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Old 01-05-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
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Do I need a new toilet or just a plumber?


Ok ..we have a kohler toilet in the master bath.
Last year we replaced the tank. (leaking and had already been repaired once) New issue started a couple days ago. The bowl seems to be acting weird. First it wasn't flushing well,(or maybe in some one else's opionon not at all...... I thought I made a gurgly sound (sometimes) as water left the bowl. Plunged several times, then tried the snake, also removed toilet and snaked maybe 20 ft into the drain. Replaced toilet, and it flushes but...............
The bowl is filling way way up towards the top, water is slow going down. I think the model is called Wellington. We have a new one of these in the other bathroom that works just fine. This one is about 9 years old. So is it the drain or the toilet itself?
Suggestions please. The last thing I want is an overflow.
Thanks
PS the inside of the tank parts are weird looking, so if I have to do something to that be sure and try to explain what part I am looking for

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Old 01-05-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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Do I need a new toilet or just a plumber?


sounds like you have a clog some where, what size snake did you use, a small one will curl up in the pipe and not go too far, although you won't be able to tell. The water level will go up in the bowl if it can't go down the toilet. Maybe you can check a cleanout and find out where its free and where its clogged.

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Old 01-05-2009, 05:11 PM   #3
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Quarter inch ...20 fit

Where are the cleanouts generally located ? Remember you are dealing with the ignorant here.

Last edited by zfirehairz; 01-05-2009 at 05:18 PM. Reason: To give correct size of snake thing
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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Do I need a new toilet or just a plumber?


Might be a Kohler Wellworth?if it is a 6litre low volume flush.? Have had similar with this model on main floor. Others above are fine.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:31 PM   #5
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You're correct. It is a Wellworth, not Wellington.
So are you saying you think it's the toilet and not the drain? Really am tempted to just go buy another one before spending the cash on a plumber. No offence to any plumbers, but the last time I had a guy out to fix a leak..it was 140 bucks--just to put new guts in this same fixture's old tank, and a washer on the shower faucet.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:36 PM   #6
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Do I need a new toilet or just a plumber?


when it does flush, does the water go down in a whirlpool and any air bubbles as it drains? How do the other drains work in that same bathroom?

If you snaked it well like you said and the bowl fills normally then you might have a clog the vent. Fill the sink and tub up and let them drain and let us know.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:05 PM   #7
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Thanks, I'll do that in the morning and let you know.

Whirlpool. Yeah think that might describe it, but I'll make sure when I check everything else.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:18 PM   #8
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Do I need a new toilet or just a plumber?


You've got a clog. The cable you used to snake out the line was too small and most likely curled up inside the pipe as mentioned earlier. Even if it actually did go out 20', 1/4" cable isnt going to do much to clean out a clog. You could put another toilet in, but its going to do the same thing. $140 for a tank rebuild and a shower faucet repair....you got a deal.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:16 AM   #9
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Curious to know if this is a main floor unit in a half bath on a separate drain line. My main floor Wellworth was great for several years butr has given me contious trouble recently. It was pulled last fall to paint. I ran a golfball through it. No clogs, I snaked with the right snake,large coil, etc, snake with handle, nothing, so I think my problem is downline. Because my upstairs Wellworths are fine I reason that my blockage is downstream before this line meets the main and gravity and vertical drops help the upstairs ones.
Our region has a toilet upgrade program however I have a neighbour who's brother in law now works as a trouble shooter for the region, snaking out and removing blockage between the home and the street.... No charge if the blockage is between the home and the street.The feedback I got is that there is not enough fluid volume to carry the waste all the way to the street.???? in some homes ....
My upstairs units have the added rinse benefit of a shower and bath as well as 10" vertical drop, the main doesn't so this might be factual or maybe I'm thinking too much but after a few plunges I ran some enzyme cleaner through last week and so far, no issues.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:40 AM   #10
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II Weeks: Ok, I filled and drained the tub and the sink.
I flushed the toilet at the same time. Was I supposed to do that...wasn't clear on the instructions. It went down but gurgled. Gurgle gurgle gurgle...5 times, I counted. Air bubbles? I thought the sink had some, but it drains really really fast. The tub drained normally. Saw no bubbles. Now what?

JDC: Those parts were only about 20 dollars. I just had no clue as how to install them as the other half was out of the country at the time...(I found out it's all one piece that just sort of screws in..not the old style) So you really think that was a deal? If so, maybe I should call the same company out for the clog then. WHERE is this clog do you think? In the vent or the other lines?

