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Thread: Kohler Rialto toilet causes drain clogs??

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    DIY Junior Member Vreelandjr's Avatar
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    Default Kohler Rialto toilet causes drain clogs??

    I have a Kohler Rialto toilet (Mod. K3402, discontinued) which was purchased and installed in Apr. '88. Over the past several years I have had to have the common drain for the toilet and the shower routed out (like by Roto-Rooter) every 7-12 months because the toilet backs up into the shower. The stoppage appears to be at least 35 to 50 feet down from the roof vent. No evidence of roots has been found. The last plumber that was out said it was probably caused by toilet paper (we use Scotts) which remains in the drain and hardens because of poor flushing performance by the toilet. Does this sound plausible/possible? Should I go ahead and replace the toilet (it does frequently require 2 flushes)??

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I don't like that explanation, because my understanding has always been that the toilet is only responsible to get the waste into the main, and the carry distance is not very long. It is other water in the line, from sinks and tubs, that over time move the waste down the line. That was also probably a 3.5 gallon toilet, and if you put in a 1.6 you could expect more problems.

    I would suggest that this might be time to get a camera inspection done. There may be a problem in the pipes that on one is aware of.

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Toilets don't cause drain clogs. So there is something else going on.

    I think your plumber was just jacking his jaws. Get someone with some experience and you will get to the bottom of the problem.
    Last edited by plumber1; 06-24-2006 at 03:45 PM.

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    DIY Junior Member Vreelandjr's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. Appears that the toilet is not the culprit. Another explaination that has been offered (by another plumber who came to clear the drain), is that there may be a low spot in the drain from the house to the sewer where waste can accumulate and eventually cause a clog. Does this sound any better?? Could a camera inspection detect a low spot?? If this turns out to be the problem, I think I'll buy, and learn to operate, an electric auger rather than have my front lawn dug up to replace the drain.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Sounds like it could be right. You need to snake the line then flush it well then camera it. The belly will be seen if the camera head goes partily or completly under water or you may find a break or roots. How old is your house?

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    DIY Junior Member Vreelandjr's Avatar
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    House was built in 1975. No evidence of roots has been found during the clog clearings.

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    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    It is most likely PVC although I just did a new drain line on a house built in 75 and it had cast iron.

    The camera will tell you the problem.

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    DIY Junior Member mornimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vreelandjr View Post
    I have a Kohler Rialto toilet (Mod. K3402, discontinued) which was purchased and installed in Apr. '88. Over the past several years I have had to have the common drain for the toilet and the shower routed out (like by Roto-Rooter) every 7-12 months because the toilet backs up into the shower. The stoppage appears to be at least 35 to 50 feet down from the roof vent. No evidence of roots has been found. The last plumber that was out said it was probably caused by toilet paper (we use Scotts) which remains in the drain and hardens because of poor flushing performance by the toilet. Does this sound plausible/possible? Should I go ahead and replace the toilet (it does frequently require 2 flushes)??
    I have also had to have my main drain snaked about every 4-6 month since I put in a 1.6 gal.toilet around 3 years ago. I got over $1000. in unclogging fees. Each time the plumber couldn't find anything in the line except sludge, as he said " it's the consistency of peanut butter". I have lived in my house since it was new in 1978 and never had a problem until I bought the new toilet. I recently read the following article and it made alot of sense: "The house sewer line may be too large in diameter for the load on your structure. This may sound silly, but properly a drain line should be sized so that at full load the pipe is 1/2 full. In this manner the depth of the liquid in the line is sufficient to suspend any solid particulate matter while still keeping the upper half of the pipe open for the free transfer of vent air. Before the advent of water saver technologies W.C.'s discharged 3.5gpf or 5gpf and they required a 4" diameter waste line to maintain the proper 1/2 fill. When the 1.6gpf water saver type W.C. were first introduced they had many problems with clogged lines until it was realized that at 1.6gpf the 4" lines were barely 1/4 full, thus the depth of the water in the line was not sufficient to properly suspend larger chunks of fecal matter or other solid particulates that may get into the drain line. The result was that the solids then rubbed the bottom of the pipe, causing a reduction in the velocity of flow, and quite often the liquid flowed around the solids and on down the pipe, leaving solids laying on the bottom of the pipe where they dry in place once the liquid has passed. While the amount of solids that accumulate with any given flush may be quite small, none the less, with each successive flush more and more solids accumulate until you have a clog". He also said drain lines should be 3" with the 1.6 gallon toilets, unless you have a large house with alot of bathrooms. I have since went back to a toilet made in 1972 and hopefully will not have anymore problems. So far the clogged main line has cost me over $1000. , if this does the trick it will be cheaper paying higher water bills!

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    It's threads like these that make me recognize that a significant percentage of the "plumbers" out there can't hold a candle to Terry and HJ. A preponderance, even?

    The comments people reported as being made by their "plumbers" make handi-hacks sound like rocket scientists. Why not just hire a witch doctor to come look at your plumbing? It will probably be cheaper, and certainly equally-valuable.

    Toto makes about 250,000 toilets per year just in Georgia. Most statistics I have seen indicate that 8-9 million toilets are sold in the US every year. It has been 19 years since the 1.6gpf mandate went into effect. As a rough number, let's say that over 19 years, 170 million low-flow toilets have been sold.

    Does anyone really think that an extra gallon or so of water per flush is going to make the difference between a smoothly-flowing drain and "peanut butter" clogging the pipe? Should we all have bought stock in Roto-Rooter when the low-flow mandate went into effect? Have the drain-cleaning companies seen a disproportionate surge of business that they are secretly relishing? I can imagine Mr. Rooter sitting there rubbing his hands together like the Simpson's Mr. Burns, saying "God bless those low-flows. Now all I see in pipes is peanut butter!! Hahahahahahaha!!!" I don't think that's happening.

    I'm thinkin' someone is pouring bacon grease down the drain. Or salad oil, or other oils and food scraps. The many pictures I have seen on my friend Ranger Sewer's web site of peanut-buttery clogs is attributed there to grease. Not low-flows.
    Last edited by wjcandee; 01-31-2013 at 12:47 AM.

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