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Old 06-09-2011, 12:38 AM   #1
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Toilet Leak/Backup Question


Renting a converted apartment while we're renovating our house. Toilet has rocked from move-in inspection, day 1. Notified owner of the problem, but he's a real piece of work and has refused to correct the issue. (States that HE himself installed this toilet and WE must have caused the problem. ) This evening, flushed after doing my business and water did not drain out, it just filled the bowl. Within seconds, water started pouring out from where the toilet meets the floor and the level in the bowl dropped. Ran out to the van and grabbed my wet/dry vac and dealt with the spill. Too late to notify the owner tonight, but he'll be hearing about it tomorrow!

Now since the toilet has been rocking, I'm sure that the wax ring is toast and therefore, would leak. What confuses me is why the bowl won't drain. I've plunged and tried an auger, but there doesn't seem to be a clog. (Or it's too far down in the drain for the auger to reach. I had about 24" worth of the auger in there...) Has anyone ever heard of a failed wax ring causing this type of issue? Or do we likely have two separate problems - clog and failed wax ring? Would like to be better informed before bringing this to the owner's attention as we'll surely be blamed for the problem too.

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Old 06-09-2011, 07:18 AM   #2
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Toilet Leak/Backup Question


He pulled and reset the toilet----why? I guess a clogged drain.

Another possibility---he used to large of a ring and the excess wax squeezed into the pipe---

or he knocked the ring off the pipe while placing the toilet.

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Old 06-09-2011, 11:08 PM   #3
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Read online that a failed wax ring can admit air and the siphon action of the toilet is broken. The toilet bowl wouldnt drain as a result. Seems to make sense.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:56 AM   #4
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Toilet Leak/Backup Question


How long have you been living there?

My guess is that one problem isn't related to the other. You have a blockage. The wax seal was broken from day 1, but since the piping below the floor was clear, there was no reason for the water to come out there.

Now that your piping is stopped up, the water can't go down, so it goes where it can. Through the wax seal which is broken.


What size auger did you use? You said you had 24" in there, which leads me to believe you weren't using a toilet auger, which normally are 5-6' long. If you only had 24" of toilet auger in there, you need to put the whole thing down there.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:58 AM   #5
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Read online that a failed wax ring can admit air and the siphon action of the toilet is broken. The toilet bowl wouldnt drain as a result. Seems to make sense.
Water seeks it's own level. The siphon is there to pull out waste. If it wasn't clogged, the water would still go down siphon or not, because the water level would eventually reach the trap weir and go down.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:51 AM   #6
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Alan, I used a 3' auger. The packaging stated that it was for use on toilets. I went back at the toilet this evening and cleared the blockage. It flushes now with just a trickle of water from the wax ring. Thanks for the lesson!
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:52 AM   #7
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Spoke too soon. Worked for half a day, now not draining again. Bowl fills and then water leaks out from wax ring all over the floor. No solid matter has been deposited either.

Clogged vent maybe?

Last edited by Pittsville; 06-10-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:34 PM   #8
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So today is today, what is the owner doing about this? If there is wax down the waste line, wouldn't an auger just bore right through it without actually removing it - still clogging solid waste?
Anyway, if he wasn't going to do anything about, I'd pull the toilet myself and put the proper wax ring on.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:52 PM   #9
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Anyway, if he wasn't going to do anything about, I'd pull the toilet myself and put the proper wax ring on.
Respectfully, I advise against pulling the toilet and doing any repairs yourself. The landlord would then have a case that you caused any damages to the floor (wood rot or whatever) and hold you liable for repair costs. What ever happens, it would be a time sink and headache for you.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 06-11-2011 at 12:39 AM. Reason: changed renter to landlord.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:41 PM   #10
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If there were wax pushed into the drain and the auger were boring through it, I figure the auger would come back with wax on it. It comes back clean.

I have no intention of completing the repair on my own for exactly the reason mentioned by HRG. I'm not going to assume liability for the landlords issues. The shower neck also has a hairline crack that sprays out a mist of water. Very easy to fix, but I'm not going to risk something going wrong during the replacement. I simply patched the crack with some plumbers putty to protect the guys walls. The landlord has refused to fix these issues after both verbal and written requests. Unfortunately it's going to turn into a legal matter.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:43 PM   #11
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guessing you might have an OBJECT stuck in there, rather than waste. Do you have kids?

Sometimes circular objects about the size of a skoal can will go halfway down and get stuck, and then rotate in the trap like a valve. Flush once or twice, it may go down, then the object will rotate and close off the trapway until an auger is forced down, then it will open up for several more flushes until it closes off the trapway again.

Try the auger again and see if it clears for another day or so.

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Old 06-10-2011, 11:44 PM   #12
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P.S. did you send your written request via certified mail?

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Old 06-11-2011, 12:35 AM   #13
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Yep, sent certified mail with return receipt requested. The landlord refused to sign for it. Should still qualify as notice. Not our fault he apparently doesn't care enough to accept the letter.

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