Toilet malfunction?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Jdona11, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Jdona11

    Jdona11 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Locust Valley NY
    My son urinated in toilet and we left house. Came back 45 mins later to an inch of water everywhere!
    For insurance purposes I need to clarify something. A friend said that the flood could not have been caused by the clog, as plumber said. Friend said that if you have a clogged toilet, the most water you will have on floor is the contents of the tank, about 4 gallons. He said either flapper or some other part malfunctioned, causing the water to continue to flow. (I had to shut off valve behind toilet to get water to stop). Is my friend correct? What could have caused this damage?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,419
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    If the bowl is plugged and there is a leaking flapper, or if the fill valve continues to fill, putting water into the overflow, then it will continue to fill your home with water.

    It's either a bad flapper or a bad fill valve, or both. Maybe.

    A quick way to drain water in a home is to pull the bowl and let the water go down the flange for the toilet.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A leaking flapper will just let water flow into the bowl and down the drain. A plugged toilet will only overflow any excess water from the tank. A leaky/stuck flapper AND a plugged toilet (or flooded septic tank), WILL flood the house.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    If he clogged the toilet with urine...you need to get him to a doctor! Could be he dropped a GI joe in there at the same time???
  5. Jdona11

    Jdona11 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Locust Valley NY
    He's 15, no toys were dropped in. When he flushed it did not appear clogged. Plumber that came to house said it was clogged. I am just trying to figure out what went wring since insurance co. wants to blame the flood on a clog!
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,325
    Location:
    New England
    The most common way the water stops flowing in a toilet is when the flapper valve closes, the tank fills, the the fill valve shuts off. Anything that prevents the toilet fill valve from shutting off normally won't cause a flood since the excess water goes down the drain. If the drain IS clogged AND the toilet doesn't turn off, THEN it will flood things. SO, you had to have had two problems at once. The plumber said you had a clog...now, you need to identify what prevented the toilet from filling properly then shutting off.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,267
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The flood HAD to be caused by a clog, unless there is some other factor which we are not being told about. If it were NOT clogged, then the water would have flowed down the drain and not flooded, unless you have a septic tank and the flowing water filled it to capacity, and then the excess would have overflowed and flooded.
  8. Jdona11

    Jdona11 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Locust Valley NY
    I've had clogged toilets before and never had a flood. Never had to turn off valve behind toilet from it. That tells me it was more than just the clog. I do have a septic tank.
  9. pipehacker

    pipehacker New Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Iowa
    A clog may not get your insurance company off the hook, as without the broken toilet you would not have suffered the damage. Some insurance companies try to limit their exposure to "multiple cause" claims by including a policy provision which tries to limit coverage to situations where the sole or exclusive cause of the damage is a covered event. Read your policy and see what it says.

    And you can also argue that a clog is itself a malfunction or breakage in the plumbing system, as obviously clogs are not suppossed to occur.

    Get your actual policy and read it carefully. Review carefully what it says is covered and what is excluded from coverage. Do not let an adjuster tell you what is covered. Their job is not to help you.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I'm curious what the GPM fill rate would be on the toilet. Also curious how many gallons there were in the "inch of water everywhere". 45 minutes of continous flow X the GPM may or may not add up to an overflowed septic tank and still leave enough for an inch of water everywhere.

    3 GPM for 45 minutes is only 135 gallons. 1 inch of water in a 1200 sq. ft. home is 748 gallons. Be it a blockage or septic tank overflow, one would think some percentage of the water would still go down the drain.

    Now if the tank broke, 100% of the water could end up on the floor.
  11. pipehacker

    pipehacker New Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Iowa
    And if the septic tank was full would it not have backed up through the drain? I wonder if she ever had previous problems with sinks, etc draining?
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I assume you mean another drain closer to the floor than the flood rim of the toilet.
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