I plunged, I auged, now I'll reckon I'll rent a snake

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I posted here yesterday about a toilet in my house that has recently turned into a lazy flusher (upon flushing the water spins a bit, then stops and then the water level drops, but it's not flushing like it did even a week ago). Someone here suggested getting an auger and I did that. I was hopeful that it would be the solution I needed, but after auging and then plunging a bit more I am seeing no improvement. (There was a little paper floating around the bowl after I pulled the auger out.) I'm making a few calls now to rent a snake. I think I'd rather try to snake it than pulling the toilet as that sounds like a messy headache. One place I called said they had a 100 foot snake for $45 a day. He said they might have a smaller one around the shop somewhere. I hope they do as 100 feet is likely way too long.
Anyhow, any advice for a guy about to snake his toilet? I guess I can plan on having some scratch marks in the bottom of the toilet bowl.
Thanks...
Mike
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STOP!
The problem is probably still in your toilet. Renting 100' snake to clear something in the first 3-4 feet is not a good idea. The head of the snake will either be the same size as what you have on the auger, or will be too big to get through the trapway.
I have cleared at least 100 clogged toilets as a landlord. I have removed toys, spoons, the top of a water bottle, hair extensions, and countless other items. Perhaps one of the most unexpected things was a tampon applicator that got all the way to the bottom of the toilet (where the toilet meets the floor flange), and got stuck sideways across the bottom.
You can either continue with the auger or pull the toilet and see if you can tell what the problem is from the other end. Pulling the toilet is NOT a big deal. Get a #3 wax ring to use when you re-set the bowl.
I have had items that I couldn't get out of the toilet, and found out what they were after I replaced the toilet and busted the old one open to see what the problem was.
I was going to post yesterday and suggest that you get a better auger, from General or Rigid, that would have cost $40-50, but I thought the cheaper one would probably work for you. If you really want to got out and spend $45 towards fixing the problem, this would be my choice.
JK
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Ya see, that's why I love this newsgroup! Good advice from knowledgeable folks, and the price is right! Thanks, JK, I will aug some more after work today and then consider pulling the toilet. My father-in-law is arriving for an Easter visit tomorrow, so I will seek his assistance on this (he's not a plumber, but knows a good deal about home repairs).
Thanks again, Big Jake!!
Mike
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Mike wrote:

I'm hardly the world's authority on pulling toilets but I was able to do one by myself after watching somebody else do one first. Not much to it... run the kids off, turn off the water supply, flush, disconnect from the water supply, loosen the two bolts that hold it to the floor, and then muscle it off the drain. Be prepared to deal with some water left in the bowl.
Scrape off the old wax ring and replace it with a new one. Slide the toilet back on the mounting bolts and sit down on the throne to seat it into the new wax ring. On and off shouldn't take more than half an hour for a newbie. Chances are the cause of your problem will present itself very shortly after you free the beast from the floor.
It might be a scary job the first time you do it but it won't be the second. It's just not that bad... it's the dreading that's bad.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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Mike wrote:

Sorry the closet auger I suggested didn't do the job.
If you do pull the toilet, go easy when tightening the hold down bolts when replacing it.
You don't want to crack the base or pull the hold down bolts through the pipe flange.
With no small kids in our house we don't have problems with undisolvable miscellany dropped into our toilets and jamming in the traps, and rarely have use for even a toilet plunger, though I do keep one in each bathroom.
However, a couple of months ago a good friend and his wife came to our home for coffee and desert after we'd all been out together. The guy is a giant of a man, tall and stout and he asked to use our guest bathroom prior to leaving for their 45 minute drive home. He came out with an embarrassed look on his face and asked me if he could use a plunger. I showed him where one of those plastic "accordian style" ones was hanging behind the doors which hide a clothes washer/dryer in that bathroom and he came out a while later, saying, "It's OK now."
After they left I took a leak in the same toilet and noticed it flushed extremely slowly. I brought up my closet auger and went to work on it. The head of the auger came out stuffed with shite, and after augering for quite a while there was some improvement in the flushing, but it was still subpar.
I finally had to bring up my trusty and rusty 20 foot hand snake and spent another 10 minutes or so running it in and out until the toilet flushed as well as I'd remembered it used to.
That's why I commented about a metal snake run through the toilet scratching the bottom of the bowl. There are some grey scatches inside that toilet now which won't scrub off, even with a Brillo pad. They now remind me of my friend's giant turds every time I'm taking a leak and looking down there.
If that same friend ever asks to use our guest toilet again I'm gonna take him aside and ask if he'd please shite in stages, flushing after each one. <G>
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff - the closet auger was a great suggestion. I can't believe I haven't needed one up to this point. You mentioned your 20 foot snake. I think I saw something like that at Home Depot yesterday when I was getting the auger (I wanted to examine it a bit further but one of the rugrats darted off into the Garden Department and I had to go). What I'm referring to kinda looked like a flexible metal cable inside a tea-pot. Is that about what you have? Maybe I'll go back this evening and pick up one of those. I'm bound to need it again at some point!
Thanks again!
Mike
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On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 10:35:13 -0500, Jeff Wisnia

