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Thread: Slow draining toilet

  1. #1
    Rhaine86 is offline Handyman
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    Slow draining toilet

    When flushing my toilet, the bowl rapidly starts to fill up with water, and then slowly starts to drain, but you never get that "flush" of the water being forcefully pushed down the drain.

    We have a (sink) plunger that we tried using several times, but obviously it doesn't get the best suction as it doesn't completely cover the drain opening- however this usually corrects the minor plugs we've had. Not so this time.

    Suggestions on what we should try next?? Do we need a different plunger or what??? I can't imagine what could have clogged the drain that badly (if that's indeed what the problem is as I'm suspecting) unless my toddler put something in there. I would find that surprising though as she hasn't yet learned how to flush things down- and she's never shown any interest in putting things in there (although there's a first time for everything).

    Your suggestions are appreciated!

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    LazyPup is offline Deity
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    Years ago we called plungers "Plumbers Helpers" but in todays oversensitive world that is no longer politically correct. (It seems that the plumbing apprentices take offense when we call a plunger a "plumbers helper"...LOL)

    Sink plungers are designed to work on a flat bottom or slightly curved bottom sink, but just as you stated, they cannot seal properly to effectively plunge a watercloset(toilet).

    To plunge a watercloset you need a "Closet Plunger" which is basically the same as a sink plunger but it has an extension on the underside that has a concave shape to fit into the watercloset trapway. (see attached illustration)

    You can find a closet plunger in any local hardware, home supply center or your local Walmart, K-mart etc in the same area as the common sink plunger. One advantage of a closet plunger is that the extension piece can be folded up into the upper section, then it will perform the same as a common sink plunger.

    Even though a closet plunger will perform as both a closet plunger and a sink plunger if you happen to have a double sink in your kitchen I would strongly suggest you have both types handy because when plunging a double sink you must cover the drain opening in the sink opposite to the one your plunging. If you have two plungers it is very simple to cover the opposite drain opening with the second plunger.
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    Rhaine86 is offline Handyman
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    Smile

    As usual Lazypup, you've come to my rescue (I hope). Thank you, as always, for your quick and educated responses. I have come to rely on this website for all my home repair needs!

    I had forgotten that toilets were called "waterclosets" and thus when I saw the illustrations (I did go to that section of the forums as you had mentioned before) I couldn't be sure how the closet plunger fit with a toilet. Makes total sense now.

    Hopefully that solves the problem! Thanks again!

  4. #4
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    HayZee518 is offline Deity
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    Every family that has toddlers and little "kids" should take a trip to Walmart or a plumbing supply shop and outfit your drain aresnal with a closet plunger and a closet auger. The closet auger is a short spring snake enclosed in a piece of steel tubing bent sharply at its bottom end. The upper end has a crank handle. You take this device and put the flexible part up under the water and porcelain "bend" and push the snake end. It is flexible enough that it will go around the siphon trap in the preformed porcelain of the toilet. one you've done this give it a couple of cranks. if something is stuck in there the snake will impale it and you can normally pull it out or at least clean out the trap. I had an incident where a bird got caught in my stack and managed to lodge hisself in my toilet's "bend" - I ended up pulling out the toilet to pull out the bird. I used a spare wax ring I had to replace the toilet. I put a ninety degree fitting on my stack with some screening on the open end to keep "things" out of the stack.

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    jnaas2 is offline Apprentice
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    Another thing you might want to try is to dump a large cup of water in the the toilet at the same time that you flush the toilet and see if it flushes properly. As toilets get older the ring around the top of the toilet has holes around it that let the water run into the bowl, these holes start to clog up and will not allow the water to flow into the bowl fast enough to allow the toilet to flush properly. The toilet works by siphoning the water out of the bowl if the water runs in to slow it just rises up and then goes back down without pulling anything out of the bowl. To test the toilet to see if it has anything in it take a wad of toilet paper the size of a baseball and see if it will flush through if it clogs up there is probably something inside it. Take a inspection mirror and stick down in the toilet and see if there is something in it they cost 5.00 a whole lot cheaper than a plumber

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    LazyPup's Avatar
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    Hazee mentioned a "closet auger". I have prepared an illustration to show how the closet auger works.
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    Rhaine86 is offline Handyman
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    Two trips to the hardware store, 2 different closet plungers and 1 closet auger later I unclogged the toilet!

    Actually, I didn't need the auger, but the first plunger I got (just your basic 4.99 closet plunger) would not uncompress quickly when I was trying to plunge. So I went with this weird looking plastic accordian looking plunger and that did the trick nicely.

    Thanks for all the help! (Now on to the dishwasher)

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    ROSALIE is offline Banned
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    Hey, nice topic.

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