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brit1
toilet bowl overflows

We do have septic but i know it was cleaned out within last 5 years. Seems when toilet is used for anything other than urinating that it easily overflows. Happens so often and then is ok until next time. Not sure what to do about it as I am sick of cleaning it up at least once a week :( Any ideas welcome, thanks

ed21
Re: toilet bowl overflows

Could be a couple things:
Roots clogging the pipe, pipe partially collapsed(terra cotta), plastic toy partially obstructing the drain and probably a few other things that haven't come to mind.
First step if you want to DIY is pull the toilet off and check for any obvious obstructions. Check inside the toilet trap. The next is to snake the drain pipe. Any obstruction could be farther than you may be able to reach.
Apparently no other fixtures are involved, so their may be a chance the clog is close by.
If the fixture is close to where the drain exits the house and no obstructions can be found it may be outside that will probably require a plumber.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: toilet bowl overflows

This seems to be a common problem of low flow toilets. Best action is to flush solids and then use TP.

Jack

A. Spruce
Re: toilet bowl overflows
ed21 wrote:

First step if you want to DIY is pull the toilet off and check for any obvious obstructions. Check inside the toilet trap.

To elaborate a bit here, take the toilet off, take it out to the yard, and turn it upside down. Run a hose and/or snake up from the bottom, this will force out any obstruction lodged in the neck. The reason this will be necessary is that obstructions tend to only want to pass in one direction, so even trying to snake the toilet in place will only move the obstruction around, it won't pull it out or force it through. I have found toys, tooth brushes, and Popsicle sticks lodged in toilets. The only way they came out was to flip the toilet upside down and back flush them.

When you reset the toilet, make sure you use a new wax ring.

brit1
Re: toilet bowl overflows

thanks for the input, very much appreciated. Yes it is a low flow toilet :( Would it be ok to purchase an auger and try snaking it without taking toilet out? I ask because I can go ahead and do that but unable to remove it myself until perhaps my son is here and then we could do a proper job. After doing some research doesn't sound like its the septic causing any problems. Also following the advice of flushing and then using TP, seems to work :) Other toilets in the house do not seem to have a problem, just this one. brit

keith3267
Re: toilet bowl overflows

I have a suggestion that you might try first, get a 5 gallon bucket and add about a 1/4 cup of laundry detergent in the bottom, then fill most of the way with hot water. Use a plunger to force most of the water out of the bowl and then pour the hot water into the bowl as fast as you can with out overflowing it. Repeat if necessary but no more than twice. If the water doesn't flush through rapidly after the second time, any more will just be a waste of time and hot water.

If you live in an area of hard water, and you have an elbow just below the toilet, you may have mineral deposits that have filled the elbow and even risen into the bottom of the toilet. I replace a toilet last week that had this very problem. It was an older low flow toilet that did not flush as fast as the new high performance toilets. I was putting in a new Kohler high performance toilet when I discovered this mineral build up. I cleaned out the elbow, and the new toilet flushed perfectly.

BTW, a snake will not be able to clean out this type of deposit, the toilet will have to be removed. A new wax ring is cheaper than a snake anyway, unless you already have a snake or can borrow one. We had tried to snake out the above toilet with no success.

dj1
Re: toilet bowl overflows

" Other toilets in the house do not seem to have a problem, just this one. brit "

If this is the case, you have to concentrate on the toilet - remove the toilet and take it outdoor for cleaning.

Using a toilet auger without removing the toilet, will push the obstruction down the drain line - do you want that to happen?

When I need to carry a toilet outside, I bring a wheel borrow to the bathroom, load the toilet and carry it out without spills.

One more thing: Use gloves.

A. Spruce
Re: toilet bowl overflows
dj1 wrote:

When I need to carry a toilet outside, I bring a wheel borrow to the bathroom, load the toilet and carry it out without spills.

Or, plunge as much of the water out as possible, then set the toilet into a large garbage bag to contain any drips or remaining water from spilling onto the floor, then carry it out by grabbing the bowl just behind the seat.

dj1
Re: toilet bowl overflows

Yes sprucee, you can do that.

Poster - if the toilet is too heavy for you alone, and if you have a two piece toilet - empty the tank, disassemble it and put it aside. The bowl should be a lot lighter then.

keith3267
Re: toilet bowl overflows

If you have a tub or shower in that bathroom, you can set the toilet in the tub/shower, lift the front until the toilet is almost vertical, then set it back down. That will remove almost all the water, then take it out to the lawn for cleaning and flushing. Personally, I just plunge most of the water out and then carry the thing out with the back of the toilet slightly elevated from the rear, no spills.

Mastercarpentry
Re: toilet bowl overflows

When I'm redoing a bath floor and not moving the tub/shower, the toilet goes in there on top of an old towel, cardboard, or anything to both protect the tub/shower as well as the keep the wax from the toilet from getting all over everything. With care you can do as A.Spruce says right there with a garden hose run through a window. Of course clean the tub/shower when you're all done.

The first generation of low-flow toilets were generally awful, and while most are OK now some are still better than others at flushing. Though there's a bit of work involved, it's best to pull the toilet so you can check both it and the drain piping well- the wax seal is only a couple bucks and a snake will likely not help with a partial obstruction which is very common (especially if there's kids and toys in the house). I remember a TOH episode where Richard found a plastic ring bracelet lodged in the toilet trap after breaking it apart- the snake passed right through it and it was only when it twisted that there were problems so sometimes that toilet worked fine and sometimes it didn't.

You didn't say if this is the same brand/style as the others which work OK. If it isn't then this might be the problem, and a good time to get a better one. With the rest of the system working fine, whatever the problem is this is were it's going to be found.

Phil

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