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Old 01-23-2011, 11:51 AM   #1
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


I've lived in this house for 20 years and have very little trouble with the toilet. In fact, when I pulled out the plunger, it was cracked and crumbled.

But now, the toilet will sometimes drain slowly. It's happened 3 times in the last week or 2. Everytime, running a 3 foot closet auger fixes it. But the problem comes back in a few days. I wonder if the 6 foot closet auger I saw at Home Depot is the solution?

Last year, we had the Orangeburg tar paper sewer line replaced. So the sewer line is cast iron in the crawl space, then plastic to the street.

Thanks for any ideas!

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Last edited by ratherbefishing; 01-23-2011 at 02:24 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:32 PM   #2
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


I would almost bet you have a small item in the trap way going from the flush valve to the siphon jet hole, and it is too large to fit thru the jet and every so often as you flush it is caught in the jet hole.

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Old 01-23-2011, 12:40 PM   #3
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


Quote:
Originally Posted by ratherbefishing View Post
I've lived in this house for 20 tears and have very little trouble with the toilet. In fact, when I pulled out the plunger, it was cracked and crumbled.

But now, the toilet will sometimes drain slowly. It's happened 3 times in the last week or 2. Everytime, running a 3 foot closet auger fixes it. But the problem comes back in a few days. I wonder if the 6 foot closet auger I saw at Home Depot is the solution?

Last year, we had the Orangeburg tar paper sewer line replaced. So the sewer line is cast iron in the crawl space, then plastic to the street.

Thanks for any ideas!
ratherbefishing (me too) -

It's most likely something stuck in the trap of the toilet that you "thought" was cleared with the auger. I would suggest removing the water closet, flip it on it's side, then run the auger from the bottom up, look in the trap with a flashlight. See if you can see anything in there, i.e. makeup container, toothbrush, Q-tip, whatever. While you have the toilet off the floor, make sure there's no standing water or debris in the 90 below the floor also.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:05 PM   #4
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


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ratherbefishing (me too) -

It's most likely something stuck in the trap of the toilet that you "thought" was cleared with the auger. I would suggest removing the water closet, flip it on it's side, then run the auger from the bottom up, look in the trap with a flashlight. See if you can see anything in there, i.e. makeup container, toothbrush, Q-tip, whatever. While you have the toilet off the floor, make sure there's no standing water or debris in the 90 below the floor also.
My bet also. I recently had to pull a toilet (in motel) because someone had flushed an ink pen. It got crossways of the drain and would stop up with paper after a few days. Plunge vigorously and it would be fine for a few days, then stop back up when paper got caught up. It really doesn't take much to stop one up, just something small across the exit opening. I have found cologne bottles, ink pens, toys, syringes, and once--even a coke can that made the turn but got caught on the bottom opening. Just another fun day at the office
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:32 PM   #5
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


Thanks, guys. That was my thought as well, something small, that allowed water to pass, until enough paper or solids caught on it and caused a clog. The problem seemed to develop a day or so after we had the 8 year old neighbor over for the day. I don't really want to lift the toilet (enough other projects; see my other posts), but that may be the next step.

Epson, I'm not quite sure I understand your diagnosis. I'll need to learn more about toilet technology. Where's the siphon jet hole?
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:02 AM   #6
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


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Epson, I'm not quite sure I understand your diagnosis. I'll need to learn more about toilet technology. Where's the siphon jet hole?
They are located underside of the rim of the bowl.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:04 PM   #7
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


I had one this week end... Clogged toilet... Auger... Nothing... flush paper... Clogged... Pulled out the Shop vac and sucked out the water... And down fell the 3 balls that were clogging it
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:29 AM   #8
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


Thanks, Doc. The new wax ring is purchased and sitting on the tank lid, waiting to be installed tomorrow after work. But I think I'll try the shop vac first. I wasn't really looking forward to lifting the toilet off the floor. I MIGHT get lucky.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:08 AM   #9
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Thanks, Doc. The new wax ring is purchased and sitting on the tank lid, waiting to be installed tomorrow after work. But I think I'll try the shop vac first. I wasn't really looking forward to lifting the toilet off the floor. I MIGHT get lucky.

I always try the shop vac or a siphon tool before removing Toilet. Keep in mind Toilet is also 20 years old.... May consider a low flow if you are removing it. I live near a Home Depot So I am OK but, Where I use to live if I had to remove a Toilet and there was a chance it would need to be replaced I would pick up the Toilet on my way home if I passed a store. That way if I needed to replace it I could continue working instead of stopping and continuing... and if I do not need it I just returned it. I like to have anything I may need on hand just in case
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:29 AM   #10
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I always try the shop vac or a siphon tool before removing Toilet. Keep in mind Toilet is also 20 years old.... May consider a low flow if you are removing it......
This toilet isn't 20 years old. It's 50 years old. The color matches the sink and tub and tile. Very cool '50s green. It isn't going anywhere for a while. I'm in the process of adding a second bath; so in a few months, this one will be getting flushed much less. Might take a while to recoup construction costs in water savings, though.
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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toilet draining slowly intermittent


Siphon jets:

Some toilets have a half inch or so jet hole at the very bottom of the bowl, fed by the water from the tank, to produce a horizontal water current and get settled solids moving when the toilet is flushed.

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