Chemist: My house is one story, so all on the same level.
This Bowl is 9 years or so old. But it is a low volume water flush thing.

As to Vents...I am trying to figure out where those are? The only little thing outside the house for that is on the total other end, (but isn't that a clean out?) and I believe that's for the kitchen sink, etc. I'm telling you guys I am ignorant. The only other places would be in the bathtub areas? Where he plate covers something for those inside closet walls.
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Old 01-06-2009, 10:42 AM   #11
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My symptoms are similar. I know the blockage is/was downline just not sure how far. This only exists for the oldest toilet / main floor which has no 10' drop to the basement just a gentle 90 to the side then 45 degree y into the 6' sloping drain pipe between my joists. I have a cleanout another 10' downline on the vertical drain pipe.
The toilet never overflows so by my calculation 6 litres down line, perhaps 4-6 feet...from the toilet is where some of my problem begins. I have fished , plunged , cranked and never pulled anything back. So I have bought the parts to cut the pipe and look inside with my RIGID See Snake.
While at the hardware store I also picked up the $6 enzyme cleaner for my sink. Label said its also good for toilet clogs and septic tanks so I dumped in a half bottle. No problems since so I held off on the cutting so far. I have a spare toilet so I can wait a bit on this but the wife isn't happy when it happens. I'm not anxious to cut into a horizontal run that might be full of .....
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:05 AM   #12
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Do I need a new toilet or just a plumber?


I had the same problem with one of my commodes. Snaking did not help, plunging did not either, so I took off the commode. When I looked at the underside of the commode, I found a small plastic container that holds replacement razor blades that apparently one of the cats decided would make a cool boat for the Tidy Bowl man. So, the snake was passing right past the plastic cup, but cup was a big enough obstruction to stop up the commode. Cant hurt to look. And while you have the commode off, you can pour water straight down the drain to see if that is draining well.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:07 AM   #13
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Yes $140 IS a deal. So the parts were about $20. Add to that the markup necessary to cover the cost of the gas as well as the time to go pick up the parts. Doesnt matter if they were on the truck at that moment or not. The plumber still had to pick them up at some point. Now add the cost of liability insurance, workers comp insurance, business auto insurance, employee wages, employee benefits. I could go on ad nauseum. So $140? Yeah, thats a DEAL. I'm not trying to be the hind quarters of a mule so to speak, but come on. What do YOU think the plumber should have charged? $40? $60? $80? Free? At $80 I'm not even covering the parts and the overhead. Those trucks dont run on air and my family does like to eat now and then. My kids deserve at least one pair of new shoes a year dont they?

Where do I think the clog is? I think its downstream of the toilet in the drain and not in the vent. Can I say for sure? Without looking at it myself no, I cant. However, I can say this. Toilets will drain fine even without a vent due to the design of toilets themselves. The siphon action of a toilet sucks air into the drain from the bowl along with the water. Thus the cyclonic action of the water. Something (air) has to be in the center of that cyclone. So again, no I dont believe the clog is in the vent. In addition, vents rarely clog because nothing goes through them but air. If they do clog it is most often caused by either a) snow or b) animal intrusion.

Good luck
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:13 PM   #14
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First thing we did when the toilet was off was look for little kitty mice toys. None there.

JDC: I thought the 50 dollars for the service call covered the comp, insurance, gas, etc.

I think what people (in general) hate about paying for services such as this...a lot of times the problem isn't resolved, and when someone else has to be called out, we end up paying to fix the mess ups, plus fixing the original problem correctly. And most of us aren't going to call the guy back who didn't correct whatever the problem was, be it a car issue, a plumbing or electrical problem, etc.....it's a lot of different trades.

Anyway, that's why I'm here trying to get information.. so that at least when someone does show up, (since it seems that is going to be necessary) I'll have a bit of an idea what the heck is going on.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:43 PM   #15
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Do I need a new toilet or just a plumber?


JDC is on the money but he's 10 hours south so I won't call him. Because I work with pipe I'm being stubborn. I could have easily earned $300 in service time for the time I've spent on this one but I want to know how to fix it next time. Just my nature. Maybe I'll run a fishing lure down and see how much line bails out?????Then I'll know where to cut.
A lesser or wiser? man would have given in by now.
Get a good plumber by referal or past experience. Keep his card offer him coffee, lunch. Any good tradesman is worth more than his hourly rate to you.

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