(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Unusual Alternating Toilet Flushing Pattern

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member soca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    7

    Default Unusual Alternating Toilet Flushing Pattern

    I have a cement slab house with back to back toilets ( hall and back bedroom ). The bedroom toilet works fine as does all of the rest of the plumbing in the house. The only problem is this hall toilet. There is a Palm tree adjacent to this part of the house and I did pull some Palm tree roots out of this toilet with a 3 foot toilet auger ( after fully inserting it ). My question is about the flushing pattern observed with this hall toilet. One flush the bowl fills and only SLIGHTLY empties.The next flush the bowl fills then slowly but COMPLETELY empties. The water level in the bowl returns to slightly below the normal resting level. This alternating flushing pattern occurs every time the toilet is tested. No deviation from this alternating flushing pattern. What type of blockage or other problem would create this type of flushing pattern ? Thanks much for any help.
    Last edited by soca; 07-01-2011 at 10:33 AM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,653

    Default

    Take your toilet off the floor. Then take a knife and remove ALL the roots under the toilet which are growing INTO, (not out of), the toilet pipe. Remove as many as possible from around the flange then mix salt with water and pour it into the gap around the pipe. Replace the toilet and expect to do the other one shortly, and/or redo this one in six months or so.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member soca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Take your toilet off the floor. Then take a knife and remove ALL the roots under the toilet which are growing INTO, (not out of), the toilet pipe. Remove as many as possible from around the flange then mix salt with water and pour it into the gap around the pipe. Replace the toilet and expect to do the other one shortly, and/or redo this one in six months or so.
    I'm in Southern California. What can I expect to pay a plumber to do this work ? Thanks much !

  4. #4
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,681

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by soca View Post
    My question is about the flushing pattern observed with this hall toilet.
    Not sure why you feel the need for an explanation when what you really need is Roto-Rooter.

    When the toilet tank refills, a small amount of water is directed to the bowl. The first flush fills the bowl and the refill tube adds to it. The second flush adds to the water in the bowl from the first flush and finally goes around the trap after well wetting the roots. The now wetted roots in the trap wick the water out of the bowl through capilliary action including what the refill tube supplies.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,653

    Default

    The roots are growing UNDER the floor, and have come up around the pipe, through the wax ring, and then DOWN into the toilet pipe. Roto-Rooter will create a project out of a simple process, and may NOT even cure the problem when they leave. The roots are ALWAYS wet, but have created a "sponge" that lets water out, but NOT any solids. I once had a condition like this with THREE major roots, about 36" long, growing into the pipe, even though the roors coming out of the floor were not much larger than pencil leads. When I showed it to the homeowners, (who were friends of mine, by the way), she said, "And here I have be blaming the kids for plugging up the toilet every day". If my diagnosis is correct, and your description of the problem indicates that it is, then a good plumber should be able to fix it with his minimum fee, or slightly higher.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bothell, Washington
    Posts
    14,202
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    If the bowl isn't full, then the first flush will fill the bowl and not have enough water to also clear the bowl
    The first flush fills the bowl and the second flush, because now the bowl is full can complete the job.

    Check to see if the the small black tube from the fill valve is pointed into the overflow tube. This is what refills the bowl after a flush.

  7. #7
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,681

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    The roots are ALWAYS wet, but have created a "sponge" that lets water out...
    I was trying to explain a phenomenon like a wet towel hanging over the edge of a sink full of water. The wetter the towel, the faster it will syphon/wick the water out of the sink. A dry towel will take much longer.

    The water in the toilet bowl gets wicked down below the level of the S trap by roots in the trap just like the wet towel draped over the rim of the sink.

  8. #8
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,650

    Default

    Palm tree roots normally go deep.

    You need to Cut it down, or cut the roots and water it so that it don't drink out of your toilet.


    DonL
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,653

    Default

    quote; You need to Cut it down, or cut the roots and water it so that it don't drink out of your toilet.

    Good luck with that. I have had roots from trees which were cut down 25 years ago plug sewers. And the one which I described had the toilet in the CENTER of the house, not by an exterior wall, and the nearest tree was 20' from the house. Another one I worked on, the roots were growing out and around the toilet. It looked like one of the "monsters from Mars" in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Similar Threads

  1. unusual toilet tank - need info please
    By hanleyk in forum Toilet Forum discussions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-29-2009, 06:07 AM
  2. How to change the spinkler pattern?
    By jlaplant in forum Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-14-2008, 06:00 AM
  3. self flushing toilet
    By Ed from chicago in forum Toilet Forum discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-04-2005, 06:51 AM
  4. Unusual Villeroy-Boch toilet
    By davidgrove in forum Toilet Forum discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-07-2005, 10:42 AM
  5. Yet another Drain vent pattern :-) Please comment
    By resq944 in forum Remodel Forum & Blog
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-05-2005, 01:19 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •