View Full Version : New bathroom, new toilet, water in bowl dissapears - bad toilet or vent problem?

06-08-2011, 09:45 PM
I added a new bathroom to my house on the 2nd floor. Previously, the only plumbing in the house was on the 1st floor. The main vent stack goes up through the roof on part of the house that's an addition, so there is no 2nd story above it. The 1st floor toilet is vented properly (I think) but the bathroom and kitchen sink on the 1st floor both use studor valves. I had no plumbing problems before I added the bathroom on the 2nd floor.

I tapped into the main horizontal 3" drain line in the crawlspace with a Y (Wye?) fitting and pipe which runs horizontally (with slight slope of course) for about 3 feet, then straight up into the joist space between the 1st and 2nd floor of the house. 3" PVC runs to the toilet, and in between the toilet and where the pipe drops down to the crawlspace There is a Y fitting to add a 2" pipe. The 2" pipe runs horizontal for 3 feet or so through the joists, then up through the wall behind the sink. Sink connects with a sanitee (?) fitting, 2" pipe continues up the wall and through the roof for a vent pipe.

I just got everything connected up a couple nights ago, and it all works. The only problem is that the water in the bowl of the new toilet slowly disappears. It goes slowly, you can't see it drain out. You flush, everything seems fine. But come back to the toilet a couple hours later, and the water in the bowl is all gone. I have watched the new toilet closely while the downstairs toilet is flushed, and the water in the bowl seems unaffected.

So I am not sure if I just got a defective toilet somehow (it was a pretty cheap one, can't remember the brand but I can look it anyone cares) or if somehow I have a vent problem that is sucking the water out of the bowl. I figured I would be able to watch it happen if it was a vent problem, so I am leaning towards defective toilet. But how can I know for sure what is going on and where the problem lies?

I tried to draw up the plumbing for the house as best as I could, but I'm no artists. I can take pictures of some of the pipes in the basement/crawlspace if it would help. If there are any questions on pipe size, distance, exact fittings used, etc I can answer them.

I do have a Ridgid See-Snake camera I could shove down into the toilet if I knew what to look for. I don't normally use it for plumbing though, so I'd prefer to keep it clean and dry unless anyone thinks it will help.

Let me know what other information if anything you need. Thanks!

I see that I switched around the 1st floor and 2nd floor labels in my drawing, don't get confused by that. Oops.


06-08-2011, 09:53 PM
I'm guessing a bad bowl.
The plumbing looks fine.

06-11-2011, 09:53 AM
Is it possible to fix such a problem with epoxy or silicone or some other glue or sealer? Or do I just need a new toilet? Unfortunately I bought the toilet last year and just got around to installing it now, so I don't think I can return it to the store I got it from. I'm cheap so if it is likely to succeed I will try to repair the leak, otherwise I guess I will buy a new toilet, again.

06-11-2011, 11:07 AM
Toilets work pretty well with no vent at all. In some circumstances, you could have siphoning, but it is much more likely you have a bad bowl.

Put a shot of food color into the bowl, and dont flush as long as possible. maybe repeat that a couple of times. Now pull the bowl. The food color should now reveal the hole or crack on the under side, then you can evaluate whether some of Billy Mays' Mighty Putty is worth a try.

06-11-2011, 11:20 PM
I was just talking about Billy Mays today.
I was in Ellensburg, and the homeowner had wrapped some leak fixing tape around a pin hole leak.
So I told him it must be a Billy Mays product. At least it sounds like something he would have pitched.

06-12-2011, 05:26 AM
At least it sounds like something he would have pitched.

Absolutely he did! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akIFvHou_1o


06-13-2011, 07:26 AM
Aren't Studor valves great. You do not even have to know anything about plumbing to install them. IF it were a venting problem it would happen IMMEDIATELY, not hours later. You must have a bad toilet and if so, it is not likely to be in a location you can see, much less repair.

06-13-2011, 08:27 AM
its probably a pinhole between the trap and the bowl. i had that happen twice in 20 years. you said it was a cheap toilet. spend a little more for a name brand one.

06-13-2011, 10:38 AM
Wow! He fixed a leaking washer hose with the tape.
A friend of mine lost the use of her basement for months while they repaired the floors and walls after a washer hose started leaking.
Why would anyone patch a leaking washer hose in their right mind?

On Saturday, I had two calls about cracked toilet tanks. One guy wanted to patch the tank. That would ruin an entire home if it callasped while he was at work and expose the home to mold damage. The repairs could run into the tens of thousands, and the lose of the home for months while the repairs are made.

He had a 25 YO toilet. Any new tank would only add a little bit of water, but not clear the bowl. New tanks need to go on new bowls. He would have had to find an older tank from that era. Something second hand.