Toilets Will Not Flush, but Do not Appear to Be Clogged

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Old 12-28-17, 09:45 AM
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Toilets Will Not Flush, but Do not Appear to Be Clogged

Hello everyone,

I'm having an issue with two toilets at my house. The first toilet will not flush at all. The bowl will fill with water, but it will not drain. Eventually after time it will slowly empty out. I've tried plunging it and using an auger. We've also called a plumber. He had to remove the toilet to get it to "unclog." However, in a few short days after he left, the problem is back. He said the toilet was clogged with calcium and would have to be replaced.

The second toilet will flush liquids and light solids very weakly. If their is a heavier duty job, it will not flush and requires a plunging, but will then drain.

Both of these toilets are on the same level of the house and are actually back to back on the same wall. I do not think there is an issue with the main line as there does not appear to be any back-up in the showers or other drains.

I'm not sure what to do, and I was hoping someone could possibly shed some light on the situation for me. I was hoping to not have to replace the toilet, but if I have no other choices.......


Thank you in advance for your feedback.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 11:08 AM
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I think you have a clog, especially since you are having trouble with two toilets back to back on the same line. I would try a different plumber. You may need someone to run a properly sized drain auger down the line to make sure it is completely clear. A small auger or rod will punch a small hole through a clog which lets some stuff through so you initially think it's OK but it can soon re-clog. You need to have the line properly cleaned and opened to its full diameter.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 11:13 AM
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I agree with Pilot.

To test the toilet itself take it out in the yard and set it up on some blocks. Fill the tank with the garden hose and then trip the flush lever. If it flushes okay then the problem is in the drain piping.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 12:03 PM
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Thanks for responding to me!

I thought it might still be clogged too, but I do not know much about plumbing. For a little more detail: whenever you try to plunge the toilet that is completely clogged, water comes out of the jets that line the toilet bowl.

I thought that sounded like a clog too, but I'm no expert. I thought it might be something further down the line considering both toilets were having problems, but this guy seemed pretty adamant that our problem was due to lime calcium build-up in the toilet and that we'd have to replace the whole toilet.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 04:16 PM
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Un-mounting the toilet and taking it outside is one sure test to confirm if it is a toilet or drain system problem. But mineral deposits don't come and go over a couple days.

In order to flush a toilet needs a big surge of water. Slowly pouring a bucket of water in the bowl will not cause it to flush. If you quickly dump a bucket of water in the bowl it will flush. Pouring a bucket of water into the bowl bypasses almost all the internal passages and can help confirm if you truly have a toilet problem.

So, when the toilet is having trouble get a bucket with about 1 1/2 - 2 gallons of water and quickly dump it into the bowl aiming at the big drain hole. If the toilet backs up or does not drain it's almost certainly a problem in the drain pipes. If the toilet always passes the bucket test but has trouble flushing using the lever then you might have a toilet problem.

I have never seen a toilet stop working due to mineral deposits but that would be easy to take care of with a coat hanger to pick at the holes under the rim of the toilet bowl. I have seen them develop flushing problems because of Hot Wheel cars, plastic razor caps and most commonly those deodorizing blocks that hang inside the tank. I've found broken chunks of deodorizing blocks and bits of wire clogging the passages around the rim of the bowl.

Also drain lines have a time factor. Toilets send a big slug of water down the line quickly. Running a sink or shower sends water down slowly. So, shower water may make it through the small hole of a clog while a surge of toilet water can't get through quick enough and it backs up. If you really want to test do the bucket test when the shower or sink has been running for several minutes before the test.

First, I'd get a bucket of water and do a few tests. If either toilet backs up with the bucket test you have a clogged drain line.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 07:59 PM
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I did the bucket test on the "bad" toilet. It backed up and did not drain at all. As you suspected, it looks like a clog in the drain line.

I also did the bucket test on the "not so bad" toilet. It worked perfectly. So, maybe this one is experiencing some clogged jets?

Looks like I am going to have to find a different plumber than the first.

I cannot thank you enough for all your help. I really do appreciate it!

 
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