Toilet vent stack/ diagnosing trouble?

Got a 70-'s era 2-story house, two toilets share a stack, one upstairs, one down. The upstairs one does not flush fully with any consistency, I mean to say the bowl doesn't really exchange a full load of fresh for what's sent down. Worse, the downstairs toilet on the first floor tends to clog for no obvious reason, at unpredictable times, and it also runs slow when flushed. I suspect insufficient vaccum break by a clogged vent stack, but I'm afraid of hieghts to go up and check, plus, I don't really know HOw. I read something about a length of chain on some rope, dangled and sort of swished around, to clear any old bird nests or whatever that may be clogging the vent stack... Any real plumbers have better advice/ observations? TIA.
msu1049321atayohelldotcom.
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To find out if the problem is in the WC's themselves or in the stack try pouring a 5 gal. pail of water directly into the bowl, with paper, all at once to simulate the momentum of the water rushing thru the flush valve into the bowl. Try this several times.If you get good a good flush that takes the paper down, the stack is probably OK and the trouble is with the WC's themselves.
If you prove it's the WC's, one likely cause could be a history of using those drop-in tank/bowl cleaners. Chunks sometimes go down the flush valve and clog the bowl rim holes. It could also be mineral deposits doing the same thing. Check to see if the rims holes are clear using a piece of stiff wire, reaming out the holes, then pour a bucket of water down the flush valve to wash them clean.
There could also an object lodged in the bowl trap, such as a toothbrush or similar item, although it seems unlikely that both WC's would have this problem at the same time. You could try augering them and see if it helps.
Good luck!

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Been augered, no obstructions. Scale cleaned out of unit using muriatic acid. Flapper seems fine, though I get a better flush if I hold the handle down for 8 seconds.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (MSu1049321) wrote in message
hey thats great, now reread the above post by TJE and then post your results!

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bet the bucket trick works, now make sure the water level in the tank is right < 5/8" below the overflow tube> and the refill tube is getting the proper amount of water back to the bowl after the flapper hits.
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Water is hitting the mark inside the tank OK. Perhaps I can adjust the flapper valve to stay open a little longer without having to hold the handle down for 8 seconds, but all that full impulse of water does if there's any blockage at all is cause an overflow. Since it has been snaked for at least 20 feet, I am assuming there's nothing in the soil stack blocking it, ergo my guess about a plugged or onstructed vent stack. The sinks and what-not around the house all drain fine, but maybe they are on a separate vent? I dunno, looks like I may be sending the wife up on the roof (she's much lighter than me) with some chain and rope to swish around the vent stack... or is there another way?
In fact, to prevent any more overflows, I was contemplating either adding a brick inside the tank to reduce the total amount of water per flush, and just putting up with having to flush multiple times... I am really tight for cash right now 9as in this decade:-) ) and am willing to try anything as long as it doesn't cost money, only my time;-)
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