after flushing normally, the water in our upstairs toilet bowl
gradually goes down over the course of a few hours. Overnight it has
gone down about 1 inch. I'm sure if we went away for a few days, it
would be empty. There are no wet marks on the floor next to it, nor
are there any on the ceiling below it. Why is it going down? and how
do we fix it?
Thanks for your help!
Do you have a dog?
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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I would guess that there is a leak in the (low) trap area, and the water
is either being directed by the wax seal back into the drain, or the water
is crawling down the outside of the closet ell and stack without touching
the other building materials along the way. In the latter case, would
you be able to see any dampness at the bottom of the stack?
That happened to mine -- right before the sewer line backed up through the
floor drain and into the house (and into the living room, since I have no
basement). When the roto-rooter guy came out, the first thing he said was
"did the water empty out of the toilet bowl, because that's usually the
first sign". I still don't understand the connection between the two. The
level in the toilet on that floor had been gradually going down and I didn't
think much about it because it didn't seem significant, and the one day it
all just gurgled and sucked out, and the next thing I know there was sewage
coming up the drain.
This is because water backs up in the pipe far enough where it interrupts the
venting process. Then siphon action when using other drains will suck water out
of the traps, the toilet being the most noticable one.
The flip side of that is you may also see bubbles or gurgling in the toilet as
the pipe fills beyond the venting level
Greg is 100% right.
In the case of the OP, it didn't sound like any backup problem though.
Slow draining of the trap water is usually due either to a foreign
object (cloth or string for example) in the bowl trap or an internal
crack in the trap. In the string case, the string acts as a
wick to siphon water out.
(I like the dog explanation too!)
The easy way to tell is to watch the toilet when you run water at another
drain. (like the washing machine dump, flushing another toilet or draining the
kitchen sink). If it is starting to ripple and wash back and forth you have a
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