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 MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

Ok my 94 Yr old MIL's toilet acted like it was plugged. It flushed but some paper remained. I plunged it for her and it seems to be ok now but I need to wait until it gets "used"
If this was a plugged vent satck would it do the same thing ?? None of the drains in the sink or tub gurggle when its flushed...

Its a single story ranch with a single vent the same as all of ours in the neighborhood. I tried looking down the pipe with a flashlight and didnd really see anything



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

I'd start with the 5 gallons of water as the toliet is flushing and see what happens. Fill the tub with water and then empty while the toilet is flushing. I don't think it was vent, unless you see a hawk's nest on the vent.

Best Wishes

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

Vents have little to do with whether a toilet flushes. You have...or had...a clog. Can be in the bowl itself, which plunging fixes...or further down stream

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

its a small vent like mine, its like 2" galvi....so maybe a humming bird nest

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: NICK (CA)

probably isolated incident in the toilet. auger it good and clear under rim flush ports etc...

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

IF it were a vent problem, it would ONLY be because you have a more serious problem elsewhere.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; or further down stream

Which plunging does NOT fix.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

IF everything else was okay, your toilet, and most fixtures, would drain as good, or better, without a vent.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

ok i dumped a 5 gallon pail of water right down and it took it no problem. Then emptied the tub while flushing, no problem... what does this proove ??

It flushed fine yesterday but one time it left like a little pc like the size of a pea in the bowl but paper and everything else was gone.

when i did the 5 gallon pail i had the window open and right out side is the sewer vent from the ground with the mushroom cap over it and i ould hear the water running thru it ??

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

HJ, so a vent doesnt help the drain run smooth ? I thought you needed a vent for sinks etc to drain right ?? where would it get the needed air from

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: dlh (TX)

drains do not need vents to help them drain. unless the line is clogged there is more than enough room for air in the pipes themselves. a vent is only to protect the trap from being siphoned

- - - - - - -

PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

"Author: cvcman
HJ, so a vent doesnt help the drain run smooth ? I thought you needed a vent for sinks etc to drain right ?? where would it get the needed air from
"

The air would follow the water right down the drain and through the trap. Of course this would leave the trap dry...The vent provides the air and PREVENTS the trap from going dry.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: dlh (TX)

"The air would follow the water right down the drain and through the trap. Of course this would leave the trap dry...The vent provides the air and PREVENTS the trap from going dry"

HUH?

not exactly. the vent prevents the trap from being sucked dry when another fixture drains past it. it has nothing to do with air flow for the water at all although it does help to a point

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

Ok so its not a vent problem and maybe not a problem at all...It just seems like when it flushes with the tank after the flush there is about 1/2 the water level instantlly in the bowl...When i dumped the 5 gallons down there is very little water left in the bowl ??

Again I dumped 3 5 gallon pails of hot water and as fast as I dumped it it went down no problem

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: jimmy-o (CA)

I will have to disagree on that. The location of the vent take off is such that air FROM THE VENT breaks the siphon, preventing the trap from going dry during use of that fixture. It is the reason you use a san tee, not a combo, on a vertical waste pipe.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

Wrong. Without a vent the sinks will drain TOO good and suck the water out of the traps. The vent/air is to "break" the suction so it does not happen. I once had a customer ask me to connect his bathtub drain pipe he had installed to the sewer. it was a 3/4" pipe from the second floor bathtub down to the basement. I told him that if I connected that, the water would drain so rapidly that it would suck any kids within 10' of the tub down the drain.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; the line is clogged there is more than enough room for air in the pipes themselves.

Not true. The "air in the pipe" has no bearing on HOW the fixture drains, unless it is vastly oversized.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

I am amazed at all the 'misinformation' people have regarding the purpose of a vent. It Does prevent the Bornelli Effect when a fixture drains past another one, (if it is installed properly), but that is NOT its primary purpose.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

The problem with dumping FIVE gallons of water into a toilet is that, unless it is very old, it is designed to flush with 3.5 or 1.6 gallons depending on its age, so dumping five gallons will NOT show whether it is flushing properly. It will ALWAYS have just a little water in the bowl afterwards, that is why the fill valve has a "refill" tube dumping into the overflow pipe.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; going dry during use of that fixture.

Well, technically, it prevents it from going dry AFTER you use the fixture and the last of the water is draining. Until that point it would make no difference whether it was a "P" or "S" trap because the running water would keep it filled.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

yea its an old probably 1960 toilet, sorta like mine only a different footprint. By dumping the 5 gallon pail and it goes right down does that mean its not plugged ?? Not sure what draining the tub at the same time prooved ?