Jeff,
Have you tried Bon Ami Cleaning Powder /Comet/Ajax to see if it will remove the marks? Remove the water, then scrub with damp powder.
Some kitchen pans will leave metal on the sink, occasionally. It cleans up with the powder cleaners.
Not a suggestion, but I might even try Muriactic acid and see it helped. Maybe a half cup poured into the bowl.
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Oren wrote:

Matter of fact I did try that, after sucking the water out of the bowl with my shop vac. Scrubbing with Ajax using one of those kitchen sponges with a Scotchbrite" pad on one side just didn't do it.
They're not really terrible, but I can still see them.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 16:39:56 -0500, Jeff Wisnia

Next time you stick the snake in the next toilet; try wrapping cloth around it, old T shirt, terry cloth pieces, just something to prevent marks in the bowl.
(G) only a trained eye can see them!
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inside
will
bowl
sponges
Try a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser...damn, those things work great on removing just about anything.
Cheri
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On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 14:59:25 -0800, "Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote:

Amen to that! They truly are magic.
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On Thu, 20 Mar 2008 14:59:25 -0800, "Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote:

Haven't thought about them :)
My next move was a 1000 grit wet emory sandpaper.
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Ahh stop a moment:)
Does the toilet flush solids fine with a bucket of water? if so the interior water passages and bowl rim are likely the problem, its easily solved for under 10 bucks and 15 minutes, no removing the toilet necessary
you key statement was stuff spinning around,.
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Not meaning to be ignorant but so far all these experts have told you all the wrong thing ! 1 I f you can't get it out with a toilet auger then you need to lift the toilet . 2 don't waste your money on a big snake just a waste of time , Take the bowl up use a waxring not rubber as they dry out if you use toilet bowl cleaner . 3 Once the bowl is up run snake thru the reverse way don't ever use rag wrapped to the auger as if you get it caught in the bowl you have two plugs not one. 4 if still won't work get a pro or if the unit is older than 15 yrs get a new toilet. Iam a master plumber so you don't have to believe me if you want. And when you seat a ring don't seat on it right off just rock side to side and back to front slowly rocking when you have ot on the floor solid then seat slowly on it , if you seat on it right away you push wax over your pipe opening.
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wrote:

Cheri, hallerb and Oren can say the acid works.
Oren won't pull a toilet; until he uses the water test - 5 gallons forced in rapidly. If it goes down, there's not a clog?
AHR has experts?!
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Oren wrote in message ...

you
The muriatic acid solution that was posted here was one of the better tips I've ever had, especially since I had spent $300.00 having my lines snaked not long before that, and the toilet still wasn't flushing right until I tried that tip.When I saved the instructions, I accidently cut off the part that said who suggested it, because I'd like to give him credit. You know who you are, but I don't remember...many thanks to you. Also, this group has been very helpful to me, and I appreciate it very much.
Cheri
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On Mar 21, 11:05�pm, "Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote:

no thanks necessary but its me bob haller.
I stumbled on to it for a friend who was afraid she needed a new toilet, its nice to help people.
I also promote rock salt micxed with water to kill tree roots in sewers. its cheap and works amazingly well.
glad i could help, bob
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professional plumbers wouldnt use acid, there would be little or no profit in it. most would just replace the toilet.........
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in message ... On Mar 21, 11:05�pm, "Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote:

better
I
helpful
no thanks necessary but its me bob haller.
I stumbled on to it for a friend who was afraid she needed a new toilet, its nice to help people.
I also promote rock salt micxed with water to kill tree roots in sewers. its cheap and works amazingly well.
glad i could help, bob ****** OK, thanks again. I have saved your name now, so when I post that info I can give you credit.
Cheri
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On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 09:19:13 -0800, "Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote:

I read Bob's tip here. One day I was going to try it out. I use acid for my pool and had some handy. My neighbor had a rental property going on the market, so he asked me to do some handy stuff.
A toilet had a leak at the tank bolt - around the washer. It was a slow leak. I found it using a paper towel and flushing the toilet a few times. BEFORE I could even work one this nasty thing I poured some acid in the bowl to start a cleaning process :-))
So, I removed the tank for the bolt replacement kit. While I had the tank off I poured muriatic acid directly in the (throat?) bowl rim.
Allowed that to work; suddenly I look down and see an object. Get my glasses out, grabbed the needle nose pliers and then pulled a syringe out of the rim of the bowl. The acid had floated the syringe back towards the throat and I could see it.
We have hard water, and acid will cut it from the rim holes. Faster than using a coat hanger:)
BTW, It was a drug house so I can see how they must have hidden the needle in the tank and it found it's way into the bowl rim, past the flapper. A bad flush can then be any object in the tank getting past the flapper and into the rim.
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