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Old 01-08-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


I have a strange problem. Several days ago all my toilet bowls in my house (three toilets) started draining slowly versus regularly being rather fast. That was simultaneousely for all three of them.
That is the case with toilets bowls only, not with the sinks or baths.
For toilets it is exactly the same with clean water and with anything else.
The strange thing is that if I open all possible faucets in my house at the same time, the toilet bowls drain fast.
I tried to treat my plumbing system with enzymatic drain cleaner - for two days (I am going to do it one more day), and no improvement yet.
I have a suspicion there is air in the plumbing system.
Any ideas?

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Old 01-08-2011, 10:05 AM   #2
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


Check the venting. All (correctly installed) plumbing systems have at least one venting pipe usually going up through the walls and ending up a foot or so through the roof.

The vent pipe could have become clogged with leaves, a squirrel, or other material.

Someone with the appropriate experience would drop a line somewhat like a fishing line down the vent to try to catch or break up foreign matter.

Video camera snakes are also used by plumbers to check vent pipes or to check drain pipes for collapse or foreign objects such as toys flushed down the toilet.

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Old 01-08-2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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Our venting goes to the attic, not to the roof. Very unlikely that anything could be clogged there. It could be a mouse or a chipmonk (even though we have a cat in the house), but those animals are so small. Do you think it could still be the case?
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:31 AM   #4
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


Once that vent gets to the attic it must go out through the roof----If not,your attic would be filled with sewer gas---
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:34 AM   #5
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


Maybe it is filled, I do not know. I have never been in the attic. But it opens in the attic, that is for sure.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:37 AM   #6
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


Are you on a septic system?

Has it been unusually cold? Is it posible that the main drain is partially freezing and by running the other faucets, assuming that you are runnin hot as well as cold water, the partial freezing is removed?

I would think that if it were a venting problem, the increased flow would make the problem worse as opposed to better.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
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Are you on a septic system?
Has it been unusually cold? Is it posible that the main drain is partially freezing and by running the other faucets, assuming that you are runnin hot as well as cold water, the partial freezing is removed?
No, it is rather warm outside right now.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:43 AM   #8
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


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I tried to treat my plumbing system with enzymatic drain cleaner - for two days (I am going to do it one more day), and no improvement yet.
Are you on city sewer or septic?

Sounds to me like you have a blockage in the main line (building drain or building sewer) between the house and the street, or the house and the septic.

Drain cleaners are a waste of your time and money. Also "enzymatic" refers to natural living bacteria which is for "maintenance". Not a drain opener.

I would suggest calling a service plumbing company (rooter). The main line needs to be cleared with a cable (snake). Once it's cleared a camera can help determine the cause of the problem.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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I am on a septic
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by raevsky View Post
I am on a septic
When was the house built?

When was the last time the tank was pumped?

Do you know where the tank is?

Are there risers over the lid(s)?

Is it all gravity fed?

What type of drainfield do you have?

Have you exposed the tank to inspect the baffles?
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #11
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


When was the last time the holding tank was emptied, think its due.
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:03 AM   #12
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When was the house built?
1968. We build one more floor 9 years ago (that included 2 new toilets on the second floor and a new roof and vents)
Quote:
When was the last time the tank was pumped?
1.5 years ago. We regularly do that every two years
Quote:
Do you know where the tank is?
Yes
Quote:
Are there risers over the lid(s)?
I do not know
Quote:
Is it all gravity fed?
I do not know
Quote:
What type of drainfield do you have?
leaching field
Quote:
Have you exposed the tank to inspect the baffles?
When it was cleaned the last time they said it was fine.

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Old 01-08-2011, 11:08 AM   #13
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


If you know where the tank is; I would start there. Expose the inlet baffle, and inspect it. See if there's anything stuck in the baffle. If so, just poke it with a stick. While you have it exposed, have someone flush a toilet and see what kind of flow you're getting.

Are the toilets all on the same level of the home? What are their locations?
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:36 AM   #14
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


2 toilets on the second floor and one on the first floor.
I just called a plumber
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:39 AM   #15
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all toilet drains are suddenly slow


Quote:
Originally Posted by raevsky View Post
2 toilets on the second floor and one on the first floor.
I just called a plumber
Sounds good. Keep us posted. If you expose the tank before they get there, should save you some money.

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