toilet flushes slow and gurgles

Discussion in 'Toilets and Sinks' started by comodore, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. Apr 9, 2011 #1

    comodore

    comodore

    comodore

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    Ok-- here is my problem.

    The toilet started draining really slow and not flushing solids. The toilet bubbles when water is ran in sink and vice versa.

    I called a plumber and they sent a really young guy (no master plumber). He snaked the toilet and didn't find anything. He took the waterhose and ran water down the system and said the water was not backing up. Then he replaced the toilet and everything worked great-- for two weeks. Then he came back and removed a pipe from under my sink and then the toilet started flushing. He said this meant it was a venting problem. He couldn't find the existing vent so he went under the house and installed a new one under the house and took it out the crawl space and up the side of the house. After this the toilet flushed for one day-- then quit again. (I later found the original vent.) Next he said the pipes under the house needed to be replaced and slanted in a different way. After finishing this the toilet flushed two times and then quit again.

    Where do I go from here? Yes, I plan on calling and asking for a master plumber. What does the problem sound like?

    PS--I have a septic system.
     
  2. Apr 9, 2011 #2

    Caduceus

    Caduceus

    Caduceus

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    From your first statement, it sounds like a clog. Also, you are on a septic system and periodically they need to be pumped depending on a variety of factors. You should check your tank to see if it is full.
    When dealing with gurgling, it is common to think that the vents can be an issue. Vents are rarely,if ever, the issue. A clogged or missing vent does not cause gurgling in the plumbing system. It may cause siphoning of p-traps and possibly a 'double flush' of the toilet, but the situation that you described has me leaning towards a full septic tank that leeches slowly then allowing good operation of the drains but fills until it can't handle the volume.
    I wouldn't necessarily ask for a master plumber (some companies only have one...the owner) because there are a lot of seasoned journeyman and apprentices that are very good at what they do and just as knowledgeable as a master plumber.
    Maybe get a few assessments from different plumbers. This could be a simple clog, tank pumping or a large project such as replacement of tank or field.
    The venting problem that he found under your sink usually indicates that there is a clog or water in the drain between vents and water is compressing. Once the pipes are separated under the sink, the back pressure is released into the open atmosphere and you may get a few flushes out of the toilet until the area that was relieved fills up again...then you're back to square one just as you have described.
     
  3. Apr 10, 2011 #3

    comodore

    comodore

    comodore

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    Thanks for your response.

    I did have someone check the cleanout pipe of the septic system and he said it wasn't full.

    If it is something wrong with the septic system or leach field I just don't understand why everything has worked fine for awhile after the plumber does something to it like take the pipe off the sink.

    I will call tomorrow morning and get another plumber in to look at things.
     
  4. Apr 11, 2011 #4

    DUNBAR PLUMBING

    DUNBAR PLUMBING

    DUNBAR PLUMBING

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    Partial clog in the drain system.


    It's air displacing to the least path of resistance, the movement of water in the traps.


    You need drain cleaning done as it will always get progressively worse.

    I took some online courses years ago when I was getting my GED and this was one of the answers to a question on the test.

    ^

    Could be a great signature line for anyone who wants it!
     
  5. Apr 13, 2011 #5

    comodore

    comodore

    comodore

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    Unfortunately, I have a caved in septic system. It has to be replaced along with re-doing the leach field.
    The septic is old and it looked to me like it didn't have a "real" cover on it. Instead it had a piece of metal over it.
     
  6. Apr 13, 2011 #6

    Caduceus

    Caduceus

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    Sorry to hear of the bad news. Silver lining is that the newer system will operate much better and probably require less maintenance. Good luck.
     
  7. May 12, 2011 #7

    baltimoresewerservice

    baltimoresewerservice

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    On many toilets, there's a jet (hole) located in the front portion of the lowest part. When you flush, a jet of water shoots backwards horizontally and gets the water flowing quickly. If you have hard water, lime deposits can plug that hole up completely.

    If you have a septic tank and want to check to see if it needs pumping, you'll have to remove the cover over the inspection hole, so that means digging time. To find the tank, take a steel rod and poke down into the soil, usually there isn't much more than about a foot of dirt over it. After you find the hole, take a long, thin board or the like, nail another piece of wood or Masonite approximately 6X6 or 8X8 inches flat onto the end and slowly lower it down into the hold. On the top will be foam, then water and at the bottom, you should feel some resistance as the flat board makes contact with the solids (they'll be mushy). After you feel the solids, make note of how much of the pole is exposed, then push the board down all the way to the bottom and again check the pole length. If the solids are more than around 25% of the tank depth, it needs to be pumped.

    Baltimore Sewer Service
     

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