Unclogging Toto Drake

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by albers, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. albers

    albers New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Vermont
    We recently renovated our bathroom and purchased the Toto Drake after reading that it is uncloggable. It turns out that our son can clog even a Drake! The usual plunger technique is not working and the plumber who installed it left no instructions. Is there a secret to unclogging this kind of toilet?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,419
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Put the plunger in with water in bowl, and after a series of short, quick strokes, pull up until everything sucks down. Usually people do big strokes up and down. Using that method, some blockages won't move.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    My first clog

    Well, it finally happened -- my Drake clogged:( . If a large, multi-segment load isn't aligned just right as the flush starts, apparently things can get twisted around and jam up they go "over the hill".

    I learned that you can't use a conventional, round "plumber's helper" plunger without being veeerrrry careful, or you'll have water (mostly) all over the floor:eek: -- the rim doesn't contain the water (mostly) as it rushes up the side of the bowl. After having water (mostly) all over the floor, I saw another reason to caulk around the toilet base -- to keep water (mostly) out, not to prevent it from leaking out from under the toilet.

    It had been so long since I'd used my closet auger I couldn't find it, but I improvised an unclogger that worked pretty well, so I thought I'd tell you about it. I did find about 6 feet of 1 1/4" flexible bilge pump hose - the kind that's mostly corrugated but has smooth spots every foot so you can cut it to length easily. (I use that for flushing Moen shower valves.) I taped one end closed with duct tape, and then just pushed it down the bowl (closed end first) -- bye-bye clog. Worked quicker and more smoothly than the closet auger. Obviously you can only push, not pull, with this setup, so it's not suitable for all clogs, but I'm keeping it handy -- right next to the closet auger, if I ever find it.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Not sure where you read that but there is no toilet that I know of that is unclogable. Some less than others but none are unclogable.
  5. caverhill

    caverhill New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Victoria BC Canada
    Just discovered your site when googling "how to unclog Toto Drake".

    Thank you Terry !! You saved me a call out to the plumber. After having one of these toilets for at least a couple of years we finally had a clog and I discovered, as others appear to have, that augers and plungers don't work as they do in more common toilets.

    Your suggestion to "use quick, short" plunges did the trick and brought my personal pressure valve very well as well.

    Thanks again. Will have to check back here when other issues crop up (hmmm, that high pitched whine our kitchen hot tap makes at certain positions).

    Cheers.

    Graham
  6. dardas

    dardas New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    One more tip for unclogging plastic objects in Toto Drak

    I'm adding one more suggestion, because it haven't seen it described in detail here.

    My son dropped a rectangular 4.5" x 1" x 3/4" plastic measuring spoon (the adjustable kind, for liquid medicines) down our Drake.

    I tried all the fixes mentioned in this and other forums. I plunged, then augered, then used the dish soap/bucket of hot water, method, then augured and augered some more (I have about a 4' augur). I cleared out enough debris that the toilet now flushed, but very slowly.

    Before rushing out to buy a longer augur, I called Toto tech support and -- surprise, surprise -- the guy was great; patient, knowledgeable, experienced.

    Here was the key information he offered: Most plastic objects of this size will be lodged, he said, in the upward curving part of the drain not far from the bowl. So the problem is not the length of the augur. The problem is that the closet augur is unlikely to "grab" a object like this; its more likely to stop or go around it.

    He recommended draining the bowl, and using a small mirror (shining a flashlight on the mirror) to see if I could see it, then pull it out with a hanger. If it was further down, I'd probably have to remove the toilet.

    Problem: no mirror handy. So I just tried auguring once more, but 1) shorter distance in -- just 10-24", and 2) instead of trying to slide and turn the auger to get it down as far as possible, I just used a "ramming motion" of quick, short push/pulls with the augur inserted at various, short lengths, hoping to randomly "hit" the spoon and dislodge it. I still couldn't feel anything, but when I started to pull the augur out, for the first time it seemed stuck inside and had to be jerked out.

    Sure enough, it was probably stuck on the spoon and jerking the auger back out dislodged it.

    The next flush, and all thereafter, have been "like new." Problem solved. Peace has been restored to the household, and $150 saved. :)

    Actually, this "ramming" method is similar to the approach taken in another reply to this thread, the guy who used a closed-ended corrugated flexible pipe, instead of an auger. The key was finding a method for dislodging the object and shoving it further down the drain -- and hope it wouldn't get stuck further down!
  7. winnie

    winnie New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    worked for me too!

    No one ever taught me to plunge this way. Worked great! Thanks, Terry!
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,397
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    It is possible that plunging won't clear the clog if it is caused by an object wedged in the trapway. In fact, too vigorous plunger could blow the wax ring out. If reasonable plunging doesn't work, you should try an auger. If that fails, pull the toilet up and go from the bottom up. Keep in mind that those of us Toto nuts like the think of our wonderful Toto toilet as being "uncloggable", but that's just a bit too much hype. Very difficult, yes, but not impossible.
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