the bowl surrounded by an exquisite wad of toilet paper, lodged at the very end of the pathway. I then excised the clog and reset the toilet. Ran OK until the first dump. Then I heard water backing up in the bathtub when my son was taking a shower. Concluded some pieces of the bowl must have lodged further down stream. So I pulled toilet again. Toilet was clear of any debris. Snaked the drain 20+ feet and felt/heard ceramic fragments inside. Filled up the bathtub with several gallons of water, then had my wife open the drain while I listened to water flow in pipe on ground floor. I heard at least two pieces of bowl pass through to ground.

    Questions:

    Do I need to worry about these fragments that are still in the system? Is there a place in the typical pumping design where they may have been trapped and I can remove them? Have I created a new (worse) problem?

    Also, I tried a waxless Sani Seal ring for the first time to seal this toilet. There is no indication that it did not create a water-tight seal. However, the funnel portion of the ring did not sit nicely against the inside surface of the drain pipe - there were wrinkles that extended into the lumen (see photo). I decided that given the flimsiness of the funnel, it would not provide any significant resistance to the flow of toilet discharge. Is this anything for me to worry about?

    IMG_1821.jpg
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    They will either cause a problem or not. IF they do then THAT is the time to work on removing or breaking them up. Until then you would be guessing as to whether they are still in the line and if so, where they are. I would NOT use anything that could distort and create a flow resistance, including that seal.
  3. JerryR

    JerryR Member

    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    Florida
    Saniseal can be installed upside down with the funnel extension folded inside. This is the recommended procedure for either an offset flange or an "inside 3"" flange.

    The saniseal is shipped with the funnel extension folded inside.

    JR
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  4. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    I decided to leave the Sani Seal gasket in place after talking to the guy who invented it. He told me the wrinkles would eventually settle against the inside pipe wall. In any case, no problems with anything so far.
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,134
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    This is one good reason to not eat cereal in the bathroom.


    Good Luck.
  6. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    The sewer authority where I live will camera scope the line from the curb cleanout towards the main in the street, and usually back towards your house for free.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; He told me the wrinkles would eventually settle against the inside pipe wall. In any case,

    And what WOULD you expect him to say. Check it out in a year or so. I can almost guarantee that those "wrinkles" will either still be there, or will be WORSE.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; The sewer authority where I live will camera scope the line from the curb cleanout towards the main in the street, and usually back towards your house for free.

    That assumes the house has a cleanout opening that they can use to do that. So far, I have NEVER lived, or worked, in an area that has such an opening. In fact, even if they did, the prevailing attitude is that ANYTHING on the line, until it reaches the main in the street, is the property owner's responsibility, period.
  9. houptee

    houptee Member

    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Monmouth County, NJ
    The towns around my area have curb clean-outs because the city sewer was put in in the late 60s early 70s and they were offering a low cost deal to connect you to the system back then under a big contract with a plumbing company so everyone has similar clean-outs where they tied into your property.
    The sewer guys are pretty nice, if you have a clog they snake from curb to the main for free, and will go towards your house a limited distance after telling you we technically don't have to do this.
    They just purchased a camera system box truck and came around and scoped all the mains on every street. I said hey guys can you check my lines since you are here? He said yeh no problem and dropped the camera into my clean-out all the way to the main and let me watch the TV in the truck and then went back the other way.
    I said thanks that system is awesome!

    Now that I think about it, I paid for that truck with my sewer fees and its a county owned authority.

    So its worth a shot to ask your sewer authority.
  10. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,134
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Talk about Shitty TV.

    Looks like cable and Sat TV now a days.

    My bad, but could not resist.


    Do them cameras have audio ?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
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