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Thread: Help - Upstairs Toilet Drain Keeps getting clogged with Toilet Paper

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member grubster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Help - Upstairs Toilet Drain Keeps getting clogged with Toilet Paper

    So in the past 45 days, I think our main line coming from the second story has clogged 3 times. First time I had the Plumber rod it out. We were fine. About 30 days later, it happened again, he agreed to rod it again for Free, so I said fine, let's hope that works, if not we go to Camera.

    Well this morning it happened again. We ran the camera down and between 7 feet and 10 feet the line was clogged with toilet paper. After clearing, we could find nothing wrong with the PVC (3" PVC), other than it looks to have some Rough sediment type texture on it. Imagining like Grout or something that might have been poured down. So it appears while watching toilet paper sometimes stops and then another piece will catch it, and eventually enough will get stuck.
    We looked up and down for a LONG time looking for burs or something to snag it, couldn't find anything.

    I have a Toto Ultramax 1.2 Gallon flush, and we use Charmin Ultra Soft TP.

    #1 He recommends switching TP, but my wife wants something soft. He said 1 ply, but I really want to know, what is soft and SAFE for no more clogs?
    #2 Is there a chemical or something i can pour down to help clear\lubricate the pipe so things flow down better and won't stall?

    I was thinking a more powerful toilet, meaning 3-4 gallons would help push all that TP. We are going to do 2 flushes and be more cautious, but I can' t live like this with my wife being pregnant!

    FYI - Just ran out and bought AngelSoft TP for upstairs bathrooms, I tested it in a glass of water and it really does just disintegrate after some swirling, charmin was just a GLOB when I dumped it in the toilet, Now I think I know why we were getting clogs. Our downstairs toilet can still get the Charmin, as this has it's own 4" drain line that has never clogged.
    Last edited by Terry; 08-08-2012 at 02:16 PM.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    Hi Grubster,
    I have a plan! It will take some imagination though. If you have some area in that bathroom as I suspect that is tiled, then it might be that the tiler poured something down the toilet.

    1. Get yourself a cloth bag. It should be made from rough material. Pour some gavel in it or fish tank rock if you should happen to have that on hand. The bag will need to be sized so that it will slide smoothly up and down the pipe. Tie a rope securely around the opening of the bag. Put it in the pipe and raise it up and down to give it some scrubbing action. You might want to go to ace hardware and buy a 3 or 4 foot section of pipe that matches what you have in your home and use that for sizing and practice. This is how my brother cleans his chimney.
    2. This one might be a little dicier. Create a plug out of a rag or old shirt, preferably pure cotton. Tie the rope around it and force it into the pipe. You will need a stick of some kind to push it down. Pour some water in and then pour some pool acid or muriatic acid in. If it starts bubbling wildly you will know it was from tile work. be very careful of the fumes. The acid will eat the rag up if it somehow gets away....well hopefully it will.
    Last edited by Hairyhosebib; 08-03-2012 at 08:18 AM.

  3. #3


    Charmin is a problem--been there before. Plumbers and even two septic guys I know say to stay away from Charmin. It just doesnt break down like others. I too use the Angel Soft and no trouble there. According to Consumer Reports test of toilet paper White Cloud is also good but only sold at Wal Mart I think.

    I should say, I am sure some use Charmin and have no trouble, but for me it was a problem and others I have talked to as well.
    Last edited by Terry; 08-08-2012 at 02:16 PM.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    Yes, Charmin is a problem. Those who use it and get away with it likely have drains that are very smooth walled and/or use paper in moderation. A little luck never hurts either. As I understand it, Charmin has a high rag content so it does not break down in water. That makes it soft and durable, but not very drain friendly. The inexpensive house brand papers sold in super markets seems to work out the best, and it's inexpensive too.
    Last edited by Terry; 08-08-2012 at 02:15 PM.

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


    Is this pipe getting obstructed in a vertical section? If so there is a pipe problem, NOT a toilet paper problem. Make sure you are fixing the problem and NOT just the symptom. If you have a broken arm, you can take pain killers to get rid of the pain, but you will still have the broken arm.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6


    Do a search for chain Knocker. I have one, will break up cast iron scale and grout.

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