Funky nagging toilet issue-backing up and slow draining-all intermittent.

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Sean Nelson

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Ok here goes. I have a 3 story home with a bathroom on each floor and all are above each other which I assume that means they are on a shared drain line and vent stack. Im having a devil of a time figuring out what the real issue is thats troubling the toilets. I keep thinking I have a venting issue but only as augering and snaking has been done at varying times. here's a bit o history below.

I have had over the years intermittent clogging issues with the 3rd and 2nd floor toilets. They also seem to regularly slow drain. The first floor toilet seems to have consistently worked fine. The most recent issue was someone used the toilet on the 3rd floor and flushed only urine and the toilet overflowed the bowl. dafunk?

what ive tried:
I have had the main line (from the basement connection) cleared a month ago. I have used a toilet auger on the 3rd and 2nd-floor toilets about a month ago when they were both experiencing issues with backing up. I did have to fight a bit to get the auger thru on one of the toilets, but i was also using a bit of a cheap auger... I have filled both the 3rd and 2nd flr toilets with muriatic acid and let sit for an hour as I heard this was a good way to help with slow flow issues by clearing the water jetting area(however it didn't seem to do anything).

What i haven't done in ages:
I have not run a larger snake down the line from the 3rd floor toilet down to the basement personal, but i think this was done back in 2005 or so.

So that should be a good start of info and hopefully, someone can point me in the right direction for me to address this or get a service tech over to take on what im not equiped to do.

Thanks for any help!

Note - tools I have are
crappy auger - should have gotten the 40$ model.
A rigid 2" snake with all the varying heads.
 

bbp

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Save your money on power rodding the vertical stack. If the toilets are old, replace. You can try cleaning out the flush holes under the rim and the jet at the bottom of the bowl if applicable. A good toilet auger is a must.
 

Sean Nelson

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"You can try cleaning out the flush holes under the rim and the jet at the bottom of the bowl if applicable." you have a recommendation as to how I go about that? I tried muriatic acid and letting it sit for 1 hr but that didn't seem to do all that much.
 

Diehard

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If water overflowed the bowl, there is or was blockage somewhere.
Could be something caught in the toilet trap that's catching stuff and/or just slowing it down.
Or could be blockage down stream from there.
1. Remove toilet and check for items stuck in toilet trap.
2. Check drain pipe flow by pouring a couple of gallons of water down, more than once in case the pipe holds a couple of gallons.
2. Snake from the open toilet flange if necessary.
 

lscotese

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See if water will flow down the vent pipe (from the roof). Make sure you have someone monitoring the toilets to see if one starts filling. If the Vent is straight try dropping a flashlight on a string down to see if there is a physical restriction.

Is your vent on an outside wall - could frost/ice be forming in the vent? Does your problem always occur in cold weather?
 

Sean Nelson

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well one issue with my house is the height and roof slope. these arent navigable by myself and im trying to avoid paying to send someone up if it isnt the issue. but i may just have too to properly address this.
The vent is on the inside and at this point I havent documented it seasonally. damn i should have.
thanks for the reply.
 

Sean Nelson

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If water overflowed the bowl, there is or was blockage somewhere.
Could be something caught in the toilet trap that's catching stuff and/or just slowing it down.
Or could be blockage down stream from there.
1. Remove toilet and check for items stuck in toilet trap.
2. Check drain pipe flow by pouring a couple of gallons of water down, more than once in case the pipe holds a couple of gallons.
2. Snake from the open toilet flange if necessary.
im going to run thru your checklist, thanks!
 

Geofd

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go with diehards recommendations if your having trouble getting the auger thru that's a sign I have pulled many toilets with tooth brushes shaving products bottle caps run the auger thru the toilet after you remove it you could even snake the drain from the toilet flange for good measure....there are 6ft augers that you could use if you don't want to snake....you can also use a flexible supply point it into the flange and turn on the water and see if it takes water
 
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