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

I do notice if I run the water in the sink next to the toilet or fill the bowl and release the water during the flush the toilet bowl is less full right after the suction point.
When I don't do this, after it flushes and the flap closes there is much more water in the bowl.
Not sure what that prooves

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

That just adds water to the mix. If the sewer were plugged the five gallons might NOT have caused it to backup, but the additional water probably would have.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

Very little, if anything. The toilet does not have water because you flushed it, but the refill tube has NOT had time to restore the water level.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

hj, are you taking over for lemon, lol just kidding.
I dont understand either response.

1) the 5 gallons went down instantly, your response said " the 5 gallons might not have shown the plug but the additionl wter may" wht additionl water ?? If 5 gallons went right thru then the 3 gallons the toilet uses should also right ??

2) when running water down the sink drain or filling the sink bowl and dumping at the same time as the flush, the toilet seems to have less water in the bowl the second after the flap closes Now if you just run the water w/o letting it go down the drain...no difference the second after the flap closes there seems to be like a small amt of water hasnt left the bowl so the level the second the flap closes is like half the level that it is after the tank fills...
you said the toilet does not have water because you flushed it....well again i flushed it both times but the bowl has less water and seems to have greater suction when draining water or running water down the sink.

again it seems to be flushing and everything goes down except rarely a small fragment is in the bowl water after the flush

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

To me, based on what you said, everything sounds ok. What your MIL experienced was an anomaly. Just make sure the tank refills high enough for maximum flush value and the refill hose is properly placed. While you are there, check sink drain and tub drains for hair, after all these years.
Best Wishes

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

yea drain are all clear, I even went on the roof and looked down the vent and left water running in the bath sink and I could see the water running thru the drain looking down the vent ...Just dont understand why bowl fills differnt when drining water as apposed to not

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

Are you trying to be argumentative. IF the bowl is designed to flush with 3.5 or 1.6 gallons, then, if you want to test it, pour THAT amount of water into the toilet. IF it flushes with 5 gallons that has no bearing on whether it will flush with the amount it should have. When you flush the toilet, the "siphon" draws almost ALL the water out of the bowl, then the fill valve's "refill" tube has to run water into the toilet to refill the trap.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

uh NO im not trying to be argumenitive, where did you get that ?? I am trying to ask a question and understand your answer, which I still do not :)

AGAIN what "additional water" other than the 5 gallons are you refering to ?????

AGAIN you said "the toilet does not have water because you flushed it" was that a joke ?? I know I flushed it but im asking WHY when I flush it with the sink draining it flushes different ?? The bowl has less water AFTER the flush when it running...

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

also im thinking if the 5 gallons went down as quick as it did again as fast as I could dumo it i would assume it means the drain or soil pipe is not plugged right ??

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

Because you compared my answer to one of Lemon Plumber's which is an insult. IF the sewer is plugged, and not the toilet, pouring 5 gallons of water into it would probably NOT fill the pipe and cause the symptom, unless it was already partially full, therefore running the tub adds water to the 5 gallons and WILL fill the sewer to replicate the symptoms. IF the lavatory is connected to the toilet's vent, AND it connects to the toilet's tee without an increase in size first, the Bornelli Effect of the water flowing past the toilet connection combined with the toilet's flow is probably increasing the siphon effect so there is less water to "fall back" afterwards to partially replenish the water level in the bowl. BUT, it is nothing to worry about as long as the fill valve operates long enough to restore the water level in the bowl.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

Or, as my previous answer stated, it could just mean that 5 gallons was NOT enough to fill the pipe. Depending on WHERE the obstruction is, and HOW FAST the water can seep past it, you could need 20 gallons to fill it.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

oh i see :) so if the 5 gallons didnt slow and there was a plug then the 3 gallons the toilet uses shouldnt be a problem right .... Im just wondering if she has a real problem or not...Have you heard anything to cause concern ?

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

but I would NEVER have 20 gallons going into the pipe from anything so .....

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; so if the 5 gallons didnt slow and there was a plug then the 3 gallons the toilet uses shouldnt be a problem right

Correct, as far as it goes, but flushing the toilet several times, could eventually fill the pipe, depending on how tight the clog is and how slow the water seeps through it.

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: hj (AZ)

Do you wash your clothes with a bucket and scrub board?

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: cvcman (NY)

well when washing our clothes there is never a problem with draining even if you flush the same tie...In my post above I dumped 4, 5 gallon pails ,back to back and not even a glitch

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 Re: MIL's toilet not flushing right, plugged vent stack ????
Author: electricpooper (MA)

I will put our solution to a similar problem, and hope that this might help.
Our upstairs toilet was not flushing well, similar to your problem.
And we heard gurgling. Snaking it did not fix.
So my husband and friend took the cesspool cover off, stuck the snake BACK up into the pipe going to the house, and then called to me to flush and pour a bucket of water into the toilet.
And they began to cheer, a huge glob of a clog came flying out and into the cesspool.
Fixed, though it did happen again about 30 years later. And we had to snake it again. And we cut down the Maple tree that was nearby, though we never saw any evidence of roots getting into the system.
Hope this helps.

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