Slow flushing toilet: Vent stack?

I've done lots of Googling on this subject, which led me to check many things in my attempt at resolving the trouble. However, the problem still exists, and I am still left with questions.
Situation: * 2 story house with basement half above grade (so it's like 2˝ stories)
* A single roof vent for all drains in the house
* House has 1˝ baths: full upstairs, powder room in basement (both installed by builder
* House built 1988, no modifications to plumbing
* All downstairs drains are just fine. Toilet flushes properly.
* Upstairs vanity and tub drains a bit slow, but acceptable. Had problem last winter. Augering drain seemed to fix it. This time augering does not fix. Upstairs toilet flushes VERY slowly. Does not ever drain completely.
* Had toilet off today, snaked drain with 25' auger. No clogs found, no change in toilet behavior
* When toilet was off, 2 gal buckets of water poured down drain as fast as possible went down without problems or backing up
* When 2 gal was poured quickly down freshly re-installed toilet, the toilet still does not flush. Water rises, goes slowly down to resting level but no further. If I wait ten minutes, then pour 2 gal down, it may flush all the way, but lazily when it does
* No obstructions in toilet trap (checked when toilet was off)
* Jets in bowl are clear. Siphon hole is also clear and emits water when toilet flushes (felt with hand)
* Weather here has been off and on cold/warm. Currently nearly 40F and rainy. No snow on lawn or roof
* No trees near stack
Conclusion: The problem has GOT to be the stack, no? I'm out of other options.
Questions: The roof is 30 feet in the air. The roof pitch is steep enough, and wet enough, that wife does not want me up there just now. What does the inside of the stack look like, and can I just use my 25' auger inside it? If there's ice or other debris, will it be readliy visible with a light?
Thanks for any help.
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TeGGeR®

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TeGGeR® wrote:

The toilet doesn't depend on the stack vent to allow the water to go down the soil stack. The vent only prevents siphoning of the bowl (and other fixtures). Blockage at the discharge end (to septic/sewer) will cause backpressure which could affect it.
If the stack vent were blocked I would expect to hear (sink) trap gurgling during flushing. And this would affect all floors. If you dare go on the roof, you can drop a string down or pour water or even listen during flushing.
Don't have a pat answer. Is it worth sticking another toilet on there? Jim
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<snip>
I didn't know that.

Basement toilet flushes fine. I'd also expect problems with that one if the connection to the minucipal sewer were blocked.

It does not gurgle. No sounds at all fron sink drain.

We've decided to use the basement toilet until the roof is dry, at which point I'll see what I can do up there with the auger. If running the auger down the vent doesn't help, we're just going to bite the bullet and get a new toilet. Don't know what else to do.

I'd be willing, if I knew that was it. I suppose I could lug the basement toilet upstairs and install it there to see if that makes a difference, but that seems like an awful lot of work at this point.
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Calcium build up in the throat of the toilet?
Before I climbed on the roof I would spend $25 to buy an el-cheapo bowl only at Lowes or HD and see if it flushes properly using the bucket method. If it does then you know the problem is with the toilet.
Whether you dry it out and take it back or not is up to you.
Colbyt
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Not a trace. I looked and felt. Our water is pretty soft. The town's wells get their water from an aquifer.

Not a bad idea.
However, I still can't help wondering if it's a piping issue of some sort. I can't see a damn thing wrong with that toilet, and the upstairs sink and tub drains are slower than they ought to be.
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TeGGeR®

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See my posting on this site"'Toilet doesn't flosh well", You may have that problem also. Jack
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if you can get access from a lower spot you can snake upward to the roof from below.
that happened here one time, plumber thought he was going to the street but i heard the snake in the main soil stack, plumber didnt believe me till i reported snake in bathroom, headed across floor..
i doubt its a vent issue, line below must be plugged somwehow
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wrote:

Yes, If there is really only one stack, how could it be the stack?
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if you can get access from a lower spot you can snake upward to the roof from below.
that happened here one time, plumber thought he was going to the street but i heard the snake in the main soil stack, plumber didnt believe me till i reported snake in bathroom, headed across floor..
i doubt its a vent issue, line below must be plugged somwehow
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I don't want you up there either. I had a friend who fell off the roof. His wife was at the kitchen sink and got to see him fly by.
He could have broken his head, but he only broke his leg. Six months later it still wouldn't heal, he was still on crutches, and he had to plug himself in every night to try to get some electro-something to work, but it didn't. He was a work friend, and when I changed jobs, I lost track of whether he ever healed or not.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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This tells me that the toilet's integral trap is clogged. You are unable to see fully into the integral trap of a toilet. Get a closet auger and clear the clog. HD and Lowes sell them. It should look like this: http://www.drainbrain.com/rental/closet.html
Here is a link to a cutaway diagram of a toilet. http://www.toiletology.com/anatomy.shtml
Page down to the "common bowl types" and look how the front part of the integral trap of toilet is hidden unless you stick your head down into the bowl. Don't stick your head down in the bowl, ask and I'll send over my brother-in-law to do it for you--no charge.
Al
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<see original message of Sunday Jan 29th for details of problem>
UPDATE: Guess what? IT FIXED ITSELF.
In fact, ALL THREE upstairs drains are now just tickety-boo.
We had been using the commode to pee, just putting any paper in a wastebasket, so that way we could still use it and paper wouldn't accumulate. Not once did the unit flush. The water would just rise and settle back down, with lots of swirling and gurgling.
Yesterday, the toilet was flushed several times during the day, no change in problem. Then in the evening, the toilet was flushed one mre time, and it flushed properly! A good strong flush, with a small gulp of air at the end, just like it used to. And it's continued that way through this morning. I watched that first successful flush and the one previous. Nothing came out of the siphon hole or anywhere else.
I'm happy, but completely baffled. I did nothing other than what was outlined on Jan 29th. I know I was told the vent stack had nothing to do with toilet drain, but I can't help thinking something (ice?) broke loose in there.
Thanks to all for their help.
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TeGGeR®

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Heard in California, 20, 30 years ago (water shortage):
If it's BROWN, flush it DOWN; if it's YELLOW, let it MELLOW.
:-)
David
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