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Chemist1961 01-11-2009 07:03 AM

Kohler wellworths Clogged
After following another post I have observed my 3 Kohler Wellworths. They do vent on different stacks about 12 feet apart but merge in the attic tied into the same rooftop vent stack which protrudes 2" through the rubber flange. We have a lot of snow up there today but the vent is visible with no snow nearby. I have not been to the roof yet.

Main floor toilet, 6-8 yrs old, has been a continuous issue this past year. It drains about 8 feet to tee into a main line, then drops into the main and runs past a cleanout. Has been removed twice, augered and snaked as well as plunged frequently with improvement for several days then seems to reclog.
Some days when clogged it flushes fine the next day. I believe the issue is downline. There are no sharp turns or bends, 1 each 3" 90 and 3" 45 in the first 3' of pipe, 2 more 6' donwline where it offsets 45 then drops 90 into the main drain stacks. No back to back 90s, at least 3" straight space between 45s and 90s.
Top floor main bath also clogged yesterday evening, flushes this a.m. When flushed there is no "whirlpool, it drains clean refills about 4" in bowl then runs down empty then the bowl fills properly.
Top floor, below the vent stack, clogged? yesterday, tank fills the bowl, effluent drains gradually, I could hear and see it dropping slowly.
Until last nite these two have never clogged at the same time, however the 3rd in our ensuite gave us an issue as well so this job is now a priority today.
I think it's time to rent the bigger snake? If I pull the cleanout to snake from directly below in the basement could anything slop back from pressure or buildup above or should it ooze at worst? Do I start with the vent or the cleanout?

DUDE! 01-11-2009 07:23 AM

I'd start at the clean-out, and yes you most likely are going to get wet.. It's a frame of mind, you checking the water content, or trying to fix the clog. And should you get water at the clean-out then the clog is downstream from that point. Something is keeping the water there. If the pipe is empty, clog is upstream toward the toilets. Although we go after the vent, those in the know on here say its seldom the vent pipe clogged.

Chemist1961 01-11-2009 07:28 AM

Dude, Thanks for being awake and online. I'm going to take a large, deep rubber maid tub and put on the boots and latex gloves. Just want to be prepared. I guess it could be muddy or sloppy in there. Any pointers for volume I might want to prepare for. Is there any chance of back pressure forcing things out or just weight from above?
I've cleared a 5' radius.

DUDE! 01-11-2009 07:33 AM

yes depending on the volume, water is 7 pounds per gallon, but what you want to do is unscrew the cap easy, sometimes you can't get real close, it'll seep out as you unscrew it, I'd keep firm pressure on the cap, you can always start screwing it back on if too much for your pail.

Chemist1961 01-11-2009 07:37 AM

I'm goin in. If you don't hear from me by got ugly or my wife did...... It's been good chatting

DUDE! 01-11-2009 07:39 AM

Good luck to you, be safe and wear your rain hat just in case :laughing:

Chemist1961 01-11-2009 08:13 AM

Cut or Snake?
3 Attachment(s)
Attachment 7252

Attachment 7253

Attachment 7254

A bit too late for the rain hat idea don't you think? I fished an old 1/2" Water softener hose up from the cleanout to do a locate. So my issue is 9' above and very close to where my 90 turns horizontal and is intesected by a Y from the sink, about within 3' from the toilet. Should I pull the toilet and auger from floor level for best reach or go get a large diameter snake?I don't mind buying one.
I already have the couplers to cut in and I'm still concerned about a secondary obstruction causing the blockage near or at the 2" Y. I've found some weird stuff beyond my sink traps before. I want to cure the cause and the symptom.
First pic shows problem area, third shows run from there towards drain with cleanout, second shows intersect above cleanout fom all runs.

DUDE! 01-11-2009 08:45 AM

Now we need an actual plumber to offer advise for the layout, in the second picture it looks like the Y is sweeping to the wrong direction, maybe its just me. As for the clog, 3ft, I'd be dumping 5 gallon pails of water down the toilet, if that didn't work, I'd try taking the toilet off, and doing it again. Snakes are great just somewhat dangerous, in a bind, I've used a cheap $5 garden hose, the stiff kind, and work that down the pipe to help break up the clog. Have you tried the plunger already?

