Mysterious substance clogging toilet drain

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by kevster, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. kevster

    kevster New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Chicago
    Got frustrated with a constantly clogging toilet recently and pulled it to see what was going on. Much to my surprise I discovered a thick, sandy buildup running down the inside of the drain pipe, starting where the toilet flange was. It was grey and relatively odorless (fortunately for me) and it crumbled apart fairly easily when i tried to remove it with a putty knife. Downstream about a foot or so the pipe seemed clean and free.

    I scraped as much of it out as I could, but some escaped down the tube to (hopefully) wash out. The blockage was thick enough at the top to be causing my flushing woes. There was no blockage in the toilet itself and the stuff had clearly accumulated over time - it was nicely sculpted by the water flow.

    I don't have hard water problems at all - so what was/is that stuff? Should I proactively start pulling and inspecting the other drains? Should I chase the gunk with a CLR-like drain cleaner? I've pulled weird stuff out of drain lines before, but this one had me scratching my head.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,754
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Has anyone been installing tile lately?

    Sounds like tile grout.
  3. kevster

    kevster New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Chicago
    Nope - no tile anywhere around. It had the look of something deposited over time though - you could see what looked like layers in it.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    Drywall mud could do it as well...
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