View Full Version : Mystery Toliet Saga

06-02-2005, 01:03 PM
Relaly grateful for some help please. Have 2 upstairs toilets and 1 downstairs. Last week, the sink in the en suite (upstairs) was very slow draining (normally really quick) and the bath tub was slowish too (it has been cleared of hairs etc). Then the en suite toilet went into slow drain mode. It fills well but comes upto 1.5 inches from the flange (hold your breath time!) It then slowly (about 3-5 seconds) goes down again. Currently the sink and tub are OK. All other toilets have been fine all the time. I have spent an hour tonight plunging the toilet and no change. I have read lots of posts on this forum that talk about where blockages could be and the issues about venting. Is a slow drain like this because of blockage or because of vents. What to do. Thank you.

Mike Swearingen
06-02-2005, 03:06 PM
Sounds like you have a blockage in the main drain/waste/vent stack.
Go up on the roof (carefully), and run a heavy-duty plumber's snake down it from top to bottom, and flush it down with a water hose, to see if that doesn't clear it.
If it were a vent blockage (above the drain lines), you would be getting sewer gas odor in the bathroom through a siphoned-out trap, not sluggish drainage.
Good Luck!

06-02-2005, 03:14 PM
It could be either the vents or a blockage farther down the pipe somewhere. There is also the chance that something is stuck in your vent, bird, squirrel, duck etc.

I had an unusual slow drain like this once and I cleared it by going to the roof with a water hose and running the hose down the vent and turning the water on. Luckily, there was no duck, only a small bird nest. Also, this solution could cause some water to splash around out of your toilets so don't be alarmed if you see a little water.

You may need to auger the toilet if the blockage is in the pipe below the toilet. If the pipe is partially open, a plunger may not generate enough force to clear it.


06-02-2005, 11:24 PM
Thanks - been outside and spotted a grey pipe about 2.5 inch diameter coming out of the roof (about 18 inches high) in the area between the 2 upstairs toilets. The pipe has a 'cap' on it but it certainly looks like a vent. BUT - it is canted over about 15-20 degrees - I have to say that I had not even looked up at it before (due to the shape of the roof) but it does look like it should be vertical. I guess that could lead to poor venting (especially if the pipe has come detached at the base). This morning the toilet flushed OK first time, then filled half way up the bowl 2nd time then worse 3rd time. My wife also mentioned that the toilet gurgled when she pulled the plug in the bath tube last night.

06-02-2005, 11:29 PM
You have a clog. The reason the toilet seemed to flush fine for its first flush of the morning is that it hadnt been used all night. This gave the water that was backed up time to get past the clog, but the clog is still there as evidenced by the fact that on subsequent flushes the toilet was again clogged.

06-02-2005, 11:32 PM
Hmm...thanks. Waht about the canted pipe? If it has come away at the base, woudl that not lead to poor venting? Could poor venting allow water comtained in the main pipes to drain overnight and hence account for the ok 1st flush?

06-03-2005, 02:57 AM
It is NOT a vent problem so forget about that. It is a stoppage problem, although it is unusual for it to happen to an upstairs toilet. The actual stoppage should be in the horizontal pipe under the first floor, or at the point where the vertical pipe turns horizontal under the floor.

06-03-2005, 07:06 AM
Thanks hj. I have had to call a plumber so will let you know what he finds.

06-03-2005, 11:20 AM
Hopefully, there is a cleanout in one of the first floor walls where the pipe comes down. But do not use too much water upstairs because when he has to unscrew the plug all of the water above that point will have to come out, probably onto the floor.

06-04-2005, 02:41 AM
I pulled the manhole covers aroudn the house (there are 5) and the final one outbound was well and truly clogged and full. That is where the problem is!

06-04-2005, 09:11 AM
A big clog, near a big tree! Cleared now but likely to return so a need for some serious action against the tree in the next 12 months. Thanks to all who gave advice.

06-04-2005, 02:24 PM
Cut the tree down, grind out the stump, and fill the hole. But you can, and probably will, still have root problems from it for the next 25 years. The problem is the sewer, not just the tree.