Toilet clogs repeatedly...

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OK... so this is a little embarassing...
Just about anytime I take a crap in one of our toilets and the load is "large" the toilet tends to clog. It happens almost all the time if I use toilet paper but still clogs often even if I flush before wiping. [sorry for the details]
I can always clear it with a few quick plunges. I have tried using one of those hand screw augurs (the ones with the plastic sleeve to protect the trap) and it didn't meet any resistance nor did it fix the problem. I have also tried feeling down the trap with my hand and didn't feel any objects there.
The toilet itself is a regular gravit flush one, maybe 5-10 years old. I can't see the model number.
Where is the likely source of the problem? clogged/bad trap? too narrow waste pipe? too many bends in the waste pipe? bad wax seal? bad vent?
I can't see the waste pipe so I don't know the diameter but since this is a 150 year old house, I wouldn't be surprised if there were issues somewhere with the plumbing. By the way the bathroom (and toilet) is on the third floor and I suspect that it was plumbed in sometime in the last 30 years
Any thoughts on how to troubleshoot this? I would prefer not to remove the toilet if I don't have too...
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do all of your toilets do this?
Try flushing using a bucket of water. Does it flush OK this way?
If not theres a clog, and it never hurts to run a toilet auger down the trap.
If it flushes ok using a bucket does the water kinda swirl around without much force?
hard water can clog the interior passages of the toilet and cause this. the good news its easily fixed.
take off the tank lid, is the water level near the top of the dip tube like it should be? does the water flow out well when flushed?
i am certain we can help after we find out a bit more
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NO. Just the one on the 3rd floor.

When it is clogged, I have tried filling the bowl all the way to the brim to try to let "gravity" work, but it still doesn't clear.
When are you suggesting I use a bucket? If I use it before it clogs, I won't know whether it would have clogged without the bucket. If I use it after a clog, isn't that the same as just filling the bowl with water
Sometimes filling the bowl, causes it to clear but most of the time, I need the plunger to clear it.

I have tried the closet augur without success.

Unless clogged (or partially clogged) it seems to be ok.

YES. Seems to work fine.

THANKS.
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. . .

Try dumping a bucket of water instead of flushing with the handle. If the problem goes away, then your issue is upstream of the bowl. If it doesn't, then the issue is downstream of the bowl.
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Well, when it is clogged, I have tried filling the bowl to the brim (which should be as good as a bucket full, right?). Some of the time the extra head of pressure clears it but most of the time I still need the trusty plunger.
If you are saying that I should try the bucket *before* I get a clog, how will I know whether the bucket helped or whether it would not have clogged anyway?
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Ok, I think you have successfully demonstrated that the problem is *NOT* insufficient flow from the tank to the bowl.
Which means that you have to drain and pull the toilet itself, and check IT for obstructions, and look down the waste pipe and see if there's either standing water or an obstruction there. If that in turn doesn't reveal the source of the problem, have someone come and snake the main drain.
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Sounds like I have a fun project for the weekend... :)
I imagine the problem shouldn't be in the main drain since the bathrooms on the 2nd floor all drain properly.
Based on feedback here, it sounds like the problem is either in the trap (such as a small obstruction missed by my closet augur) or in the drain pipe connecting the 3rd floor toilet with the 2nd floor drain plumbing.
- Is it also true that it is unlikely to be a vent problem since the blockages can be total and sustained even when the bowl is filled with water? (i.e., a vent issue would just slow drainage)
- Can someone tell me what are the code requirements on toilet drains? e.g., min diamater pipe width, maximum number of bends (if any), etc.
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One more "interesting" observation. Sometimes when flushing, the solids will first appear to go down the trap, then "regurgitate" up into the bowl and then drain back down again. This does not always happen.
Does this indicate anything?
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One more "interesting" observation. Sometimes when flushing, the solids will first appear to go down the trap, then "regurgitate" up into the bowl and then drain back down again. This does not always happen.
Does this indicate anything?
YES! It indicates the amount f water entering the bowl is marginal. So your not getting enough OMPH to get past the trap inside the toilet and start the suction of the flush. How toilets actually flush is pushing enough water by rim holes of bowl ad the jet in the bottom of the bowl to start the flush, vacuum finishes the job.
I am sure acid would fix it!
However since you like I was are skeptical.....
For the next week NEVER flush by pushing the lever!! NOT ONCE!
!!!!!ONLY FLUSH BY DUMPING A FULL BUCKET OF WATER INTO THE BOWL!!!
IF you get no clogs this PROVES its needs acid. and honestly its not as dangerous as it sounds.
Again If the toilet flushes good using a bucket of water then the plumbing downstream is fine.
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crapper wrote:

Had that sort of problem a few years ago. Finally got P'd off and took the toilet off the drain. Found a pen lodged in the trap.
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There may be something stuck inside the trap.
--

