50 year old toilet backs up sometimes

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Ginnyginny, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Ginnyginny

    Ginnyginny New Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    I have two bathrooms back to back with toilets on the same adjoining wall. One toilet almost overflows about once a month or so. Just now it came to within an inch of overflowing. I went into the other bathroom and flushed that toilet which had no problem. I assume they are both dumping into one main line.

    I do not put anything down my toilet except toilet paper. Not sure what my daughter on the other side does but she's been asked to only flush tp.

    One plumber working on my kitchen looked at it and thought the water circulating around the toilet bowl looked fine.

    If I knew what to do I'd do it. Of course I'd rather not buy a new toilet (with less water capacity) but if that's what will solve this I will buy one.

    I haven't had a plumber out to snake my side, I have tried plunging it occassionally. If I wait long enough today, later today it will flush.

    Thank you for your ideas!

  2. Nate R

    Nate R Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    I perform R&D testiing at small engine manuf.
    Milwaukee, WI
    There may be some blockage or buildup stuck in the trapway of the toilet. You may need to pull the toilet and clean it out, or have a plumber do it. But, at this point at 50 years old, replacement might be the best bet if you have to call in a plumber anyway.
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  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    It sounds like you have the same concerns about the amount of water in the new toilets that I had before I studied the facts. When the new requirements first came in, there were major problems with flushing. Poop and plunge was the name of the game then. However, technology has caught up and while there are still models with problems, quality toilets, like the Toto line, work extremely well. Most of those that still have problems are cheepo builder models sold in the Big Box Stores to builders building spec houses as cheaply as possible, never mind the fixtures they put in are garbage. While a toilet should not be used to flush feminine products, they will handled normal waste just fine. A 50 year old potty has served out its life and is due for retirement.
  5. Ginnyginny

    Ginnyginny New Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    I have been told several times now that there is no longer a problem with flushing high quality toilets like the Toto. So I guess changing to a new toilet isn't the issue for me.

    I always like to know that I really don't have a choice when it comes to putting out $$. If both of you believe, after reading my description of the problem, that the toilet needs to be removed to clear the block, then maybe I should have a new toilet installed.

    Are we sure the block is in the toilet not in the pipe under it? I would hate buying a new toilet only to have this reoccur.

    I just tried to flush it again several hours later - the water rose to within a half inch of overflowing. It then began to go down and then all of a sudden it all went down and refilled half way.

    Is there some way to check where the block could be? Other than this problem this toilet is in good shape. (My second 50 year old toilet has a crack in the tank!)

    Thanks again,
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    It is highly likely that with the two toilets back-to-back, they use the same main drain line. If one backs up and the other doesn't, it is almost certainly that toilet's problem. Removing and resetting a toilet isn't a huge task, but the thing is heavy. A closet auger might clear the thing as an alternative to removal. The savings in water and sewer charges and a potential rebate from a new low-flow toilet may make the change less painful.
  7. grazzy

    grazzy New Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    i'd get a plumber to clean that drain out and then get him back in another 50 years whether it needs it or not. :D
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