Haunted Toilet

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Verdeboy, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Jun 12, 2006
    Okay, so I'm visiting my parents this month in Michigan and don't have any tools.

    Yesterday, their toilet in the lower bathroom backs up. Plunging doesn't work, so we buy a nice closet auger at Home D.

    Augering doesn't work--toilet trap is perfectly clear.

    This morning, I flush the toilet and it drains fine. However, the second flush backs up the toilet. This tells me that the drain pipe is plugged 10 to 15 ft. downstream. Time to call a plumber.

    Tonite, the fill valve mysteriously goes on and won't shut off even by lifting the float on the fluidmaster to the cut-off point. By the time I shut off the stop valve, the toilet had overflowed and we had a mess.

    An hour later, the water goes on again--full blast--even with the stop valve closed!! By the time I found the main shut-off, both the stop valve and the fill valve were working properly, but not until the room was flooded again.:(

    We've got a plumber coming out tomorrow to rout out the line, so I'm going to ask him to check the house pressure. Aside from ghosts and goblins, the only explanation I can think of is either high house pressure or a pressure surge.

    Will keep you informed.
    Closet Auger with 1-3/8" end on it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2008
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    I had a customer with the same problem and when I checked the WP was 197# :eek:.

    I thought my pressure gauge was bad and got another one and it showed 195# so I knew the reading was right.

    This was causing the old old style ball cock fill vale to turn on by its self.

    What was more amazing was that she refused to allow me to install a PRV and Exp. Tank. after repeated warnings.

    I made her sign on the invoice that I was not responsible for any damage to the home if there was any kind of failure or flood after I left.

    That is the highest pressure I have ever encountered coming off the street.


    If they are on a septic system the constantly running toilet may have filled the tank, especially if it was near the point of needing to be pumped.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2007
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    If the hot water heater T&P valve was not discharging like a fire hydrant it was also bad, and SHOULD/MUST have been replaced. Not to do so would create a life threatening condition, which your waiver might not have been enough to eliminate liability.
  5. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Jun 12, 2006
    No septic system. This is a recurring problem and needs to be routed out about once a year.

    My parents just remembered that this past spring the city upgraded its pumps, increasing the house pressure to 90 psi. Their irrigation system wasn't working right and they had someone install a PRV just for the irrigation system.

    I advised them to have a PRV installed just after the meter, so it will benefit the whole house, as well installing an expansion tank.

    I still don't understand why the stop valve would fail completely at 90 psi. I'll have them replace it with a new 1/4 turn shutoff.
  6. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Apr 18, 2005
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area

    I agree.

    I would of contacted the plumbing inspectors which they'll gladly come out, confirm the situation as dangerous, water district follows and shuts the water down since the water heater poses a grave danger.

    Could you imagine the situation if there was a check valve in that line....
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