Chemist1961 01-11-2009 08:48 AM

Should note picture 2 and 3 need to rote 90 degrees right. Have pulled the toilet again and the 3' auger hits nothing.

DUDE! 01-11-2009 08:59 AM

the pipe at the cleanout was empty? but toilet still doesn't want to flush? somewhere in between so, either get the big snake, rent is cheaper, or try a stiff hose, you could cut out the pipe and add to it, although you'd need a fernco coupler to get pipe back together. I'm not a plumber but the pictures are confusing to me, in the last picture, pipe on the left seems lower then to the right, but left has a Y dumping into the main, appearing to go upstream instead of downstream,

Chemist1961 01-11-2009 10:58 AM

Armed and Dangerous now
Last two pics need to rotate 90 degrees right.
All are from same position looking up into my joists
Bought a flat snake with spear on roller tip?, and drain cleaner safe for ceramics. Snake is till in package.
Put my RIGID See Snake down on the main floor and can't see blockage. Ran the garden hose with warm water for 2-3 minutes, no back up. Checked the toilet trap from below while tipped on edge and have
previously rolled a golf ball ttrough... NOTHING.......
So in went the drain cleaner and a 1/2 bottle upstairs as well.
Complete sputter blockage upstairs when flushing prior to drain cleaner, almost overflowed.
I know when I fished the 1/2 hose up from the cleanout I hit mud texture and the hose end is clogged and coated, I m just wondering if it turned right into the pipe from upstairs at the 3" y but if the blockage is in the upstairs branch why is the main plugging so often? Again the hose went straight up the cleanout about 9' before any obstruction. The drains flow, etc?

So the drain cleaner need about 1/ 2 hour. Here I sit. Anybody any plumbing pros on today? JDC and others?

DUDE! 01-11-2009 12:10 PM

After standing on my head, I finally understand the pics, sorry, you said you hit "mud texture" so you found the clog, the snake should clear it out. I don't care for drain cleaners because when you go in after with your snake, it coats it and is not friendly to your skin. Opening the clog is one thing, why it keeps happening is for the plumbers on here to help with. I wish you good luck and will keep up with your updates.

Chemist1961 01-11-2009 12:24 PM

Sorry I'm not good with the pics.
I'm going vertical for a while to check out the vents. I cannot see or recall a vent from the main however both toilets upstairs are vented tied into one stack in the attic. So if that vent is clogged the main may tie in which might explain the blockage three ways.The main floor toilet run is now clear to the cleanout and flowing fast but upstairs still isn't going anywhere but with the toilet off on the main it is venting itself????
If I fall through the attic I'll have a project for next weekend.

Chemist1961 01-11-2009 01:39 PM

So, into the attic to check the stack all clear, no ice, snow or critters. Put the See Snake in just because I could ...nothing. Severed the vent run between the two toilets and left it open to test, nothing. So I plunged both upstairs toilets and they flush... but

1. Full bath,upstairs closest to vent, toilet flushes water drops to nothing , comes back up in bowl maybe to 6" then drops down again and gurgles as refilling the bowl.Then refills bowl to proper level. No Whirlpool action here.

2. Ensuite,upstairs midway in vent and main drain run, flushes fine again has a whirlpool action. This has been the least problematic of the 3.

3. Main floor 1/2 bath, ran spade tipped large snake through from cleanout below 10'up to toilet flange. Nothing, clean as a whistle.

4. This snake is flat with a ball an sapde on the tip. I could not fit it down past teh cleanout although snaking the 1/2" hose found no obstructions in 8-10 ft.

5. Have yet to cut into the "branch" line running horizontally from upstairs across basement ceiling to the main drain. This wiillned the Fernco coupler Im think.Both upstairs toilets which were also clogged are upstream from this area. Even if there is still blockage here this doesn't explain the main floor issue unless it's all at the Y into the main drain stck in the pictures.

DUDE! 01-11-2009 04:09 PM

Just in case, leave the hammer in the toolbox for now. Let me know, two toilets upstairs, one works fine, the other flushes and gurgles. Toilet on first floor is now working but clogs alot. Is this where you are at?, and just curious, are you on city or septic.

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