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tndave 01-15-2012 09:32 PM

Toliet Problem
I have an old house (1945+later additions) the bathroom waste goes to a septic tank, while all of the other waste water drains straight into a field. It’s been about two years since I had the tank pumped. We’ve been having trouble with the toilet flushing lately. The bathroom sink & tub drain just fine, but sometimes the toilet will swirl & fill up then slowly go down & some times it flushes ok. Usually if you flush a couple of times it starts working ok. This can even happen first thing in the morning when nobody has used it or taken a shower for hours. When you take a shower you can hear the sink gurgling & sometimes the toilet will flush by its self when you’re taking a shower…but water don’t back up in the tub when you’re taking a shower. Today when the toilet wouldn’t flush (bowl filled & wouldn’t go down) I filled the sink with water & pulled the plug & the sink drained quickly. This has been going on for about two months on & off. I flushed a months worth of “Rid-X” treatment about a month ago, following up with another months worth two weeks later. I have been flushing a pack of bread yeast or sometimes brewer’s yeast about once a month for about a year now. I’m hoping I don’t have to pump the tank, because I can’t really afford it right now…any suggestions?


paul52446m 01-15-2012 10:03 PM

Have you checked to see if all your vents that go through the roof are clear and not plugged up. Paul

inspectorD 01-16-2012 05:52 AM

I agree, sounds like a venting issue. OR...if you have kids, it could be GI joe stuck in the trap.

Basics of venting...put a straw in your glassfull of water, Then put your finger over the top of the straw and remove the straw. The water stays in the straw. Remove your finger and the water exits the straw.

I had a problem of my vent pipe condensating and freezing on an outside wall in a 1840's home I used to own. The toilet would flush some days and not others, but the sink and tub would work. After I thought about it, it was because the tub had HOT water and the vent would defrost. Toilets only have warm. Anyway, that was my issue.:2cents:

woodchuck 01-16-2012 02:01 PM

Adjust the water level of the toilet tank to high and see if that is the problem. You can then gradually lower the level to where it still works to save water but low tank water level will cause the symptoms you describe.

Redwood 01-16-2012 02:21 PM

I'll disagree that it is a venting issue...

I'd start by checking the line out of the house to see if it is holding water by looking in a cleanout if you have one or, digging the tank and checking the flow from the toilet to the tank.

I'm thinking that you have a clogged line or, septic tank problem but if the line is clear and not holding water it would be a toilet problem...

Hard to say without being there checking things out...

Dionysia 01-16-2012 03:08 PM

Is there a correlation between flushing solids vs liquids? and can you access your waste line?

We had a toilet once that took 2 or 3 flushes on solids but liquids were just fine.Turned out the waste line directly underneath the toilet was not a straight shot, plus there were some tree roots further down the line. When things started to get hung up, the toilet wouldn't flush right.

isola96 01-16-2012 04:00 PM

To clear the venting issue any noises from sink in bath when toilet flushes? Or does it bubble up alot when it does flush?

tndave 01-17-2012 06:45 AM

Doesn't matter if it's solid or liquid only. The sink & shower don't make noises when the toilet is flushed, but the sink makes noises & some times toilet will flush by its self when taking a shower. Tank level is high, it has over flowed if you do a second flush too quickly. But, you can take a nice long shower with Zero back up in the tub...


Redwood 01-17-2012 03:02 PM

Noises clarify nothing!

Quite often vents stop working with a flooded line. IE Clog...

Additional troubleshooting is needed.

isola96 01-17-2012 03:12 PM


Originally Posted by Redwood
Noises clarify nothing!

Quite often vents stop working with a flooded line. IE Clog...

Additional troubleshooting is needed.

With all respect Redwood if you have a tiger growling in your sink or you have a big bubble shoot up in toilet when flushing its a vent issue not saying this is just for feature reference :)

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