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Thread: clogged toilet

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Oct 2009
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    maryland
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    Default clogged toilet

    The toilet upstairs nearly overflows and then drains very slowly. The upstairs bowl, however, abruptly empties when I flush the toilet in the basement. What is wrong with the upstairs toilet?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    New England
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    Sounds to me like you have a partial clog in the line below the upstairs toilet. When you flush the downstairs toilet, it creates a suction that breaks the clog.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Yep. I had a toilet that was experiencing some line obstruction. The plunger and a short snake did nothing for it. I discovered I could sometimes use water flow in the tub to create a venturi effect and suck the toilet level down so that it would flush. I eventually had the line augured out along with the vent stack and other branches.

    When you are paying someone to do such a nasty job, get everything cleared and make sure to chase all the garbage out with a lot of water in all branches before you release them. Otherwise you can end up chasing a clog around from branch to branch. The plumbers were a bit skeptical but humored me when I systematically started flushing branches...until a line that was free flowing a few minutes before (they had witnessed it) revealed that it was now completely clogged. That was when the really nasty work began, but they got it all.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Yakima WA
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    You need a professional plumber that can do a complete job on your drains. Do not use chemical drain cleaners. Not only do they not work on clogs like you have, the will create a hazard for the plumber you will eventually have to call.

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