toilet clogged by underwear (probably)

I've had plenty of clogged toilets in the past and have always been able to eventually push the clog through with a plunger (things usually soften up and dissolve in the water after a while). After we had guests over yesterday I discovered that the toilet was clogged - and much worse than I've ever seen before. I plunged and plunged and eventually cleared the bowl, but now it's in a state where it will slowly drain but not flush properly. I'm guessing I just moved the clog a little further down the pipe. I would not want any solids going in that toilet right now.
I had my suspicions, but new evidence has come to light that strongly suggests our friends' daughter probably had an accident and decided to hide the evidence by flushing her undies. :-( If I had know that from the beginning, I might have approached matters differently from the start. Now I'm not sure what how to proceed. We have a septic system. Should I just keep up with the plunging and hope to eventually move the obstruction through - or is that futile, or will that harm our septic. Should I get a plumbers snake and try that method (to pull the undies back up maybe) and hope I haven't already moved the obstruction out of reach? Is there another longer tool to use (I've heard mention of a closet augher) - or will that scratch the porcelain on our toilet? Should I just skip to the chase and hire a plumber?
Thanks for advice on how to best resolve this problem.
-J
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good in the septic tank as the bacteria will not dissolve the man-made yarn, they could block the exit pipe and cause another back-up or move through to the leach field and block one of the pipe runs. I would get them out of the pipe as soon as possible. Do you have any cleanouts that you could open and work from, or pull the toilet and attack the blockage from the open pipe without scratching the toilet. The pipe size from the toilet is a minimum 3 inches in diameter. If the daughter is a child, I cannot imagine the underwear being big enough to plug the pipe, if she is old enough, possible something else like a sanitary pad attached to them may block the pipe. Again, I would not let them travel into your septic tank, unless you immediately have it pumped out.
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I worked at a hospital at one time. The main sewer ling got stopped up. We had a machine that you take the tolit off the wall and it looked like a big spring about 2 inches in diameter could be ran in the pipe by a motor. When we pulled the 'snake' out , on it was two of the biggest panties I have ever seen . We thought it was a bed sheet or a couple of pillow cases when they first came out.
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Figuring that's the clog, I'd be tempted to get a snake, and open up the end of the wire, so it will catch and retrieve the offending fabric. Use some kind of tube (inch PVC maybe?) so the snake doesn't scratch the porcelean. I've done that, scratch porcelean.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I've had plenty of clogged toilets in the past and have always been able to eventually push the clog through with a plunger (things usually soften up and dissolve in the water after a while). After we had guests over yesterday I discovered that the toilet was clogged - and much worse than I've ever seen before. I plunged and plunged and eventually cleared the bowl, but now it's in a state where it will slowly drain but not flush properly. I'm guessing I just moved the clog a little further down the pipe. I would not want any solids going in that toilet right now.
I had my suspicions, but new evidence has come to light that strongly suggests our friends' daughter probably had an accident and decided to hide the evidence by flushing her undies. :-( If I had know that from the beginning, I might have approached matters differently from the start. Now I'm not sure what how to proceed. We have a septic system. Should I just keep up with the plunging and hope to eventually move the obstruction through - or is that futile, or will that harm our septic. Should I get a plumbers snake and try that method (to pull the undies back up maybe) and hope I haven't already moved the obstruction out of reach? Is there another longer tool to use (I've heard mention of a closet augher) - or will that scratch the porcelain on our toilet? Should I just skip to the chase and hire a plumber?
Thanks for advice on how to best resolve this problem.
-J
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eventually push the clog through with a plunger (things usually soften up and dissolve in the water after a while). After we had guests over yesterday I discovered that the toilet was clogged - and much worse than I've ever seen before. I plunged and plunged and eventually cleared the bowl, but now it's in a state where it will slowly drain but not flush properly. I'm guessing I just moved the clog a little further down the pipe. I would not want any solids going in that toilet right now.

our friends' daughter probably had an accident and decided to hide the evidence by flushing her undies. :-( If I had know that from the beginning, I might have approached matters differently from the start. Now I'm not sure what how to proceed. We have a septic system. Should I just keep up with the plunging and hope to eventually move the obstruction through - or is that futile, or will that harm our septic. Should I get a plumbers snake and try that method (to pull the undies back up maybe) and hope I haven't already moved the obstruction out of reach? Is there another longer tool to use (I've heard mention of a closet augher) - or will that scratch the porcelain on our toilet? Should I just skip to the chase and hire a plumber?

You should try to pull the panties out. A closet auger is good for about 3 ft. A longer snake will get farther in the sewer line but it's harder to get past the toilet loop. Might have to take the toilet off the stack. So it really depends on where the panties are. I don't know about septic systems. I can tell you that nylon or other polyester panties won't degrade very fast. Don't know about cotton. Might be some chemicals that would break them down. Seems like a long shot though. I had the same thing happen, so feel alone. About a week after a social gathering, my lift system pump started vibrating. Since it was almost brand new, I had the installer come out. He had to pull it out and we found chewed up nylon panties wrapped around the impeller. Still tough getting the threads out. Cost me 3 bills.
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<stuff snipped>

Bleach or drain cleaner might work. If you've even accidentally bleached a poly-cotton blend you'll discover the poly discolors which I assume is step one on the path to disintegration. .

I feel so alone. (-:

I fixed a washer whose impeller snagged a nylon half-stocking and stretched it out to at least 20 feet. What a mess.
-- Bobby G.
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On Mon, 12 Nov 2012 17:16:35 -0500, "Robert Green"

Heh. Usually most people don't read closely enough to notice when a word that is left out - "don't" - reverses what is meant. Or maybe they do, ken the mistake and ignore it. A day or 2 ago I warned somebody in the "used car prices up" thread to stop digging himself a hole with a teaspoon when I was using a backhoe. That wasn't too smart. But it wasn't even noticed, or at least commented upon. If it was, I had a comeback ready. "That wasn't too smart." Har har.
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wrote in message

I can't resist a good straight line and spent years editing copy so I'm attuned the very common missing word - in other people's writing. I miss them all the time in my own. Once that got me written up in an article on editing mistakes. Instead of "We are the best" I wrote "We the best." My editor asked me "Shouldn't it be: "We be the best?"
Besides, I still owe you for bamboozling me with that post about a day in the life of gun-toting Vic. Payback! (-:
-- Bobby G.
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J wrote:

My vote would be to start by taking the toilet off and see what you can see from there. If you are not comfortable taking the toilet off, the plumber idea would probably make the most sense. That's what a plumber will probably do, and the cost of having a plumber take care of it now may save a bigger expense later on with your septic system.
Another option (if you don't want to do the above just yet) would be to buy a "closet auger" and try it yourself first. Here's a 90-second YouTube video on how to do that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6ILFbD7zGE

The video uses a more expensive closet auger, but you can buy a cheap one at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc.
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It's is what I would do. The two times I have had problems... Scratch that - the two times my wife has screwed up the plumbing the objects she has dropped have gotten caught somewhere in the trap of the toilet and I have never had any success using a snake.
One of the items was caught on an edge of the toilet just where it touches the wax ring and would never have gotten free the other time it was deep in the trap and I had to back flush it with a garden hose to get it out.
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From experience external to plumbing, soak the item in straight bleach. Cotton in no time dissolves into pieces!
Downside: septic system and down the drain. septic bleach is not so good for and, down the drain means you may not get the concentration required
oh, if the undies were polyester, won't work.
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