Toilet won't flush - already snaked toilet and sewer

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by jmandawg, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. jmandawg

    jmandawg New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Hi,

    My toilet won't flush, i've already pulled it 3 times today and wasted 2 wax seals. I've snaked the toilet and i pull the toilet and snaked the sewer line up to around 50 feet. When i put the toilet back on, the first flush seems fine, then lots of bubbles come up and it won't flush successfully after that.

    I've tried dumping 1.5 gallons into it from a buck and still no luck. Any ideas?

    It is a gerber 1.6LPF. I've only been here a few months so don't know how old it is.

    Thanks

    J
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,416
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    "When i put the toilet back on, the first flush seems fine, then lots of bubbles come up and it won't flush successfully after that."

    Unless it was done with the right equipment, it may not have helped much. The cutters on the end of the snake expand up to 4"
  3. jmandawg

    jmandawg New Member

    Messages:
    6
    With the toilet removed I poured 2 gallons directly down the drain from a bucket and drained fine.
  4. jmandawg

    jmandawg New Member

    Messages:
    6
    But your right, my snake does not expand. It's a 50ft 1/2 inch auger.

    The other drains in the bathroom seem to work fine.
  5. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,973
    Location:
    New York, NY
    You don't say how old your toilet is or what its gallonage is. Old-timey toilets use upwards of 3.5, 5 or 7 gallons per flush. You say the toilet flushes fine on the first one, meaning that the clog could be far enough down the pipe that it could hold seven gallons (or 5 or 3.5) of water before you saw any effects.

    I had a drain in a sink run slowly recently. You could run the faucet and rinse hands and it wouldn't back up. Run it another couple of seconds, and the sink would fill and fill and fill. The pipe absorbed the first seconds of running, just as it may be absorbing your first flush.

    If you have a 1.6gpf toilet, then maybe 2 is enough. But I would try pouring a good five gallons down first before I was satisfied it wasn't an issue in the line.

    Look, you can take the unmounted toilet outside and put it on saw horses (or prop it on some cinder blocks), and pour water in the tank with a bucket and "flush" it. If it works, then that isn't the problem. Or just take the bowl out and pour water in it from a bucket. If that's fine, then it's the line.
  6. jmandawg

    jmandawg New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I ended up buying a new toilet because i ruined the porceline with the auger. It still has the same problem. It definitely doesn't flush when i dump the water in. And when i remove the toilet and pour water directly down the pipe, the sewer line doesn't fill up at all. It almost seems like there's some kind of air pocket in the line when i attach the toilet. First flush or 2 is good, then air bubbles come up then it won't flush at all but i can hear it slowing dripping into the pipe. But i guess there can't be a air pocket without some kind of blockage.

    I'm running out of ideas, i think i might have to call a pro with a good rooter or camera. The other bathroom and kitchen is fine.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    It still sounds like you have a main line clog. You need to find someone with a proper snake, and if done right, it will scrub the inner surface of the pipe of any debris. A small 1/2" device will likely just punch a hole through it, and not solve your problem. While they are doing that, if it does not solve the problem, you might need to have them run a camera down through the pipe. If there is a sag (belly) in the pipe, it will not necessarily be clogged, but standing water will accumulate there, and significantly slow the draining of anything new added, and solids tend to then sit in that low spot, and create their own additional blockage.
  8. jmandawg

    jmandawg New Member

    Messages:
    6
    thanks for the help, i ended up renting a more powerful electric auger at home depot it is now draining as good a when i moved in. Hopefully it will be good for a while.

    There were a few spots where i could not get the auger past without spinning it and then once i spun it it would get through. Then if i pulled it back and pushed it forward again, it would not go through again without spinning it. What could that be? I did it like 10 times in one spot but it stayed the same so i gave up.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    You could have some tree roots or something in that spot. A cutter head on the snake would cut them off. Or, it could be a partially collapsed line, or a hole or possibly something else. A snake capable of this is a serious tool, and can be dangerous to use if you are not trained and careful. People have lost fingers and had other injuries using one of these - all it takes is a moment of inattention or inexperience in knowing what to look for or how to react. But, it may continue to work for a long time with what you did.
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,795
    Location:
    IL
    It could be a turn in the pipe.
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