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Thread: why does my toilet drain pipe have a hole in it?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member G60's Avatar
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    Default why does my toilet drain pipe have a hole in it?

    1973 Build house. I replaced my toilet today. on removing the old bowl looking down past flange into the approx 3" pvc and just above the 90 degree curve, off to the side is an approximately one inch round hole clean through the pvc . looks clean cut. Toilet had been in use for 35 years several times a day with no leak and I would have seen as it is above a finished floor. I have had no recent plumbing or any work that could have cut into the pipe. Anyone seen such a thing before? is that some is of vent? Should I worry?

    thanks for any informed thoughts on this.

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    DIY Junior Member G60's Avatar
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    adding picture.

    this is crazy. I have used a standard hand snake maybe twice on this in past 15 years, never anything caustic and I can see finished room below's ceiling not a sign whatsoever of any problem.Name:  drain2.jpg
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    That might be the vent line...
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member G60's Avatar
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    cool thanks jadnashua. Have you seen anything like that before? like I said no sign of a leak from ceiling or rooms below below and that toilet has seen 20,000 -30,000 flushes by my calculations since I owned the place. It scared the living daylights out of me!

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I would think that it is a side inlet closet bend, but the hole looks too small.
    Check to see if if there is any flow in through the hole from one of the other bath fixtures.

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    I have seen a vent done with a San-T between the flange and the top of the closet bend (i.e. flange-pipe-SanT-pipe-closet bend). I haven't seen someone run the vent into the bend itself. From the photo, it seems to be at the crux of the bend, which would seem to present an opportunity for waste to accumulate in that line, which would seem to be nasty. Doesn't mean that somebody wouldn't try to do it that way, though.

    Equally-likely, and equally-problematic, I think, is the suggestion that it might be a fixture drain.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It's hard for me to tell the sizing on that, and it seems to have an odd bend to it.
    It does look to be cast into the fitting though.
    I can't rule out a vent at this point. Normally those are 2", but in some places they can be 1.5"

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    DIY Junior Member G60's Avatar
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    Thanks for the answers. This bathroom is a powder room/half-bath and the sink is in fact to left where the hole is. I had installed the bowl last night to put a little water in it to avoid sewer gas. I have a one and a half bathroom place and was in the middle of renovating our full bath so this one leaking made me replace it right away.*
    But I intend to renovate this half bath next month as soon as I am done with our full bath, I will be pulling the toilet out again and can test flow from sink to see if builder did some hack in 1973. I don't know what I will be able to do about it since I didn't plan to open the wall s below.

    *the tank was leaking because I had a "gerber toilet nightmare" about a year ago. I had to remove the tank , got a new donut from the local hardware store and overtightened because I didn't realize gerber required a special larger non universal donut, casing in a hairline crack that now failed.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    IT appears to be a 3 x 1 1/2" side inlet 1/4 bend. The photo does not give us anything to compare with so we cannot tell its actual size.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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