Jerry G.
======
  Click to see the full signature.
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Years ago Had a commode that would stop flushing then would flush perfect for two or three times then stopup. After trying all ways to auger it out finally took bowl up. Found the lid of a tin can in trap that was acting like a butterfly, opening and closing. The auger was bypassing it.
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On 28 Mar 2006 17:16:12 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Bought my house and the seller mentioned the new toilets. So we pulled them during a tile job before we moved in - several Q-tips ... never got to the auger, but one did have a flush issue before the sell.
Oren "My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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One thing you might check. Make sure that hole in the bottom part of the bowl is clear. Rur your finger around it and inside as well. I went thru all kinds of grief including looking for dead animals in the roof vent and getting the cesspool pumped. I found that the toilet cleaner that my wife put in the tank deposited and partially clogged the hole. This hole must be free of junk in order to get the siphen started.
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the clogged hole will show up in troubleshoting as a fluses fine with a bucket of water response.
I recently fixed a long troublesome toilet for a friend. 4 bucks worth of acid cleaned the bowl rim and passages. toilet works fine today.
actually I only used 1/2 of the acid, so total repair 2 bucks
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Why will the bucket flush ok if the trap hole is clogged?

How do you know when "acid" is needed? By the way I did try some acid a few months back to clean scratches from the porcelain (which it did). Maybe not enough to have an effect on any clogs but the toilet did see a few ounces of acid flushed down.
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How do you know when "acid" is needed? By the way I did try some acid a few months back to clean scratches from the porcelain (which it did). Maybe not enough to have an effect on any clogs but the toilet did see a few ounces of acid flushed down.
Go buy some acid under 5 bucks, muriatic. and a funnel!
DONT USE ANY OTHER CLEANERS OR ANYTHING IN TOILET AND FLUSH PLAIN WATER A FEW TIMES BEFORE DOING THIS!
Wear eye protection, plunge toilet to get bowl water level as low as possible, sponge remainder into bucket if you can, the less water the more effective the acid:)
open window, insert funnel in dip tube opening in tank.our about a cup of acid carefully in funnel dont splash.
then pour about a cup into bowl directly dont spash.
leave room shut door.
wait 15 minutes and flush toilet.like 10 tmes with plain water to dilute and remove acid from your ghome plumbing lines
now try for a few days. any more clogs?
the clog helped by acid is in the bowl rim, the acid dissolves it. very easy
you usually note when flushed with plain water the water just swirls around and doesnt move with force down the drain
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The most likely cause and also the easiest solution to the problem is to replace the wax seal. I have to do this for my toilet every two years or so. My toilet is over the washer dryer and I suspect the warm air from the dryer softens the wax seal causing it to lose its seal integrity. The little air it lets in during the flush cycle weakens the siphon action. The crap and the toilet paper barely gets sucked out, and if there is a slightly larger load, they form a dam and result in a messy overflow. Put in a new wax seal. If that fixes the problem you know what to do in future. If it doesn't you are not out by much in cost or effort.
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The most likely cause and also the easiest solution to the problem is to replace the wax seal. I have to do this for my toilet every two years or so. My toilet is over the washer dryer and I suspect the warm air from the dryer softens the wax seal causing it to lose its seal integrity. The little air it lets in during the flush cycle weakens the siphon action. The crap and the toilet paper barely gets sucked out, and if there is a slightly larger load, they form a dam and result in a messy overflow. Put in a new wax seal. If that fixes the problem you know what to do in future. If it doesn't you are not out by much in cost or effort.
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true that might fix it but also the bolts may break, flange may have a problem etc.
ONLY pull toilet after less invasive means have been attempted and failed...
TRY using only a full bucket of water to flush, if it works ok every time then its the toilet
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OK - I think I have tried everything mentioned in the thread but to no avail.
1. Closet (toilet) augur - no obstruction 2. Trying to flush by filling toilet with bucket of water (to make sure that not a water source or siphon issue) - no help 3. Using lots of Muriatic acid in the tank and in the bowl - no help 4. Removed toilet from wax seal (it had the type with a combination wax seal and rubber flange) - No visible or palpable obstruction in the toilet - No visible or palpable obstruction in the drain pipe - Probed both again with toilet augur No improvement after cleaning the toilet base and flange and replacing with new wax seal with flange
Drain pipe does make a 90 degree curve under floor but it seems smooth and obstruction free otherwise. Also, the "load" seems to clog before getting very far suggesting that the problem is with the toilet
I AM STUMPED Again: - Any large load (without toilet paper) or even a normal "load" with a moderate amount of toilet paper clogs the toilet. - As a "control" case, I have never had such frequent problems with other toilets
I am beginning to think that maybe it is a bad toilet design. The problem (to me) at least seems to be with the toilet since the clog seems to happen before the load has gotten very far (presumably ruling out a drain problem). In fact much of the "load" regurgitates back into the bowl.
It also doesn't seem to be a siphon problem because filling the bowl all the way up doesn't restart the siphon and it takes some reasonably forceful plunging to clear the clog.
Any other suggestions or should I just buy a new toilet...
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