Low Toilet Bowl Levels

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AnthonyK

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Over the last few months I have noticed 3 of the 4 toilets in the house are not filling the bowl where they used too. I know this because we are on well and septic and have very hard water and can see where the original line was by a small iron ring around the bowl. Two are 2 years old and one is 15 years old. I swapped out the guts on one of them but no change at all.

What I also notice is this. After flushing the bowl, it gets to its (new level ) pretty quickly and then continues to fill for another 20 or 25 seconds (I can see the water coming into the bowl) but the water level never gets any higher. The water is going somewhere but not in the bowl. Is this normal?

I originally thought it was maybe a clogged sewer vent. I ran water with a hose down it but nothing.. Same thing. Also, I am not getting the gurgling sound in the toilets people talk about.

Someone else told me a partially clogged sewer line.

Anyone have any ideas? Or need any other information? 3 different plumbers and 3 different diagnosis'. I would like to at least be able get some opinions so I know which way to proceed before this turns into a nightmare of tearing down walls etc...

Thanks!
 

AnthonyK

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partial clogged sewer line
Thank you for your reply.

I just ran a test they said to try to see if it is a sewer vent.

They say flush the toilet and soon as the tank is filled and shuts off turn on the hot and cold water nearest to the toilet (the sink for me) They say if the toilet level drops after that its a sewer vent.. I did it.. and the toilet level dropped like a 1/2 inch almost immediately.

Any thoughts?

Thank you
 

Gorillatrot

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sometimes if there is tp or a string or something between the toilet trap and the arm, it could wick water down from the trap to the drain. Then the water in the bowl could be siphoned down, this could be a slower process but eventually giving you small amounts of water in the bowl. Sometimes it's shitty design style from the toilets. Venting could be the issue too, check that there are no squirrels or bird's nest up in the vents attached to your toilets.
 

AnthonyK

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sometimes if there is tp or a string or something between the toilet trap and the arm, it could wick water down from the trap to the drain. Then the water in the bowl could be siphoned down, this could be a slower process but eventually giving you small amounts of water in the bowl. Sometimes it's shitty design style from the toilets. Venting could be the issue too, check that there are no squirrels or bird's nest up in the vents attached to your toilets.
Thanks for your response..
But how could this happen is all 4 toilets at the same time?
 

AnthonyK

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Thanks for your response..
But how could this happen is all 4 toilets at the same time?
Meaning something stuck in the trap. I personally think its a venting issue but I can tell.. I went on the rook and it only goes down 3 feet before it T's and cant see any further of course
 

frodo

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right here right now, over there later on.
if you have 4 toilets, I am assuming they are in different rooms
and they all have separate vents.
so we have ruled out the vent problem because the problem is occurring in 4 separate rooms
what else do they have in common? water, good answer but the water does not cause clogs
your sewer has a partial obstruction
next question should be where?
if the sewer exits the front of the house
the plug is between the first/closest terlet to the front of the house and the sewer tap out in the street
do you have a tree in the front yard? or a big shrub bush?
they may be the problem,
 

AnthonyK

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if you have 4 toilets, I am assuming they are in different rooms
and they all have separate vents.
so we have ruled out the vent problem because the problem is occurring in 4 separate rooms
what else do they have in common? water, good answer but the water does not cause clogs
your sewer has a partial obstruction
next question should be where?
if the sewer exits the front of the house
the plug is between the first/closest terlet to the front of the house and the sewer tap out in the street
do you have a tree in the front yard? or a big shrub bush?
they may be the problem,
Thank you for your reply.

But all they all vent out thru the one sewer vent pipe on the top of the house, there are not 4 different vents on the roof so you are losing me here a bit? Not sure I understand that.

Im on well and septic not city water/sewer. It goes out the side of the house with about an 8 foot run to the first septic tank. We have a cavetat system with an aerator and the closest toilet would be the basement one. There are no trees or deep rooted bushes within 100 feet of the pipe that would go to the first tank. Just a flower bed.

Question, If there is a blockage why do I not experience any slowness of drains at all? They all drain perfectly fine? I had heard that a sewer line could cause this but I dont understand how it effects water level but not drainage? It seems like you would have both, no?

Thanks again
 

UFGator121222

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I do not see a vent causing this. It has to be a partially stopped sewer I would think. You don’t notice it anywhere else because everything else is gray water and goes by the partial stoppage.
 

AnthonyK

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I do not see a vent causing this. It has to be a partially stopped sewer I would think. You don’t notice it anywhere else because everything else is gray water and goes by the partial stoppage.
Can you explain that to me? Im really trying to understand how a sewer clog lowers the toilets but no draining issues? I guess when I think of a clogged sewer line Im thinking of toilets backing up all over the floor. Any help to get me to understand that would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

UFGator121222

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When someone says gray water it just means dirty water. So for instance your washer is draining gray water because it is only dirty water no solids or anything. So when gray water is draining it will go by a partial stoppage because there is nothing in the water to slow it down or cause the clog to get worse. A partial stoppage will cause the toilet to drain a little slower so even tho it seems like it is done flushing and filling it is still draining a little bit because the partial clog is causing it to drain to slow but not completely stop up. If you pour a 5 gallon bucket down the toilet it flushes fine but pour that same 5 gallon bucket in there but do it slow and you will notice the toilet drain but not completely flush because it isn’t able to drain as fast as it needs to completely flush. Maybe that will make a little more sense.
 

AnthonyK

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thanks again for taking the time to respond. It is appreciated!

Hmmm.. Just to be clear, I dont notice it flushing slowly.. the thrust seems fine. Have no issue flushing waste solids. One other thing I can mention. The water level reaches to the final highest level after flushing pretty quick, then I still see the water still trying to fill the bowl for another 25 seconds but the water level never gets any higher. I put a ruler in there bottom of the bowl but it never gets any higher although the water keeps coming in for that additional 25 seconds. Does that make sense?
 

frodo

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Thank you for your reply.

But all they all vent out thru the one sewer vent pipe on the top of the house, there are not 4 different vents on the roof so you are losing me here a bit? Not sure I understand that.
you are telling me a 3 1/2 or 4 bath house only has 1 vent out the roof?
 

Diehard

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thanks again for taking the time to respond. It is appreciated!

Hmmm.. Just to be clear, I dont notice it flushing slowly.. the thrust seems fine. Have no issue flushing waste solids. One other thing I can mention. The water level reaches to the final highest level after flushing pretty quick, then I still see the water still trying to fill the bowl for another 25 seconds but the water level never gets any higher. I put a ruler in there bottom of the bowl but it never gets any higher although the water keeps coming in for that additional 25 seconds. Does that make sense?
The maximum water level in the bowl is controlled by the height of the Weir level in the toilet trap.
A small amount of the water entering the tank gets routed to the Refill Tube which continues to add water to the bowl while the tank is filling.

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