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Thread: Toliets won't flush properly

  1. #1

    Default Toliets won't flush properly

    I have a single story home with 2 toliets. The toliets have been bubbling when the water from the washer has drained over the past several days. All of the other drains are working properly, but the toliets are not flushing properly. They will drain slowly when they are plunged, but they do not empty out the bowls all at once as they normally do. I plunged both toliets and run hot water down the drain and they worked a few times like they should, but now they are back to not empyting out the bowls when flushed.
    We had a new septic tank installed about a year ago and have had periodic problems since, but it has always cleared itself after a little while. When the new tank was installed I don't believe that the contractor had the new tank inspected by the health department, and it is not as deep as the original tank. It is only about 3 inches below the ground. I am wondering if this could be the problem. Thanks for any sugguestions.
    Last edited by PT100; 10-18-2005 at 01:20 PM.

  2. #2
    DIY Member RRW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Are you located where it has been raining? Sounds like you may have water filling up the tank.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    My first thought was a clogged drain line, and that well may be the problem. My advise to you is to have a professional plumber first auger you drainline and then have him determine if you have the required 1/4" per foot slope in the drainline. If the slope is not sufficient, that could be causing the line to clog. The slope question comes to mind since the problems seem to have begun when the new septic tank was installed, and that may have altered the drainline slope near the tank. Plunging a toilet will not do any good if the clog is not in the toilet itself. DIY snakes are seldom effective and often make a clog worse, and chemical drain cleaners also are ineffective and often create a hazzard for the plumber.

  4. #4

    Default Toliets won't flush properly

    RRW - I am in NC and it did rain for a week recently. The rain stopped last Wednesday.

    Thank you RRW and Gary for the response.

  5. #5
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Default septic

    It makes more sense to me to open the lid on the septic tank run water and flush toilets. If the tank is just 3 or 4" down. it should be easy to do.
    Water level should be about 10 or 12" below the inside top of the tank.
    The liquid inside should not rise when water flows into the tank.
    If it rises then you have a problem with the field bed.
    If it doesn't rise and the toilets start to bubble up, then snake the drain.
    If you have to snake the sewer and it opens up, then I would find the inlet to the tank and expose that inlet pipe and put a level on it. Just as long as you have fall all the way to the tank, you are good.
    My first guess would be a bad field, or one that could become saturated with rain or melting snow.
    A bad field bed situation could also cause a build-up in that sewer between the house and the septic tank.
    While your there it would be a good idea to cut in a clean out up by the house..............


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